I keep a variety of topics I’m interested in on Google Alerts.
It’s a great way to curate content to share on social media and to read articles I might otherwise never have found. Sometimes what comes up is garbage, other times pearls. Sometimes the result is the impetus for a blog, like what I read the other day.
In an article on what not to do in personal branding, the author offered that praising oneself was a bad thing to do because we don’t praise ourselves in real life. Her take was that “only fearful people praise themselves.”
I was horrified. For many reasons.
For starters, I am a big believer in bragging which clearly is a form of self-praise. I’ve written about it before and attribute my turn around in that perception to my pal Regena Thomashauer.
For centuries it has been culturally acceptable for men to sing their praises while women were conditioned to make themselves invisible and portray humility no matter how great their achievements might be.
Encouraging otherwise is to encourage staying small – especially for women.
That’s not something you’ll find me doing – at least most days. I readily admit that sometimes the cobbler has no shoes!
My experience with my clients is that the toughest part of personal branding – especially online where your trail of breadcrumbs is there for anyone to read anytime they would like to – is getting your story straight. In that process you are now forced to look at what’s great about you and all the wonderful things you might bring to the table. For most people – especially women- the idea of praising or as I like to call it, bragging about who you are is about as appealing as having a root canal.
And it shouldn’t be.
Acknowledging our strengths is good practice. It helps us to own who we are which gives clarity, strength and purpose to our personal brand.
There are only two times bragging or self-praise doesn’t work.
When you are lying.
When you don’t believe in yourself.
We don’t praise ourselves enough out of fear.
Fear of standing in the truth of who we are.
Fear of being seen.
Fear we will not be believed.
Fear there is someone else who is better than us.
It is only in the practice of acknowledging ourselves we can get past that fear and be able to tell the story of our personal brand in the tradition of all great storytellers – by showing how fabulous we are.