This is a little experiment I did a couple weeks ago that was very interesting and produced some good insight.
First, I made a brain dump of everything that I am doing. I split it up into categories:
1. Attending school
2. Creating my own business
3. Pursuing my interests
4. Working toward my future
For each category, I listed everything I’m currently doing – projects I’m heading, meetings I’m attending, positions I have, etc.
Next, I made a list of 10 things under “What I think I Am”. It sounds a lot easier than it is. I came up with the following: Ambitious, organized, successful, perfectionist, smart, leader, overly-analytical, overwhelmed, busy, and over-committed.
After that, I turned to my friends and acquaintances, asking for them to give me a word that they would use to describe me, good or bad. I got back the following responses: organized, dedicated, outgoing, passionate, motivated, strong, brilliant, “hella”, organized, and goals.
This little experiment helped me to realize the difference between how I perceive myself and how others perceive me. I think for the most part I was on target, although a couple responses did surprise me.
The point of this exercise isn’t to try and make others think something differently of you, or to fixate on the opinions of others. It’s to better understand how you’re communicating with those around you and to see if you’re really putting out the kind of “personal brand” that you’re going for.
Give this a try and tell me what you come up with!