Your Choices and Their Influence on Your Personal Brand

Your Choices and Their Influence on Your Personal Brand

by David Gaudreault, Entrepreneur, Maker, Marketing and Personal Branding Specialist

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Personal Branding - Choices and Their Influence on Your Personal Brand

All our life, we make choices. Life choices, academic choices, career choices, and these choices affect the solidity, balance, value, and reach of our personal brand.

In general, only a few of us end up having a strong personal brand in line with our natural talents and strengths and the majority end up having a personal brand that is rather in line with their weaknesses, in line with skills that are counter-intuitive to them. Why?

Why? Actually for a few reasons…

You may also be interested in this article: How to identify your strengths and weaknesses

Personal Branding - Choices and Their Influence on Your Personal Brand

Reason 1: In our Society, We Strongly Encourage the Development of Counter-Intuitive Skills 

What is a counterintuitive skill?

A counter-intuitive skill is a skill for which we are not naturally gifted, a skill that is counter-intuitive to us, a skill for which we must intensify our efforts to develop it without being able to master it to perfection.

To understand the idea, imagine that you decide to learn drawing and decide to do it with your left hand, with your non-dominant hand. No doubt you could develop this skill using your left hand, but you will never master it perfectly, never stand out and never develop yourself to your full potential.

A counter-intuitive skill is the opposite of a natural talent.

That said, culturally, we invest most of our lives in improving our weaknesses and developing counterintuitive skills rather than developing our natural talents and turning them into strengths.

For example, let’s take a kid naturally strong in mathematics and very weak in language.

What do we do?

Rather than giving him advanced mathematics lessons and allow him to develop his natural talent for mathematics, we give him catch-up language lessons.

Throughout his academic career, we constantly force him to work on his shortcomings rather than investing himself fully in the subjects in which he naturally performs well.

As a result, while he constantly works on improving his weaknesses, the development of his natural talents is put on the back burner and he stagnates in the subjects where he could really perform.

Reason 2: Our tendency to over-glorify successes related to our weaknesses

The second reason is that we glorify successes, no matter how mediocre they are, when they are related to improving our weaknesses and developing counter-intuitive skills.

It’s the American dream!

The underdog who succeeds despite all odds against him…

Think of the 1993 film, Ruby, a dyslexic footballer, who does not have the physical attributes to play football, but who works hard to play for the Notre-Dame team. He ends up playing a FEW MINUTES in the last game of the season and become a hero!

The same goes for Forest Gump, an under-average IQ man who achieves great things through hard work and perseverance. A hero!

There are plenty of examples in the American culture where underdogs are seen as heroes after defying all odds and succeeding.

Throughout their academic journey, young people are over-glorified whenever they succeed to overcome their weaknesses, for the simple reason that they must redouble their efforts to achieve poor results, so how could we not recognize their efforts and their perseverance vehemently!

On the other hand, we tend to trivialize completely their successes in subjects in which they are naturally gifted because they need to invest much fewer efforts to achieve much better, over-average results.

Reason 3: Our judgment altered by institutionalized leveling of competencies

The last reason is related to the first two reasons.

School programs are designed to not only level down between students but also to level skills. It is designed to ensure that each student achieves average performance in each of the subjects without peak nor distinction.

Young people are never encouraged to develop the subjects in which they naturally perform, the subjects where they could outperform.

This would imply that each student would cross the finish line at very different times, a situation that our education system can simply not handle!

But how to make a wise career choice, when we are equally good in all subjects and don’t stand out in anything?

How to make a wise career choice that will not involve weaknesses or counterintuitive skills, when for years we have been hard at work developing these skills, and have been over-glorified for each of the success related to them?

How to make a wise career choice that takes advantage of our natural talents and strengths, when we have made no effort to develop them in the areas where we were naturally gifted?

Bad Career Choices for the Majority – The Consequences

It’s obvious that the majority lose their bearings and make choices that lead them to what I call the vicious cycle of mediocrity …

The Vicious Cycle of Mediocrity

The more we advance in our schooling and in our career, the more our choices crystallize and the more difficult it is to reorient ourselves, and when we make bad choices, we find ourselves in a disastrous situation.

A situation where our counter-intuitive skills acquired in school necessarily lead us to a job related to these skills.

Then these skills turn into experiences and quickly we end up being recognized for these experiences.

So people are referring to us for skills that are unnatural to us and for which we are unable to outperform and stand out. It is at this stage that the vicious cycle of mediocrity reaches its climax.

In a labor market that places so much emphasis on skills and experiences, this is a very disadvantageous situation.

A situation where our curriculum is dominated by counter-intuitive skills, experiences related to these non-natural skills and a network that recognizes us for these skills and experiences. It becomes hellish!

The only way out is to make a drastic change of direction and start from scratch in a field of activity that will allow us to take advantage of our natural talents and strengths.

The problem is that the majority of people remain in this situation without ever making the drastic, but necessary change to get out of this vicious circle.

This is the cause of job dissatisfaction, lack of motivation, disengagement and even burnout. It affects both the professional and the personal areas.

Personal Branding - Choices and their influence on your personal brand - Change

Building your Brand while Dealing with Poor Career Choices

If you find yourself working in a field that primarily exploits your weaknesses and skills that are counterintuitive to you, there are good chances that your personal brand is in tune with your weaknesses more than with your strengths.

That is to say, your experience revolves around your counter-intuitive skills, you are recognized for your weaknesses and people probably refer to you for these so-called skills.

Obviously, the last thing you want is to promote this brand, since you would end up promoting skills for which you are unable to outperform and in the worst case, to promote your incompetence.

You must, therefore, move away from these crystallized choices of the past and make a change of direction, make new choices that will allow you to take advantage of your natural talents, develop them to transform them into strengths and be able to reach near-perfect performance in everything you do in the future.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Full or Partial Career Reorientation?

The more we advance in our career, the more personal and professional responsibilities we have, the better our working conditions, the more attachment we have to our colleagues and friends, and the more job security we have. All these elements are very paralyzing.

It is difficult to make a career change!

If your situation allows you to, make the leap, go for a change ASAP! But make sure you head into a field of activities where you can really develop your natural talents.

However, if your responsibilities prevent you from making a complete career change, you can build a personal brand in a different field of activity, in parallel to your main job.

You will develop skills related to your natural talents, capitalize on your strengths and gain new experiences that will allow you to make the leap eventually in the near future.

Conclusion

In this article, I discussed the theme of choices and their influence on your personal brand.

The idea is to understand that a large proportion of people make career choices that do not allow them to take advantage of their strengths, to achieve their full potential.

This is because culturally,

(1) we are constantly encouraged to develop our weaknesses rather than to develop our strengths, which results in underinvesting ourselves in those areas in which we could outperform

(2) we over-glorify the successes related to the improvement of our weaknesses which makes us perceive rather mediocre successes for beautiful successes

(3) the leveling of institutional skills that we have undergone over a number of years, as well as its underlying implications, negatively influence our career choices and lead us to make choices that are more about our weaknesses than our strengths.

In any case, if you want to invest yourself in building a strong personal brand, it is imperative to build your brand on solid foundations, in tune with your talents and strengths.

This is the only way possible to perform, stand out and make yourself recognized as a real expert in your industry.

This may mean making a change of direction to build your personal brand on good foundations.

The important thing is to make these changes as soon as possible because the longer you wait, the more the vicious circle of mediocrity sets in and paralyzes you, and the harder it is to bring about change.

Let me ask you…

Do you feel that you are on your X at work, that you have made good choices that allow you to take advantage of your talents and strengths or on the contrary, do you feel that no matter the amount of work and effort you put in, it is always very difficult for you to get good results in your job?

Who is David Gaudreault?

David Gaudreault Bio - David's Way

I'm an entrepreneur, a maker, an online marketer...and Personal branding passionate.

I help entrepreneurs develop two essentials for building a successful startup: (1) building a strong personal brand and (2) building solid foundations of passive incomes to gain professional freedom.

I also help entrepreneurs find their big ideas, execute them right, impact millions with their businesses, and change the world.

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