Introduced by Eva Blake, Personal Brand Photographer. Article by Dawn Nolan, Life Coach and NLP Practitioner from My Higher Shelf.
As a personal brand photographer I am always encouraging my clients to be themselves because quite frankly, this is where the uniqueness of their brand truly lies.
We talk through questions like why do you do what you do, what is it that you value? Not always easy questions to answer. This idea, the Second Stories blog is all about providing food for thought on these exact things. If you are at a period of transition in your working life, ready to start writing your Second Story, this is for you. If you were to create a personal brand what would it be based on?
I will share my clients stories in much more depth and we will also hear from some amazing contributors on subjects such as Finding your Purpose, Confidence, Finding your Tribe, Personal Brand, starting a business and so much more.
When I shared this concept with Dawn Nolan from The Higher Shelf she immediately understood where I was coming from. Successful, authentic personal brands are generally created by someone who has truly found their purpose, think Jamie Oliver and Marie Kondo, both big believers in what they preach. If you are already there, congratulations, I’d love to hear your story.
If you are interested in a little soul searching on the topic, exploring what brings you joy and how you might like to change up your working life please join in and subscribe to my mailing list. Firstly though, enjoy this great article exclusively written for the Second Stories blog to get us going, thank you so much Dawn.
FINDING YOUR PURPOSE
Of all the years, 2020 has made us question all our beliefs and priorities. It has forced us sit still and take stock of all around us. What do I really want out of life? Do I want to be rushing endlessly back and forth to a job that I don’t particularly like? What the hell would I do if I left this job?
What if there was something else you were meant to do? What if you were to find out what lights you up and go and do that? Think about it. How does that idea sound to you? Does it spark even a little bit of curiosity? If so, read on.
So, how do we go about figuring out what we are here to do?
When you find out what your purpose is, you will look back and see these subtle and small clues that have been there throughout your life. Looking back on my life, books were always a huge part of it, from being an avid reader as a child to getting a job whilst backpacking at the museum home of a prolific Australian children’s writer. Bizarrely, I didn’t even apply for that job; it literally fell into my lap. Coincidence? I think not.
Everything seems to stem from childhood, doesn’t it: our fears, our beliefs, and our programming. So too do our passions. Think back to when you were a kid. What did you love? What did you lose track of time doing? Was it creative, making things with your hands, figuring out why things work, computers or being outdoors? All of these hold clues to the diamond that we are searching for.
When in your life did you feel most excited and alive? Was it working with a group of people? Was it working towards a goal? Was it helping others in some way? Was it using your creativity to solve a problem? I remember meeting a fellow Mum one-day and she said, “Every time I walk by a school, I feel a draw towards it. I think I would love to be a teacher.” It was her own GPS giving her a clue. Think back to the times in your life that you have felt like ‘the real you.’ The times you’ve felt comfortable in yourself, felt inspired, and felt fulfilled.
Envy and jealousy are not all bad. They are our own inner compasses. When you feel envious of someone, it generally means that they have or are doing something that we want to do. Take note next time the green-eyed monster pops it’s head up. Who or what has sparked it? What were/are they doing that makes you feel like this? Would you like to do what they do?
Make a list of your talents and strengths and don’t get all modest on me here. Stand up and own what you are good at! Are you good with people? Technology? Cooking? Knititng? Gardening? Whatever your talents are, write them all down and include things like kindness, compassionate, a good listener, honesty. Take a look at these traits and see if spark any ideas. If you are a good listener would you like a job helping people by being a counselor or host retreats where people feel really heard and looked after? If you love gardening what about running some workshops in your local area or if fashion is your thing, how about being a personal stylist or shop owner? There are always opportunities; it’s up to us to make them happen.
What do your friends and family think you are good at? Are you brave enough to ask them? Sometimes we can’t see the good in us but can easily see the good in others. Why not ask a good friend to list your strengths as they see them. It can be very surprising and revealing once we let go of judging ourselves and let someone else takeover.
Just that. Have fun and see where it takes you. Your joy is your guiding star so let that be the sign of what to do next.
Dawn Nolan is a Life Coach and NLP Practitioner. She runs an online wellbeing shop called My Higher Shelf where she curates the best books, courses and workshops to support people in their wellbeing and love who they authentically are.
Helping people to find their purpose is one of Dawn’s passions. She provides two options of 1:1 coaching or a group-coaching course called Find Your Passions and Purpose. Both are there to give people the time and space to focus on what it is they really want to do. It helps unlock the memories, explores opportunities and harnesses the innate power that comes with stepping into your purpose.
Credit for images of Dawn: DOK Photography