Like it or not you are branded! Not everyone will see or appreciate the value you deliver. Inevitably in life, especially as an entrepreneurial leader, you will face disapproval or rejection from others. It might be a family member, friend, client or even a stranger. They might disagree with the way you lead your business, live your life, the decisions you make, or even who or what your brand represents. There are plenty of dream snatchers who might embark on a crusade to belittle or destroy your dreams in business, criticize your methods, or make hurtful comments that reveal a poor impression of you. These experiences are painful because we all want to be liked, trusted and accepted. We all desire to feel that we have value. We all want to be supported, nurtured and loved by those around us for the unique promise of value we deliver.
At the end of the day, you must believe in your leadership brand. It is critical that your first love and value yourself. Don’t get me wrong, as one who is emphatic and feels things deeply, it’s normal to have a few moments of uncertainty when people reject you and your brand offerings. Although feedback is critical to your success, if not processed carefully, you can internalize the negativity received from others causing you to become ineffective in business. Instead of activating your value, you will, likely, begin to retreat and hide. Fear sets in, and to complicate matters even further, the life experiences, thoughts, and feelings of others are projected onto you and may sabotage your own truth!
So how do you overcome this? How do we avoid letting other people’s negative perceptions erode your belief and confidence in yourself? Here are three major points to the inspire self-love:
1) Protect Your Mind. Think of positive thoughts as the antidote to any negativity that comes your way. Feed your mind with empowering, positive thoughts daily, preferably several times a day – and most especially after a negative encounter. Focus on the truth. Remember the things that make your leadership brand great. The stronger you can build up your belief in yourself, the less weighed down you will become by the effects of the negative perceptions of others. Make a list of your value. What are your unique value propositions that set you apart from all others? Not sure where to begin? Begin with I AM statements. Also, list your features and benefits. This way, when rejection or negative feedback comes your way, you won’t be looking to others for your sense of validation or approval, because you will already have your OWN approval.
- Believe in your product or service – Whether you are selling something for a company or something of your own creation, you need to love and really believe in the product to succeed. If you are offering a service, you need to believe that you are offering something unique and excellent. Keep that mindset that says your product or service is worth it.
2) Conserve Your Energy. While it might be tempting to try to explain, defend, or prove yourself to someone who rejects you and doesn’t see the value of the experience you create, this is usually a waste of your time and energy. Once someone forms an opinion of you, they are unlikely to change it. The more you try to change their minds, the more stubbornly they will dig their heels in and resist. Take the time to evaluate the feedback,but in the end, simply release your need to prove yourself and accept that they are entitled to their perceptions and opinions. Take control! Avoid allowing their comments and opinions to detract from your belief in yourself and your leadership brand’s promise of value. Give yourself permission to not be what everyone wants. So, use your energy to find and connect with your ideal connected-community and add value that will keep you at the top of their minds.
- Annually, conduct a formal or informal 360 feedback assessment where your confidential surveys or evaluations are conducted to help you audit and gauge the perceptions of others. Certified brand strategists such as myself can provide such an assessment, provide feedback and strategy to help you build brand likeability.
3) Choose Your Networks Wisely. Once a person reveals their negative opinion or directs hurtful comments your way, this is a sign that your brand’s message is not in the best network for you to thrive as a business leader. Your network is valuable because it should allow you to expand your net worth. Remember, people buy from those that they know, like and trust. So, love and believe in yourself enough to limit spending excessive time with people who don’t value your offerings. This becomes more difficult if it is a family member that you can’t just shut out of your life completely.
- Set boundaries and limit the amount of time you are faced with negativity. You must protect the health and life of your brand at all times. Remember, boundaries are designed to protect by keeping the good in and the bad out, especially when it comes to preserving your ability to deliver upon your unique promise of value.
One of the benefits of building your leadership brand from a base of love and appreciation for yourself is that you can see and embrace yourself authentically. It allows you to define who you are, what makes you unique and the type of dent you want to make on the earth. Your brand is too valuable for you not to love and believe in yourself.
Love and manage your brand well! Finally, remember that no one else can define you, or live your life for you or stop you from activating your value. Show up with a clear, consistent and credible love for your brand with a passion to create a leadership presence that makes the world a better place. Begin believing in yourself and the value of your work, service or product. Today, begin to connect with the best version of yourself and shine your light in the world.