The Secret or Not-so-Secret Weapon: Self-Reliance by Anna Nygren

Photo credit: Photogore/ Flickr / Getty Images

Photo credit: Photogore/ Flickr / Getty Images

Theatre performances. Maid of Honor Speeches. Debates. Talent Shows. What do all of these things have in common? All eyes are on the person talking. Most of the time, the speaker feels the need to abandon the things that make her unique and act in a more “suitable” fashion. But allowing one’s performance to be an extension of self is where the magic really happens.

The journey of personal branding is just like that. Once you have decided that you are going to go down the uncharted path of making who you are and what you do the same, you begin to question how you do you and second guess yourself over minute details. Not only will you begin to question yourself but others will question you on top of that. Many will have doubts (“What are you going to do if this goes nowhere? What is your Plan B?”) and others may not even entertain the idea of such a career. This is where the rubber meets the bumpy, earthy, hand-carved road. You are going face to face with what you believe about yourself and about the opinions of everyone else (including your family). From that point on, you need to have self-reliance. A characteristic that will reinforce your personality and what makes you tick. It is in the moments when you are not thinking so hard, working all day or hanging out with friends, that you begin to see the lines that you have unknowingly drawn for years. Lines that show you love British humor or that you are good at coming up with name for ice cream flavors. Whether you can crystalize these lines in a day or a month, you will feel a solidity begin to form. As you focus on those things that put a pep in your step, the ideas for Instagram posts, tweets and blog topics begin to flow. The next thing you know, a website with your name front and center is up and running and you are slowly but surely, being 100% you on the social media stage. BAAM! You start to second guess yourself less but you do not lose the care given with each step. With that, you begin to define what makes you, you. And that my friends, is the game changer. Get focused, realize that you do have the personality and the opportunity to brand yourself. Get out there and do it.

Anna Nugren is: Young, Smart and Strugglin'. She is a realistic optimist, rower, lifelong student. You can see her here or follow her on Twitter @annavnygren