How are you coping with the (identity) crisis?

by | Apr 24, 2020 | Career Planning, Personal Brand, Running a Business

We are all manoeuvring through unknown territory right now and there are many positive and negative outcomes observable all around us. In this series on ‘Online Personal Brand Tips for Crisis Mode’, I want to share some of my observations and the lessons we can take from them, when it comes to your personal brand.

Article 1 was about the dangers of unchecked confusion and emotion online.

In this article, I relate my personal experience with ‘identity’ during isolation, and why personal branding is so helpful right now.

How are you coping with the (identity) crisis?

Who is that woman in her active wear? She seems to have a Monday-Sunday gym clothing combo on rotation.

She misses the sound of her high heels on the city pavement.

Her car is gathering cobwebs around the tyres.

She’s doing the grocery shopping on a weekday because she’s got the time (and she equally feels dread and excitement about it).

Her coffee meetings are on Zoom.

Her client workshops are on Zoom.

Her after-work drinks are on Zoom (and they are not that much fun).

She is grateful for Zoom. And yet… feeling the energy of presenting from a stage or sharing the space with the people you are working with is remembered wistfully, like the fading memory of her last holiday.

Weirdly, she feels more connected to her family than ever… but she misses their hugs.

She’s cooking a hearty meal by 6pm.

She’s going to bed at 9pm because she hasn’t just arrived home.

She’s waking up by 5am because her brain is totally confused (and she’s had enough sleep since she went to bed at 9).

These days I hardly recognise myself.

It’s a very strange thing, how this world crisis is creating ripple effects of all sorts… little mini-crises at the individual level. In my discussions with friends and colleagues over the last few weeks, I have heard many versions of my story above.

For some, it may be simply the surprise and confusion at finding yourself looking different, speaking and thinking about different things, and spending your days in a different way. For others, it may be a bigger personal crisis, like questioning your line of work or what you value spending time on (or with whom!). And for others, the crisis is more immediate, and it’s about putting food on the table today.

I am really grateful that I am only experiencing light frustration and a fair helping of amusement as I observe myself attempting to work out what stays the same and what must change. And I am also finding that my years of work helping myself and others think purposefully about ‘personal branding’, or who you are professionally, is proving to be a solid foundation in navigating such uncertain times. Defining who you are and what you want to communicate when it comes to your professional contribution is not only helpful for being clear to others, it makes it clear to yourself.

With a new flexibility to our days and time to think like never before, this is the perfect opportunity for many of us to finally get clear on our personal brand messaging. We have a unique opportunity to get reflective, digging a little deeper to fine-tune our passions and value points and to build a strong plan to communicate it outwardly. It’s one way to nurture yourself, reignite inspiration… and maybe, get over that mini-identity crisis 😉

Hope this is helpful! If you have a topic you would like me to address in the ‘Online Personal Brand Tips for Crisis Mode’ series, please let me know!

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