In Killing Your Personal Brand on Trading Spaces, I wrote the designers and architects who were the homeowners for the episode ruined their personal brand. They ruined their personal brands because they were not collaborative or even cooperative with the designers from the show.
In short, their personal brand was not authentic to their behavior.
Knowing what you are trying to represent in your personal brand and then having that translate authentically is the biggest challenge to showing and progressing your personal brand. Many people are shouting their brand from the mountaintops, but the lack of authenticity is plain to see — and destroys the brand.
What can we do to ensure we are genuine to our personal brand?
Write down our personal brand. Writing helps to solidify thinking and gets images out of our heads and on to paper. Once our personal brands are on paper, it is easier for a person to analyze the brand to behavior.
Ask caring co-workers and friends if your personal brand matches your behavior. We are often too close to our thinking and behavior to see if we are being authentic.
How you act on your personal brand should feel good. If you are uncomfortable in what you do compared with your personal brand, there is a good chance you have a disconnect that needs investigation.
Take a stressful event and compare how you acted to your personal brand. Under stress, humans go back to taught baseline behaviors. Stressful events will take you directly to your authentic (perhaps not desired!) personal brand.
Look at different events to discover if your personal brand encompasses the event. There are times where our personal brand fits only a part of our life. For example, our personal brand only fits our work but not our home environment.
Authenticity is difficult to achieve. Take your personal brand out for a spin and do a gut-check on authenticity.