“Personal branding is the ultimate journey of personal development.” -Chris Collins
If you're going to develop a great brand to show to the rest of the world, it has to be done from the inside out. You have to believe what you portray. Your mindset has to support your growth, not hinder it. We have seen this be challenging for even some of our most successful clients. Let’s discuss how you can alter your mindset to improve your personal brand.
In his book Firestarters: How Innovators, Instigators, and Initiators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life, Ascendant Group CEO Raoul Davis discusses the idea of cognitive convergence. Cognitive convergence is when your brain makes associations between similar situations, and uses lessons learned from one situation to inform actions and thoughts in seemingly unrelated ones. You can use cognitive convergence to teach your brain how to identify pathways to success.
Take Tom Brady for example, when the Patriots were down 28-3 in Super Bowl LI. No team in NFL history had come back from more than 10 points to win a Super Bowl before. However, Tom Brady drew motivation from the many times his team came back to win, and believed it was still possible for them to win the Super Bowl. His team then adopted that same attitude, and what felt improbable to the audience and announcers became inevitable in the mind of Tom Brady and his teammates.
Great CEOs and self-starters look for patterns of success, and then they pounce on situations that have proven to be generators of that success. Practicing cognitive convergence will help you achieve your goals, reach new heights, and boost your brand.
Think about those in your life who approach problems from an optimistic perspective. Optimists tend to bring a "glass half full" mindset to both positive and negative situations. This isn't an accident; it's a pattern– and it’s a pattern that works. When you believe positive things will happen, you find a way to make this vision a reality. If you look for patterns of positivity and success in your life, then that is the reality you will attract. However, the same goes for patterns of negativity and self doubt. So, if you want to support your personal growth in a way that will enhance your brand, you have to develop a positive mindset.
Ascendant Senior Partner Kim Reed wrote the book Optimists Always Win: Moving from Defeat to Life’s C-Suite. In this book, Reed discusses ways to identify “discouragement eliminators” in your life. By identifying ways to eliminate discouragement, you can develop the fortitude to face every area of life with faith and optimism.
How to Adopt These Mindsets
Cognitive convergence and optimism are both learnable states of mind. Here are some ways you can put these concepts into action and adopt these mindsets.
First, affirm your vision. Free yourself to imagine the greater positive outcome that you are working toward.
Second, reward yourself for mission-relevant actions and results. When you achieve an outcome of significance, celebrate.
Third, find ways to integrate your existing expertise and passion into areas that intrigue you. Take note on what makes you successful in these areas, and try to replicate that process.
Your mindset has the potential to hinder or help your personal brand. You can train your brain to recognize patterns of success, and repeat that process in many areas of your life. You can train your brain to focus on the positive instead of the negative, and then find ways to make your visions for the future into reality. If you want to enhance your personal brand, you have to set a strong foundation by having a positive mindset.