By Jon Michail
What exactly is congruency and what makes a person congruent?
Congruency in both online and offline is an environment when all different parts of a thing and/or person come together to form a state of agreement and harmony. Being congruent is to be in total sync with one’s non-verbal and verbal communication.
In this case, it is the coming together of an individual’s various parts involving what they say (verbal communication) with how they behave (non-verbal communication) and how others form a perception about them based on the aforementioned factors.
Congruence is something that highlights the connection on how one relates their thoughts to their actions. A congruent person is an aware person who lives his or her life (personal, career, business etc.) with intention, purpose and authenticity.
However did you know, it is at this stage of finding out what your life purpose actually is where most individuals get lost! Most people lose themselves in their daily busy-ness or are not even aware about what their purpose is. Some actually need a reminder that they can have a life purpose and doing so gives life greater meaning.
People may not be aware about their life purpose because of the way they restrict themselves and become incongruent (Consciously or Unconsciously) in order to mould themselves according to the existing societal order. This is where you have to make a decision if you want to be in a herd of ‘Sheep’ or be courageous enough to be a powerful ‘Lion’.
As Matshona Dhliwayo states “A lion will never be afraid of sheep, no matter how many outnumber it”; “A lion will still conquer more in a day than a sheep in a lifetime”.
Personal Branding and Congruency
In order for an individual to be congruent, one has to be in harmony and consistent with their values, beliefs and the way they present themselves to the world by being their true self.
Furthermore, did you realise, personal congruency is closely interconnected with authentic personal branding. As Joseph Liu from Forbes states that personal branding is a way which helps us to establish and really bring out our true self and what we stand for in our careers and in life. Authentic personal branding can be said to be a platform to achieve personal congruency.
We all have a personal brand but only the smart, ambitious or evolving leaders and changemakers have personal branding which is the system to create a powerful brand. Anything and everything an individual says or does in their life either boosts or damages their personal brand. Hence, in order to be self-congruent, it is important to understand who you really are, what you stand for and what you want your personal brand to reflect you as an individual. Authentic personal branding is a smart pathway to becoming self-congruent.
‘Personal Branding’ is important in order to fulfil the potential of one’s personal brand. Personal brand and personal branding are two different things. Personal branding is not ad-hoc, it is a process that includes the steps, actions and learning needed to create a powerful and impactful personal brand.
A personal brand is hardly of any worth or significance without proper structured personal branding. Without structure, an individual’s personal brand will be hit and miss, thereby, missing opportunities to maximise even though, his or her personal brand might have tremendous potential. This is where “Personal Branding” takes you to the next level and helps your personal brand to shine, be it through the monetising of your personal brand, increasing your personal power and influence or by helping you live a more empowered life.
Personal Branding is NOT for everyone.
With over 30 years of proven results for clients all over the world, we have discovered exactly who are open to adapting to our personal branding system and for whom we can deliver life-changing results.
Personal branding allows ambitious leaders, strong and powerful individuals to the most effective ways on how to grow their reputation and positively influence other people’s perceptions with integrity.
“Your life changes the moment you make a new congruent, and committed decision”- Anthony Robbins
Society will teach us to follow a certain path, to follow the rules and play the ‘game’ but did you know that you are rarely taught in a meaningful way on how to become powerful in ‘your own game’ and make positive changes to your community by becoming the most congruent version of yourself.
Unless you truly know who you are, you will be unconfident about yourself in the longer term and this can lead to failures.
Moreover, the lack of confidence creates fear and uncertainty, which can lead to unwanted circumstances including self-sabotage, scarcity and isolation. In order to gain respect at workplaces, in relationships, or anywhere for that matter an individual needs to be congruent which means your physical and verbal behaviour should honour who you exactly are as an individual.
When we meet someone new, we form an instant five-second first perception of them of who they might be, this is where a congruent person knowing about himself or herself stands out. As Oscar Wilde once said “You never get a second chance to make a first impression!”
These are some reasons on why congruent individuals are the ones who secure that job that tons of people are competing for, become successful entrepreneurs, bestselling authors and recognised leaders, gain respect at workplaces and elsewhere and heck may even attract successful romantic relationships.
Personal Branding + Congruency = An Authentic, Recognised and Powerful Personal Brand
Being a congruent person is extremely important for different arenas of life. For instance, as Hyde and Weathington comment in their article ‘The congruence of personal life values & work attitudes’, at times people divert away from their true self and the personal brand they want to create of themselves because of their lack of understanding of what they think their worldviews might be. If you do not actually know what your worldviews are, how are you supposed to present yourself as a congruent person and create an ‘attractive’ personal brand of yourself for your professional life?
The not knowing of who you are, what you stand for and what you want your personal brand to look like results in a lack of connection between an individual’s values and his overall behaviour. These further results in the creation of a weak personal brand, which does not highlight one’s true self and culminates in a lifetime full of countless regrets, failures and frustrations.
On the other hand, did you know, being self-congruent and having a strong personal brand results in the overall wellbeing of an individual as it provides a sense of personal freedom and independence that can boost one’s self confidence. There is a clear connection between congruency and personal branding as both of them combine to create an authentic, recognised and powerful personal brand.
As Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos said “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”.
To put things into perspective for becoming self-congruent and creating a marketable and likeable personal brand for yourself, it is important to not fall into the trap of moulding yourself into a “perfect” robotic version based on societal factors.
Personal congruency and personal branding go hand in hand. Both highlight the importance of projecting the real ‘YOU’ out in front of the world. As Caroline Castrillion comments in Forbes that the right personal branding measures will allow an individual to differentiate him or her from today’s cut-throat competition across various sectors and will aid in the building of trust among perspective clients and employers.
As humans, we are naturally taught from an early age to act in a specific manner as has been suggested by the Pavlovian Dog theory. The problem is that most people ‘Think’ they know what their beliefs and values are but in practice, they are not so clear about them. You have to know who you are both internally and externally, in order to gather a clear picture of what values and beliefs you truly stand for.
Congruent people have a good understanding of their values, they prioritise these values and finally make up a set of guidelines that will allow them to stand up for their values, beliefs and create a strong personal brand for themselves.
A congruent person does not let any worldly distractions such as fake news, disinformation or other social media related distractions effect their approach to the world. They always act in accordance with their goals, dreams and mission in life. They take their own approach and initiative, which is directly powered by their attuned understanding of themselves.
The aforementioned reasons are why congruent individuals recognise both their light and dark sides and seize the opportunities that honour them, help them become the best version of themselves and are able to create a successful personal brand that makes them stand out in a crowded world.
According to Forbes, in today’s gig economy, an average person changes or is forced to switch jobs every 2-3 years, hence, it is extremely important that one becomes self-congruent and creates a strong personal brand of themselves. Being self-congruent with a strong personal brand will make you stand out in a professional environment resulting in greater job security, increased respect at workplaces and opening up of attractive prospects for the future in all arenas including financial.
As entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk states “Your personal brand is your reputation”. It is of utmost importance that you understand the process of personal branding in order to create a powerful personal brand of yourself. Personal branding and congruency go hand in hand.
Trusted Personal Brands and the perfect recipe towards the making of a strong personal brand
Individuals who have turned themselves into successful and trusted personal brands such as Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson and Elon Musk have been successful because of their ability to be self-congruent and be true to themselves and what they stand for. Being incongruent will result in the creation of a personal brand that you do not want to reflect yourself as and this is a recipe for disaster!
In terms of organisations creating a brand for themselves, too many of them become incongruent and fall into the trap of creating some sort of ideal, glorified and perfect brand that does not actually reflect the reality on what the organisation’s true values are and what they really stand for.
As Richard Branson has said, “Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealised, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character and no public trust.”
It is important to have various set of skills, motivations and interests to be successful in today’s cut-throat competitive world. However, one of the most effective ways that determines one’s success is the way they display, crystallise and position their skills, motivations and interests or in short how a person authentically brands themselves. Being self congruent and creating a strong and impactful personal brand is a smart strategy towards becoming successful.
Furthermore, in order for one to become a congruent individual, one has to be open towards certain interventions. Interventions are necessary steps to bring about positive changes in people. Incongruent individuals have a tendency to a fixed mindset, are unwilling to step out of their comfort zone and are defensive to any changes. These individuals are usually a pain in the butt and tend to be a headache for others and themselves. This is the difference amongst individuals with a mindset to grow, they are open to certain interventions in order to become the best and most congruent version of themselves.
You cannot expect to become self-congruent or create a strong personal brand without being open to changes that will allow you connect your thoughts, beliefs and values with your actions. The unique personal brand is the thing that will help you become self-congruent and lead to the coming out of the ‘Authentic YOU’ to the world.
Interventions such as the need to alter the way you talk, behave and carry yourself when you face the world are necessary so that the values, beliefs and what you stand for are in complete sync.
A congruent person knows what they want out of their life and they act on it with the way they speak, present themselves and with the manner they also relate to others but most importantly to themselves.
Did you know, most people’s opinions are dictated to by others, they fall into the societal trap of being politically correct even when they do not believe it and with this pressure resort to self-censorship and suppression, which usually comes across as inauthentic, unconfident or worse soul-destroying.
On the other hand, a congruent person who knows himself or herself or is willing to know himself or herself inside-out and is aware of how power works in the real world will be confident to follow his or her own path, make ground breaking decisions and act on them to make positive changes. This is why congruent people generate higher levels of trust among others and are referred to as exceptional leaders.
Most people are unaware about the power of congruency but an individual’s congruency is one of the stand-out things that attracts you to another person. People want to be connected with and be around congruent people. Congruent leaders, congruent entrepreneurs and congruent changemakers are always in demand and in my experience as an extra bonus, they are more effective in leading balanced lives. This is what makes them iconic in their industry.
Further, in terms of romantic relationships between men and women, women are more frequently attracted to strong congruent men. Strong men are also attracted to strong congruent women. Congruency leads to attraction and connection. If your personal or business life is not giving you the outcomes you are aiming for, then why not act on it and become congruent and create a strong personal brand that will bring out the authentic ‘YOU’!
“Be congruent, Be authentic, Be your true self”- Mahatma Gandhi.
It is YOU who has the power to start your authentic personal branding journey today and become more congruent, more powerful and create an impactful personal brand that will truly make you stand out and make a sustainable difference in this crowded and competitive world.
I would love to know your thinking, feel free to ask me any question.
This article first appeared in Thrive Global.
Image Group International are Entrepreneurial Activists… Rebels With a Cause
Jon Michail, Founder and award-winning Chief Imagemaker together with his team at Image Group International help executives, entrepreneurs and changemakers to build, grow and monetise their personal brands, (online and offline) by positioning them to stand out so they attract their ideal clientsconnections and investors.
They are committed to maximising an individual’s personal impact, influence and value in the ever-changing and disruptive business environment.
Image Group International is recognised as Australia’s leading personal brand image advisory, with over 31 years of proven results including China and South East Asia.