Why vulnerability and Personal Branding go hand in hand

… and what happened to me last week that made me write this blogpost


hi there

Three things happened to me last week that made me write this blog post about me, myself and I. And it scares the hell out of me, but I have to…

Actually, it is three things people said to me…

1 “You are so successful”

Recently several people told me: “My God Greetje, you are so successful in everything you do!” and last week I think more than 5 people said it to me.

People who follow me a little, know that I am very active and very visible online and offline. This combined with my positive spirit, makes people think I am very successful. And that’s good, because I am convinced that people like to be with (and do business with) successful people. We want positive people in our lives, not the ones complaining the whole time, right?

However I do not always feel that confident and successful. I also have my doubts and I sometimes feel really anxious. Am I doing the right things? Will my clients be happy? Will my new business be successful? What will people say about me now that I’m so visible online and offline? Won’t they think I’m a bragger? What gives me the right to say I’m a Personal Branding expert?

I already wrote a blogpost about this “syndrome”, it’s called the imposter syndrome.

So when people tell me “you are so successful” or even “I look up to you”, if feel awkward, shy and I have this imposter-feeling again.

But there is something else I’m fighting with. It’s finding that balance between showing the positive, successful side of me and showing the small little scared Greetje side of me.

When I was younger I was an introverted ugly duckling. Yes indeed, an ugly adolescent, so I did not have many boyfriends, my mother did not buy us fancy clothes (on the contrary), I didn’t feel loved by some people who were important to me. I just felt ugly and ashamed and negative. And I swore to myself, “when I am older, I am going to be a positive person, I’m gonna be successful and I’m gonna show it to the world.”

So now I’m older, and that’s what I do: I’m a positive person, I’m working very hard to be successful and I’m showing the world I am.

2 ”You are human too, you know”

Good for me, right? I guess. But I’m 41 now and I also think it’s high time I also give some space to that little scared Greetje. “Because only showing the positive side of yourself is not real. You are human too” (said a friend of mine last week). Glad she noticed 🙂

3. “First time I met you, I disliked you a lot”

Another reason why did I decide to show that side of me? Because my coach told me that the first time she saw me, she had a negative impression of me (stuck up, full of myself, over-confident) and now that she knows me, she sees a whole other person: a caring, loving, warm, helping person.

She told me I should show that side of me more often. All right that’s what I’ll try to do. Difficult though. Makes me nervous. (what will people say about me showing that side of me?) First step is allowing myself to show that side. It has to be real. There have been written so many articles about vulnerability that it’s become so cliché and not real anymore and I do not want to fall in that trap!!

Second step, is “action” (I am a very action and result oriented lady): so hence this blog post. That’s it, I showed it. All righty.

Hope you don’t mind. This is not the kind of blog post you are used from me.

My readers are used to learn something concrete – well that’s what I am going to do. I’ll “show” you the 5 reasons why it is OK, moreover, why it is important to show your real you, to allow yourself to be vulnerable, by sharing some quotes about the subject with you. Something to think about.

Lily flower Stages

  1. “Vulnerability is the first thing you look for in other people, but the last thing you want to reveal in yourself” – Brené Brown
  2. “Being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure” – Bob Marley
  3. “All creative people have to have vulnerability because those nuances are what move people. so I’m deeply insecure – but I’m good at hiding it.”- Paloma Faith
  4. “..and that visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength” – Audre Lorde
  5. “To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” – Criss Jami

Being visible & building your Personal Brand is also very scary, it’s about being vulnerable. CLICK TO TWEET

It is also important for everyone, certainly for freelancers and entrepreneurs who sell their services and want to do business. Connecting with people, growing your network, building relationships… all important aspects in business life. And not possible without showing the real you.

Because people do business with people they know, like and trust.

And that is not possible if you do not show your real you.

How about you? I’d love to hear your story or point of view on this subject….

love to hear your thoughts, questions, worries, ideas… contact me +32.478.39.02.69 or leave a reply below

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