Twice each year, I give a personal branding boot camp on campus at UCLA. The single hardest part of camp will be helping each participant appreciate themselves. Appreciating yourself is a weird concept for most people. We are used to talking about our strengths and weaknesses. We are comfortable talking about our hard and soft skills.
Yet that simple sense of internal value is fundamental to setting up a sturdy foundation for a personal brand. Irrespective of what you can do. The most valuable part of you is simply who you are.
When it comes to that personal intelligence, most people have a very hard time identifying something wonderful about themselves that has always been a quality carried deep inside. Something that will be carried throughout life.
Often it’s a knack. Like a knack for giving the perfect gift, which is a connection to the inner needs of others. Or it might be a power. Like the power to light up a room just by entering it, which is positivity. Or it might be a force. Like the force of a calm mind when everyone is in chaos, which is leadership.
This quality of yours will appreciate over time. That is, if you recognize it, attend to it, give it space to grow and speak about what it’s done for you and others.
There are plenty of reasons why you aren’t regularly celebrating your real value.
During many of your so-called formative years, you heard your parents say the word “no” to you; about five times more than you heard them speak your name. And, maybe the recession, which turns out to have been bigger than the 1930s Depression, you had a particularly tough time.
Of course, it’s easy to not see the truth about life, as well as your personal brand. Almost everything about your situation can change, when you change how you think and talk about yourself.
So start celebrating. You. Start looking back at the smiles you’ve had, the smiles you’ve won and the way you want to bring more on. Maybe you have to change your scorecard – maybe you’ll need to rethink the job title, the salary, the type of company, or where you live.
But, before any decisions are made: Celebrate. You.