The Reason Why Your "Title" Doesn't Sound Right
Updated: Nov 3
Let's say you're at a networking event.
You're standing off in a corner with one of those cheap, sticky-labels that say, "Hi, my name is..." stuck on your chest. As you take a sip of your watered-down coffee, someone walks over and decides to make conversation with you.
After exchanging pleasantries, they ask you the one question that you KNEW they were going to ask, but you've been dreading to answer...
"So... tell me about you! What do you do?"
You get that uncomfortable sinking feeling in your gut as your brain starts racing and running through all of the possible ways you've introduced yourself in the past, and trying to find some cool, creative spin to it so that this person doesn't think that you're just like your other counterparts in your industry.
What do you say? None of the options that you ran through your head seem to fit. You know that whatever you choose to say will only give that person one small piece of the pie that is "you", but you just pick something and go with it.
You take a deeeeep breath and tell them that you're the [insert role] at [insert company].
The rest of the conversation ends up feeling like flat coke, and you go home with an unsettled feeling in your stomach because you weren't sure if you presented yourself the right way at that event.
We've all been there before.
Whether it was at a networking event, at a friend's birthday party or even at a family dinner... we've all been in that position before where we've needed to talk about ourselves, and we get completely tripped up over what to say.
So how do you pick something that fits? Is that even possible?
Before I get into that, we'll have to first talk about the fact that...
There's a difference between labels and titles.
A label is something that someone puts on you without your permission. It comes from outside, not inside — and it's not something that you have control over. It's a reflection of how others see you, regardless of what your original intentions are.
A label can be a bad thing, such as being called "lazy" by your 3rd grade teacher, and it can also be a good thing, like being called "funny" by your friends.
It can also be implied by the way that others treat you, and can become really damaging if you choose to take those negative outside opinions and internalize them for yourself.
And we often don't realize it... but we have a tendency to carry these labels with us as we go through life. It affects the way we show up, even when we end up taking on more professional roles such as "CEO", "Founder", or "Manager".
On the other hand...
A title is something you choose for yourself.
And when I say "title", I don't mean the thing on your LinkedIn profile or the practiced blurb you say when people ask you about what you do. I mean the names that you call yourself when you look at your reflection in the mirror every morning.
Do you say things like, "Old, fat, wrinkly, ugly, stupid and broke"?
Or do you say, "Damn... you look GOOD. You're amazing and you're going to make a huge difference today".
And the reason why I'm talking about titles this way is because this is what makes the world of a difference when you look someone in the eye at a networking event and call yourself the "Founder and CEO of ______".
Because what you call yourself really does matter.
Regardless of your official role or occupation, you have to fully stand behind what you say about yourself. People care less about what you have to say about yourself, and more about how you show up.
And if we aren't aware of some of the labels that we've been carrying with us, it can really undercut the confidence that we SHOULD be showing up with in settings such as professional networking events.
So here are 2 reflection questions for you to sit on...
What are the titles that you've given to yourself? — Both Professionally and Personally
What are some of the labels that others have given you that you need to let go of?
And since I know that this exercise is deceptively simple...
I'd be more than happy to connect with you if you're having a hard time answering these questions! A lot of the work that I do with my clients involves working through these "internal" identity blocks that prevent you from showing up as your best self in these professional settings.
If you're ready to start presenting yourself with more confidence, book yourself a FREE 30-Minute Brand Consultation with me, and we can have a chat about what you feel is holding you back from really putting yourself out there! I can't wait to meet you :)