This is the #1 Reason You're Afraid to Share Content
Can you remember the last time you shared something on Instagram stories?
Perhaps you shared a few clips from your weekend.
Or maybe you were talking about a sale that was happening.
You could have been discussing a specific topic.
It could have simply been a few slides of your dog.
Whatever the case may be, you shared.
Now, what do you typically do next?
I’m guessing you sit on your phone and re-watch your story 5x before you can do anything else, right? And when you do finally get up and walk away, you come back an hour later to do this all over again.
It’s a cycle. And it’s a cycle that continues for the next 24 hours—until you delete the slides, or they disappear on their own.
Perhaps, the reason we do this is that we like to make assumptions about what other people see. Maybe you ask yourself questions, like:
What do they think of me?
Does this content accurately represent who I am?
Does it create the kind of perception I want people to have of me?
And if you’re wondering this, you’re not alone. I, myself, ponder the same questions almost every day. Anyone who is brave enough to put themselves out there will likely experience feelings of self-doubt at some point in their digital career.
Do you know how I define personal branding?
In the simplest terms, building your personal brand is sharing content; content which reveals your personal story and professional expertise.
And if you’re reading this, you’re likely a person who wants to create a purposeful social media presence, gain clarity around your personal mission and message, and make a name for yourself in your industry—which means that personal branding is an extremely smart idea. (You can read more about why in this post here).
So what do you think is the #1 thing stopping you?
We are absolutely consumed by what other people think of us. It’s an epidemic that is stopping us from living our purpose and rising into the positions we were meant to fill.
It’s the one thing that stops us from posting on IG stories.
It’s the one thing that motivates our decision to “play it safe” on LinkedIn.
It’s the one thing that dilutes our personal story.
And it’s the one thing that prevents us from sharing our professional expertise.
When we worry too much about what other people think of us, it damages our individuality—the very foundation of our personal brand.
Having a personal brand is your competitive advantage. Why? Because no one else in the entire world can create something that is remotely identical. Once you build it, it’s yours. Totally and completely yours. Untouchable by your competitors, because it’s the very thing that separates you from them.
No one else sounds like you.
Thinks like you.
Writes like you.
Or posts like you.
And the sooner you can break free from the shackles of other peoples’ opinions, the sooner your content will become undeniably rich and authentic.
I know what you’re thinking, easier said than done, Anna.
And I get it. Trust me, I get it more than anyone. It’s the reason I decided to write this post. I wouldn’t be honest if I couldn’t tell you that this is something I am currently struggling with in my own career.
Here are the things I remember when I need some extra encouragement:
People don’t think about you as much as you think they do.
It’s true. What we imagine happening in our minds, isn’t necessarily reality. People aren’t thinking about us as much as we are thinking about us. So 9 times out of 10, everything is okay.
People’s opinions of you are totally out of your control.
And even if it’s not okay, it’s utterly and completely out of our own control. Which means there is zero sense in dwelling on painful sentiments that we should avoid altogether. The next time we feel shame, embarrassment, or insecurity—relax and release—practice the simple art of letting go. It’s an effective coping strategy that takes self-discipline, and it will serve you well as you continue to share content and build your personal brand. Read this book if you need help, it has seriously changed my life.
Surround yourself with people who love and accept you.
It also helps to surround yourself with people who encourage you and believe in what you are trying to accomplish. Social media is actually a great place to form a community of like-minded individuals who share similar goals and aspirations. Use it to your advantage! Make friends with people both online and offline, who believe in you and want you to succeed.
Your individuality is the key to your success.
Remember that the foundation of your personal brand actually lies in your unique personal story. There is no one like you in the entire world. There’s just you. Do you know how amazing that is? And by simply sharing who you are, your personal brand will bring you an abundance of success and opportunities that will come knocking on your door.
I hope these tips are helpful to you. My hope is that you understand you’re not alone. Personal branding is a long commitment, and often times it’s a process that asks us to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. However, I believe the more we have the courage to put ourselves out there and show up online, the more our work becomes rooted in value and authenticity—leading to greater opportunities and a defined sense of purpose.
Keep heart! I’m rooting for you.