Stuck in second gear. Treading water. Spinning your wheels. Stagnant. Whatever you want to call it … being stuck is not fun. Especially, when you don’t even know you’re stuck. Bottom line is that you’re not sure where you are, how you got there and where you want to go.
Want to self-diagnose your stuckitis? Here are some symptoms:
1. You are bitter over unfulfilled dreams.
2. You say yes to everyone else, but yourself.
3. You feel like you’ll never be able to gain clarity and sense of purpose.
4. You want everyone to like you, but you can’t figure out how to make it happen.
5. You are exhausted from trying to be someone else or something other than you are.
If any one of these five symptoms describes you, I’d like to introduce you to my new branding friend, Erika Napoletano, who with her authentic, firey red hair flair provides you with an incredible sense of permission to be yourself and to express yourself in your own unique way. My favorite kind of person.
How do I know Erika? I first met Erika through her book, The Power of Unpopular, saw quickly that she “got” how the world of branding works, built her brand and can now talk about her journey in her unique, unapologetic, uncompromising and no-nonsense manner. I also checked out her TEDx talk: Rethinking Unpopular, which is pretty thought provoking. Then I found out I would be near her homebase of Denver a week ago, emailed her to meet and boom … here is my condensed version of our awesome hour long chat.
I love when people can collaborate and share in order to add value to each other and reach more people, since we can all learn from each other. I shared my goal with Erika: “Deliver affordable, accessible and understandable branding” and she agreed to help. Being stuck was the premise of our discussion because if you are a person that is stuck, you miss out on the top three benefits of branding, according to Erika and endorsed by me:
1. Active polarization
2. Universal understanding
3. Freedom to be yourself
An example given by Erika and reworded by me was this: If you have a dog in your backyard and you haven’t cleaned up the crap, you have a crap problem and you’ll keep stepping in it until you clean it up. The crap will not remove itself. Furthermore, nothing happens to us, so we are the only ones who can save ourselves, but first you have to admit that you need help.
If you are stuck and know there is a better next version of yourself waiting to come out and play, we ask you: “What are you waiting for?”
In closing, I hope we have left you vulnerable and ready to finally decide to face that best version of yourself, hiding inside of you right now, with some inspiration I just read from the book, Daring Greatly by BrenÃ© Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W., who reminded me of a great lyric from the song “Freewill” by Rush:
“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”