Okay. So it’s time I come clean…
This is a follow up to my last post on blogging and how it opens up a channel for self discovery.
I believe very much in the study of self. I would consider it a universal personal duty. I think we should promote and encourage exploration and questioning in society. Is the topic of mindfulness still too new-age for public education?
It seems the world has changed and is opening up to these ideas that were once too fu-fu for most. I wonder how the study of psychology in university now compares to what it was like when I was first started studying it thirteen years ago.
I still remember one of my professor’s saying that marketing and advertising was the dark side of psychology. Nowadays, I would argue that the connection economy has allowed marketing and branding and advertising to become the very catalyst for self-study, which includes components of psychology.
Advertisers and marketers may have once been considered manipulative and profit-hungry, designing campaigns that appealed to a mass of people just for the sake of profit. And of course that still stands true for some today. But because of the web and social media and reviews, companies won’t survive unless they are authentic and honestly representing themselves the way they say they are. We all want a good name. And that leads me to the topic of personal branding.
In order to have a personal brand, you have to know thyself. And how do thy know thyself? Thy study thyself. And here we are back at self – study.
If each one of us knew what we truly like/dislike, what we really believe and value, and what we are really good at and what we are really bad at, we would be better at making progress together. The group is just a sum of each part. Every task would have the best person for the job, rather than people that have no interest in it or are not very good at it.
Personal branding is just packaging your person. A summary if you will. And with that package, we can deliver to the world who we are and what we have to offer (even if we don’t even know what it is yet). The act of self-study can take us on a road to find that offering. That calling. That art. And once you start down the path, things start happening and opportunities start arising. Dots connect.
Needless to say then, I believe in personal branding in today’s connection economy because it goes hand in hand with self-study. It’s packaging everything you are learning. It’s the application of your study. It’s Life.
And then our life intertwines with the life of all the other of our kind in a true, honest and real way. We don’t have to pretend to be anything but instead we can act as we are and then more effectively compliment each other in our societies. So long as we work in harmony with each other, our species (and our planet) will be the better for it.
Here I am in my self-study and branding process, trying to be my best and figure out my art/calling. And I am realizing that my personal brand (journeyfoot) does not fully represent me. What about all those parts that make me unique? Those are the quirks usually, and I guess I’ve been holding mine back.
I think I’ve been having a fear of being found out for longer than I knew, and I’m kind of tired of it. What if the people I work with in San Diego find out I am in my pajamas during our conference call, un-showered and disheveled? What if a client finds out I’m working in the motorhome in a parking lot at some Safeway in a weird town instead of, gasp, an office? Times, they are a changin’ friends. And guess what. I work from wherever I damn well please, and I should be yelling it from the mountain tops instead of feeling guilty about it and hiding it.
I should also be more open about my clothing choices. Most of the time, I’m wearing my scrubbies. Often weather-proof spandex and jackets and shoes since I love being outside and I live in the pee-en-dub. I prefer hoodies and soft cotton tees and pants and a pile of hair on top of my head with no makeup or deodorant when I’m at home. And in the woods I like dirty jeans and beanies and my hair is usually matted. But then! Then there are those times when I love to dress cute and put on makeup and be a woman. I’d like to be able to more comfortably present what I am truly dressed in, instead of just honoring those times I look “suitable” for society, because isn’t that up to me?
So…. here’s what I wore today while working:
It’s really hard for me to not want to put up a pretty picture next to that, but I’m not gonna do it. This is what I often look like when I’m working by myself or hanging out with my closest people. Why hide it? I mean… It’s men everything. Jon’s sweatshirt, my friend Aaron’s flannel, my ex-boyfriend’s sweats. And my underwear aren’t even really mine. They’re my friend’s that she left behind. But hey, if that is too much information for you or it makes you feel uncomfortable, then I am not going to care and instead accept that not everyone is going to like me and what I have to say.
OH THE CONTRADICTIONS
All these instagram pictures of styled shoots and pretty outfits and cool backgrounds and tasty food… I love them, I do. And I do think that so many are truly reflecting their brand, but sometimes I am tired of seeing everything so “ON.” Everything is in its best light. And it just exhausts me. What if my brand shows my bad lights too? The dirty parts. The places with dust that could use a good shine, but maybe just aren’t that important on my list of priorities or are too far down the list. Like my nails for instance. Or my ability to do the dishes right away. [okay that one has moved up on my list]
I’m just trying to admit things here, guys. To come clean about these small petty things I am for some reason trying to keep from the world as though they will harm my image, when really they are what make me. I should be proud instead of embarrassed.
I love and I absolutely hate social media. I believe in its power but I want to often vomit on how dependent we have become. I think the housewives and the fact that the show (and all these bravo shows) are so popular and so consumerist and catty and blah is terrible, but I sure do love to watch it! It’s like I get off on the ick factor. But then even saying that show is icky and bad makes me feel guilty and disrespectful to those ladies on the show, who are entitled to do what they want and be who they are. Who am I to have a problem with it? I judge and label and profile and categorize everything, including people, but then I also love and accept everyone, and will give anyone a chance. Just contradiction after contradiction.
I am a product of society, even in ways I hate. I buy plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner and soap, even though I know I am contributing to a problem I feel so strongly about. I throw food in the garbage because I lost my compost pail and sometimes it’s just easier. I waste gas because I go for long drives just because.
I’m a pile of contradictions and I feel guilty, okay! Gosh… 😉
But instead of holding them in and trying to be one way or the other, I have decided to just let them be. To let them out. To let it all shine. Like how I just had to leave this post to get the rat bait station out of Sage’s possession. Eff youuuu Sage!
So you’re going to see a lot more ownership of who I am, what I believe and what I’m up to. I challenge you to do the same, whether you have been blogging for years, are just starting out or only thinking about it. The study of self and then presenting that self to the world through your personal brand is a really gratifying journey.
Can we please talk about this? Tell me your experience!