Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: A Common Mistake In Personal Branding
‘What does Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde have to do with Personal Branding?’ you may wonder. Stevenson’s novel, first published in 1886, explores the duality of human nature through the story of Dr Henry Jekyll and his potion to mask the evil inside him, Mr Edward Hyde. Among other messages related to his time, the author seeks to make a link between good and bad in society. For me, translated to modern terms, this is a metaphor that makes me reflect on one of the most common mistakes we make, with a direct impact on our Personal Brand. After all, our Personal Brand is nothing more than our identity.
What happens when duality becomes part of who we are? People find themselves wondering who’s the real you, and even we get confused at times! This can have a strong influence on how we are perceived, as well as on our sense of direction. So, what’s missing? In one word, consistency.
What I’m talking about here is not the case of a painting course or a gym programme that you start and drop after a couple months (raise your hand if this never happened to you!). It is about the way we live our life and communicate with the world. Sometimes life requires a certain level of compromise, so being 100% consistent is not always possible. I’m not implying here that you should get on a ‘black or white’ kind of approach. Nevertheless, if inconsistency appears in your daily agenda, you might want to reflect on whether this could limit you from being your best and reaching your goals.
Firstly, let’s define lack of consistency in this context:
Your words don’t match your actions
You give a different opinion when talking to different people on the same topic
You talk about what you believe in and stand for but you don’t apply it in your life
You criticise people when in fact you behave or talk in a similar way
You make promises which you don’t keep
You are a different person online
The last point is becoming increasingly important in the management of one’s Personal Brand. Some people portray a very social and busy image on social media when in reality they tend to avoid any kind of gathering unless necessary. Other people appear very outspoken and opinionated when in fact they rarely speak up in person. While it’s fair to recognise that different tools and channels allow different forms of expression, I believe it’s about finding a balance and consider a self-reflection if who you are online doesn’t match who you are offline.
Now, let’s talk about the benefits of consistency.
Being consistent not only strengthens your identity and the message you send across but, and as a natural consequence of it, has a positive impact on your life.
To name a few, the followings are some of the things you can achieve by being more consistent:
Clarity in who you are and what your goals are
An increase in credibility and trust from people around you
Better focus and results
Becoming an inspiration for others
Less pressure and stress where inconsistency is actually a consequence of you trying to be who you are not
If you’ve been struggling with some of these points, it’s worth questioning whether inconsistency has something to do with it.
You might instead decide that you are fine with your areas of inconsistency, but if you do believe there is room for improvement, the first step is developing awareness.
Some of these questions can help you:
How frequent is your inconsistency showing up?
Can you identify any repeating patterns?
Where do you think that comes from?
How do you feel when it happens?
What effects do you notice in your life?
How would you like to see this improving or changing?
Finally, once aware, you can find the best approach that works for you to shift things around. Essential elements of this process are openness, motivation, positivity and why not a good Coach who can guide you through the journey of self-discovery and personal development!