When Tom Peters introduced the idea of personal branding, he said that regardless of your age and position, unless you understand the importance of personal branding you’re going to be left behind. He said this because who you are, rather than what you do, will increasingly become the source of sustainability in the world of work.
Never has this been more relevant. What does it take to thrive in our new world of work? It takes a willingness to be open to change, to embrace it, and look for the opportunities it holds. As Alvin Toffler the futurist said, those who will succeed in the future are not the most learned and not the most knowledgeable. They’re those who’ve learned how to learn, how to unlearn, and how to relearn.
What do you need to unlearn?
It’s a big question, perhaps starting with giving yourself permission to interrogate everything you think you already know. Ask yourself:
“What are my comfort bubbles and what triggers my internal resistance?”
The key lies in your openness to being challenged, to seek out information that contradicts your assumptions. Only you will know what needs to go.
How do we relearn?
Be open to other perspectives. Look for people with diverse opinions. Believe in yourself. Be brave. Be vulnerable. Be willing to step out of your psychological comfort zone and have faith that you won’t lose your place in the world [at least not forever]. Take comfort in the fact that all healthy humans have an inner stream of criticism and doubt. Approach new learning in a mindful and productive way. Accept and respect your emotions and then act on your values. Becoming emotionally agile will lower your stress, increase your idea generation, and improve your job performance.
In her book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert defines creative living:
“I happen to believe we are all walking repositories of buried treasure. I believe this is one of the oldest and most generous tricks the universe plays on us human beings, both for its own amusement and for ours: The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to uncover those jewels – that’s creative living. The courage to go on that hunt in the first place – that’s what separates a mundane existence from a more enchanted one. The often-surprising results of that hunt – that’s what I call Big Magic.”
I like to call it personal relearning.