Branding yourself by recreating your story intentionally

albert einstein

Could you imagine that a quote from Albert Einstein, long before social media, could actually be referring to branding yourself by recreating your story intentionally all these years later?  How could climbing a mountain, either in real life and/or metaphorically speaking, be a key to successfully branding yourself?

Branding yourself is simply finding ways for people to connect with you. Connecting lies in your story: being vulnerable, memorable, relatable and believable – note I did not say being the best.

This blog will share how by recreating your story intentionally you can remove the biggest block to successfully branding yourself. Just as a salesperson needs to believe in their product/service, you need to be passionate about your story – all of it.

Consider the phrase: “Mind Open.” We often hear about the importance of our mind set; I propose we give it another name, “mind open.” The more I read and observe the more I believe that ideas and beliefs are not really new, they are simply presented to us in new ways. Concepts of thinking are simply packaged for us to receive them in the way that made sense to the “presenter”; then we repackage them when we internalize what they mean to us. You become the “presenter” when branding yourself; focus on connecting with the magnificence of your story and how you got up the mountain.

#1 Branding yourself and recreating your story intentionally with a mind open They say “when the student is ready the teacher will appear”; decide to benefit from new “packaging of your thoughts.”  Think about some of the diverse events that have occurred in your journey and the way you described them then, and later, and now. Sometimes we forget how absolutely amazing we were/are and other times we hold on to something that we could benefit greatly from letting go.  How do you allow these experiences to define your life and in turn impact branding yourself? Have your ideas about them changed at all? Have you found ways to value everything with an invincible optimism? This energy will impact people when branding yourself.

I would like to share a story about what could be deemed to be the forerunner of “branding yourself”, the elevator speech. Sometime ago when I was guiding a discussion about the best answers to the interview question, “tell me about yourself,” a lady in the group raised her hand and volunteered, “I have a memory of a performance appraisal from over 5 years ago that I think of every time I am asked that question.” She then proceeded to share what the employer had said to her, all very critical and judgmental. I remarked that she had an amazing recall of what was said. She replied, to my horror, “Of course I do, I carry it with me;” then she pulled it from her briefcase. I say “horror” because for me that took holding on to something negative from one person, in one’s whole world of experiences, to a whole new level. I asked her what it would take to tear up that performance appraisal. It was clear this was probably not an option. I then asked if we could agree that she would leave it with me overnight and consider tearing it up tomorrow or later that week. She agreed.

The next day we met privately in my office and I asked her if she could imagine the benefit of destroying this one and only poor performance appraisal she ever received in her life. “Not yet”, she replied. A few days later we met again, privately. This time she pulled another copy of the same performance appraisal from her briefcase, confessed that initially, she could not give me her only copy, and now she was ready to rip up both copies. I watched and I thought, wow, a human shredder, as she tore them into small bits of paper. I knew I was witnessing the power of “letting go” in action.

What could this story possibly have to do with branding yourself by recreating your story intentionally? Branding yourself is an art and you hold the “brush” in painting the masterpiece of who you are. How can you pick the attributes, pictures and stories that brand all of who you are if you allow anything to hold a place in your mind that might diminish your greatness? How can you imagine for your future, and help others to do the same, unlimited possibilities not yet achieved? Branding yourself includes all of your potential and that comes from within, from your belief. There is no room for doubt or holding on to what I call the blips of negativity that cross our path.

As a career coach I came up with a phrase for people’s cover letters: “everything in my life has prepared me to be an ideal candidate for this position.”  This became very empowering because we talked about how even the job experiences that didn’t go well and perhaps even those that ended by one being fired were learning experiences. We let go of thinking “if it’s not a perfect match it won’t work.”  Imagine if you could create the image of you as the “ideal choice” for all who see it.

It is the same with how we view our life. Can we value it all? Can we learn from it all? Can we build our brand on it all?

Recently I saw a heading: Should you break up with your old self? This came from the book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza. When I read the book I became both fascinated and thrilled that science and the spiritual world could collaborate, rewire the brain, reach our deepest limiting beliefs and open up a whole new world – a chance to find the wonderful nuggets in it all branding yourself with a powerful gratitude that can make one unstoppable. This takes work and commitment to achieve but it can be done.

#2 Branding yourself and recreating your story intentionally with the gift unique to humans – We humans have a gift that transcends all other forms of life. If we master the way we think we can harness the power of this gift and turn virtually anything into a force of energy, not an anchor of defeat!

A failed marriage 30 years later, a betrayal of business partners that resulted in massive debt and losing a million dollars, an error of judgment we can never take back and so many more life events that are common place. On the flip side, what about the exciting times when we excelled, surprised and delighted the world with our unique self! Anybody, at any moment, can choose to recreate one’s story intentionally and thereby label each event as a stepping stone to what made you unique, enlightened, more compassionate, grateful, determined and so many other things that only come with time; as Albert Einstein so eloquently put it, they become: “a tiny part of our broad view gained by the mastery of the obstacles on our adventurous way up.”

#3 Branding yourself by recreating your story intentionally and asking questions: What if this is my finest hour? How can I find the wisdom in failure? Recently I read something the poet John Keats wrote in a letter, “Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an Intelligence and make it a soul?” I am not a proponent that suffering is a good thing but I do believe it can be a great teacher, if we allow it. Losing and winning are both part of the journey of life; it is by embracing that little-known fact and surrendering to the process that we can find our power and rewrite our story and bring value to every chapter. Branding yourself with irresistible appeal and powerful relatability is possible now because you “own it”; you have removed the biggest block to branding yourself and you see the results of the lessons. Being passionate about your story is inevitable.

#4 Branding yourself by recreating your story intentionally is “like climbing a mountain, gaining new and wider views,” (of yourself) and finding the platform in today’s amazing world of technology and social media to express your value. Branding yourself is a process whereby you “school an intelligence” and make it a “one of a kind” that has immeasurable value and relatability. Your uniqueness is learned and earned so each chapter has a “winning” component to it. Over time we come to know that failure is not final and success is not permanent. Be intentional today, don’t wait. Climb your mountain, gain new and wider views, discover unexpected connections between your starting points and now; feel a gratitude and inner peace with it all.

Have you rewritten a chapter in your life recently? Share how this empowered you to move forward to greater heights.  Send me your successes for it is in sharing that we empower each other!

branding yourself

Believe in the Good of Everything

believe everything happens for a reason

Can you believe in the good of everything on your Journey to Recreating You?

Sometime ago I found a wonderful red leather journal and on the outside was a beautiful phrase that resonated with me carved into the leather in gold script: “Believe in the Good of Everything.” I didn’t need a journal but they were “on sale” and I could imagine giving this as a gift to one of my inspiring adult children. Today I write about how that beautiful red journal never left me and unknown to me, acquiring it was the first step in recreating me once again!

Knowing what you value is key in finding the good in everything and recreating YOU – Over the months ahead I found myself on a journey of simplification. That is a story for another blog. I discovered, or should I say I rediscovered, that of all the things I could part with, ANYTHING in my home that had a beautiful message on it or throughout it was a “must keep.” It occurred to me that in this magnificent day of technology where everything can be shared with the world with the click of a mouse or the “send” or “post” on your phone, I had a responsibility to make time to share my wealth of positivity. At first this seemed a daunting task. Slowly, I started to write in that beautiful red journal; it was always destined to be the vehicle of this journey, even though I didn’t know it when I bought it.

We get messages in our lives, signs, in all forms, and we don’t always answer the call. Are you paying attention? Check out my 4-step game plan 

What’s in it for you to believe in the good of everything and how will it help recreating you? There is an inner strength that I don’t believe is attached to a specific religion; it is a faith that transcends all religions. In Alcoholics Anonymous they call it believing in “a Power greater than you”; I call it believing that everything that happens in our lives is guiding us, molding us, preparing us for some new chapter that we couldn’t fully become without the journey. In essence, it gives me the ability to “Believe in the good of everything.” Don’t mistake this phrase for saying that “bad is good.” It is more about believing that everything that happens to us is not without its purpose and power to impact our lives and often the lives of others and grow us into something we would not have been otherwise. Over time we learn that things are going to happen, things well beyond our control. Sometimes we will look back and wonder how we made it through; with each challenge, crisis, disappointment, we emerge stronger and wiser and the sun does indeed rise the next day.

When you try to believe in the good of everything are you burdened with trying to understand Why…why you…why now? Years ago I was the Program Manager for a four week long Career Program and we started every day with a quote. I found so many great ones; in fact, they nicknamed me “Queen of Quotes”. That was before you could just Google a quote, find images for it and read all about the author of the quote in a matter of minutes! Later when I randomly Googled some of the authors of those quotes I realized that typically the power of the words came from a significant life – you see everyone has a story! That is because every life is significant.

I came to realize that believing in the good of everything and the phrase “wisdom of the ages” is not about acquiring a lot of knowledge over the years and understanding everything. It is about experiencing a lot of life yourself, and also through the many people you meet along the way. It is this multitude of diverse life experiences that paves the way to a new understanding that there can be purpose to each life event. It is up to us to recreate the meaning of each of our life experiences as we grow in wisdom and understanding; in this way we can literally change our perspective of our life and of others.

For me I came to appreciate that over time believing in the good of everything is kind of like connecting the dots to complete a picture. I have a beautiful quote I keep in my bathroom on my mirror to remind me that each day I can know this truth: “BELIEF – When you come to the end of everything you know, and are faced with the darkness of the unknown, FAITH is knowing one of two things will happen. Either there will be something solid for you to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.” Barbara Winter. Understanding comes as we move through the darkness of the unknown to the light of inner knowing. This takes time and patience.

There are no free lunches; we have to pay our dues, live the gains and losses, and then we get to inspire and be memorable. One of these quotes is: “Bromidic though it may sound, some questions don’t have answers, which is a terribly difficult lesson to learn.” Katherine Graham (check out her amazing life). Don’t get stuck on a question.

The incredible motivational icon, Jim Rohn, had a great phrase when he talked about this. “Don’t ask why this and why that; I wouldn’t sign up for that class. Winter will always follow Fall, and Spring will always follow Winter. That is just the way it is.” Use your energy in another way and it will be easier to believe in the good of everything.

Adopt this approach to believe in the good of everything on your journey to recreating you! Next time you are faced with the unexpected try to embrace what you cannot yet see or feel or understand. When you start with this thinking it will help you have the ability to focus on taking the steps of moving forward rather than staying stuck in the why. It may be years before you can find the acceptance and gratitude but when you do, YOU will take yourself to a new level of joy and peace in your life.

How have your life experiences connected with each other over time to enable you to find a way to believe in the good of everything on your journey to Recreate YOU?

Send me your successes for it is in sharing that we empower each other!

life is all about timing

The Power of Reframing

new eyes marcel proust Vancouver BC

Did you know that how you see anything that happens is within your control and not static? It is literally a moving object in your mind long after you first “see” it.

Have you Discovered the Power of REFRAMING?

When my parents died there was one painting that brought special memories to my heart – a little girl about five with soft blond curls, walking proudly alone on the beach, splashing in the waves in her bare feet, and carrying her shoes under her arm. It always took me back to our wonderful summers in Prince Edward Island and my Mom said the little girl reminded her of me. It had a very old and actually ugly frame. I decided to have it professionally reframed and keep those special memories of me and my Mom alive. Reframing the picture in a soft color completely changed the entire ambiance of the picture and celebrated the ocean and the little girl so much more.

We as humans have this amazing power over our circumstances. We can reframe an event, a comment or a choice anytime. This poses a significant responsibility because it puts the interpretation of all things back on us.

Can you own the phrase “the gift of adversity?” A beautiful example is the story of Helen Keller. It is reflected in so many of her quotes; “I seldom think about my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times; but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers.” WOW! Imagine reframing losing your sight and hearing “like a breeze among flowers.”

Many years ago when my four children ranged between eighteen months and seven years of age I was diagnosed with cancer. It shook all the young Moms I knew who up until then were busy with all the demands of parenting. What if this happened to them? What if they were told “only one in four survive” and they had to continue with all the daily responsibilities of being a Mom?

One day a Mom stopped me on the street after I had completed two years of over fifty weekly, bi-monthly and monthly experimental cancer treatments. “How are you?” she said. “I am great, thanks,” I replied. “Oh, but it is just the uncertainty of it all, isn’t it,” she added.

It was a turning point and an opportunity for me to reframe my experience. I lived with the truth, today is all we have. The reality was she could die before me. I was able to “own” the “gift of adversity”! I knew how absolutely special this day was.

I ran a four week Career Program and everyone arrived in various stages of defeat, fear and loss. How to jump start their energy and open them up to what is possible! This wonderful picture hung on the outside of the door to our program: “What matters most is how you see yourself.”


I decided to reframe their situation and change the words they used to describe it. I asked: “Did you know that no one is looking for work and none of you are unemployed? You are all on an adventure as a consultant!” When we reframe our circumstances we can change our energy and self-image dramatically!

Reframing can inspire and empower us in spite of the reality.

What could you reframe? How can you take yourself on a voyage of discovery and see yourself in a different way and literally become your own hero?
Send me your successes for it is in sharing that we empower each other!

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