Honestly, this has been the most difficult blog I’ve written in a minute. I’ve started and stopped this post several times. I can’t pinpoint the problem. Maybe it has something to do with the question, “How Much Should I Share?” The way social media runs today. It is almost impossible to be completely open and vulnerable about your feelings without running the risk of someone using this information against you. Sharing your truth can offend someone, and it comes back to bite you in the butt. Fear of vulnerability can be paralyzing and keep you from truly living your authentic truth.
I am tired of being afraid to voice my opinions, speak my truth, or share my thoughts on my desire subject matters. I have blogged for the last eight years, written a book, several ebooks, and running a company of the last three years. It is high time I break free from the glass chamber called FEAR.
See, fear lets you see life through a smudged lens. You can see the object in front of you, but it is just not crisp and clean. When you take a few moments to clean your lens, it allows you to see things better. When we take a few minutes to address our fears head-on, it allows us to see the path clearly on how to overcome it.
Ok Jay, What does this have to do with Honesty?
EVERYTHING! The post didn’t come together until I wrote this simple 3-word sentence in my journal. I Am Afraid! Writing these words allowed me to address what I have been afraid of for most of my life which is success. See, I’ve always seen myself larger than life, doing great things, and having a huge influence over people’s lives. But, the thought of being this person with a big personality that people look up too gave me the hibbie gibbers.
I think I was in the third grade when I realized I was different from other people. My personality stood out to people. I never wanted to be out in the forefront. My family pushed me to excel in the areas of leadership. I was super smart, but I downplayed my intelligence to fit in with others. I fought harder to stay in the background than to just let my light shine. I’ve met celebrities who said it was something about me, and I have the IT factor even then I still didn’t want the limelight. But, God’s plan outweighs my fears. After my honest self pep talk, I realized the only person who’s been holding me back is me.
My blog PHATSkinny Chic could have been off the charts by now had I had the courage, to be honest. I have no idea where my honesty would have propelled me to as a blogger had I chosen to write my truth. Every time I showed my readers a glimpse of my vulnerability, I went viral. Concerned with keeping my image as a good church girl, I never allowed myself to share my authentic story with women who needed to hear it. I now know we are given platforms, not for ourselves but to help others. My image as a good church girl hindered the good work I wanted to do. My fears kept me from being free. The moment I decided to adopt the policy of honesty, the light of God burst through me. It shattered my glass box of shame. Now, my authentic voice shines through. My tribe embraces my potty mouth and spiritual side. They show up for my Facebook lives and look forward to my blogs. My business is growing, and greater opportunities are coming my way. I experience tremendous growth because I decided to be honest.
When developing your personal brand, establish your core values first. You do this by answering questions like the following:
What do you value?
What energy do I want to give to the world?
What is my reasonable service?
What is important to you?
I don’t want you to wander around in the wilderness like me, because you are afraid of success. As one of my mentors used to say all the time, “Why Lie to You!” If you’re going, to be honest with anyone, you should start with yourself first. Never lie to yourself. When you are truthful with yourself, you can overcome so much.
Have you struggled with being Honest in your personal brand? Share your story with us!