Self-Awareness is essential in personal branding as research suggests that when we see ourselves clearly, we become more confident, communicate better and build stronger relationships. We are also better leaders and run more successful businesses.
Most people want to believe to be self aware but studies show that only 10-15% fit the criteria. If you want to create a strong personal brand, it is absolutely fundamental to know your strong and weak points and stay authentic and true to yourself through your social media channels and in person.
There are two types of self-awareness. Internal Self-Awareness corresponds with how clearly we see our own talents, values, passions, aspirations, as well as feelings, behaviors, strengths and weaknesses. External Self-Awareness means understanding how others view us. One can score high on internal self-awareness and have no idea how he or she is perceived by the others and vice versa. There are four distinctive self-awareness archetypes that represent how well we know ourselves vs how well we understand how others see us.
The Four Self-Awareness Archetypes
How to cultivate self-awareness
There are multiple exercises you can do to help you understand your own talents, values and life purpose. The authors of “Brand You” John Purkiss & David Royston-Lee offer a few comprehensive exercises that guide you to a better self awareness. Start by creating a list of your personal accomplishments and what skills you used in those situations. Make a list of people you admire and what talents or skills that they possess. Write a list of the values you appreciate in these personas and yourself. If you spend enough time contemplating on these exercises, you will see a few themes emerge that will help you to know your strong points as well as values.
Feedback from other people will help you to understand you the difference between the way you see yourself and how you are seen by others. Firstly, do a self-assessment and write down how you believe others see you. Secondly, ask people surrounding you what they think of you and be ready for the constructive feedback. It is essential to be ready to accept both positive and negative feedback. To make you conversation more engaging and the feedback more detailed and profound, ask them what cartoon/film character they associate you with, what brand suits you best in their opinion and so on. Comparing your answers and their answers will show you the gap in your self-awareness and area that you can focus on improving.
Mental map as a tool for self-awareness
Mind maps are a useful tool to get a greater insight into yourself. A mind map will help you to reach your full potential by unlocking the full potential of your brain. Mind maps will help you to understand your talents, values, desires and needs as well as clarify your emotions and thoughts.
Creating a mind map
- Take a set of coloured pens or pencils and draw a coloured picture of yourself. You can also cut out a photo and place it in the middle
- Draw colourful branches for each of your categories and add images to the branches. Examples of categories – strengths, weaknesses, goals, likes and dislikes, achievements, hobbies, emotions, responsibilities, friends
- Add sub branches and short descriptions/images next to them
- Have fun with the creative process
- Use a big sheet of paper, preferably A3 or larger.
- Add as many sub branches for each of the categories
- Use images. Our brain stores colorful images much easier than static words.
Once you complete your mental map, you will have a colourful reflection of your inner self which will help you to clarify your thoughts and emotions about your current state and will guide you with your future decisions and plans.
I really hope this article will help you improve your self-awareness and build a stronger personal brand accordingly. Enjoy the exercises, talking to your friends and colleagues and have fun drawing your own mental map. Take the time to rediscover yourself, your values and aspirations.
Stay inspired and motivated,