careerI’ve believed this for a while, and it was reinforced to me just the other day:

How our future unfolds is determined in large part by whether or not we buy into our own myths.

We live in a lovely, 1930s-era Cape Cod. I love old houses; their quirks, their history, their brickwork…but not their plumbing.

Thanks to said plumbing, we’ve had more than the usual number of “toilet emergencies” over the last few months.

Thanks to my husband, however, these emergencies didn’t turn into catastrophes.

The funny thing is: my husband has never thought of himself as “Mr. Fix-It,” because his dad was Mr. Fix-It. “I wish I were as handy as my dad,” is what I’ve heard for YEARS.

Yet my “non” Mr. Fix-It husband saved us at least $1K that would otherwise have been spent on plumbers.

So the other day I gently suggested he stop buying into his own defeatist myth of “not being handy.” Because, clearly, he is.

Now, take handy husbands out of the picture, and insert your own Social PR career that has you feeling dissatisfied, uncomfortable, stale, or overwhelmed.

What are the defeatist myths you’ve been buying into that are keeping you from moving ahead?

I can think of at least three:

1. “There’s something new every few months and it’s too much to keep on top of.”

There is a lot of new stuff going on, new apps, new networks, new platforms … the overwhelm is real! But you DON’T have to be on EVERY new platform the minute it shows up.

What are you, a “Silicon Valley” extra?

What you DO need to do is take a step back and objectively evaluate – like I teach in my Master Course – which of these you need to pay attention to for your work to be effective. And then go do it.

2. “I’m not good with technology.”

‘Tis true, not everyone is cut out to be an engineer. But technology by and of itself has very little to do with smart Social PR.

All WE need technology for is to more effectively use the TOOLS it gives us to better practice our craft.

Which, at its core, has not changed: building better relationships with our audiences that ultimately support business outcomes.

3. “I’m not a Millennial.”

This is usually code for “I’m too old to learn all this newfangled stuff because I’m s**t scared of screwing up and falling flat on my face.”

Now, I say that with love, because I’ve been there/done that … but I worked through it. Whether you’re a Millennial, a Gen X’er (raises hand) or a Boomer is irrelevant.

Because smart Social PR is about efficiently and effectively leveraging social technologies to connect PEOPLE, not getting carpal tunnel swiping left or right at 220 swipes per minute.

What IS relevant the ability to re-engineer your programs so that they really do put people front and center.

I let these and other myths define who I was and what I did FOR YEARS before I realized what a disservice I was doing myself.

It was only when I stopped buying into them that I started defining who I am, what I do, who I want to be, and who I’m GOING to be.

And I did it one step at a time. I still do. Because I’m only human, and one step at a time is all I have the capacity for.

That’s the approach I take in the Social PR Virtuoso® Master Course, because truly, that’s all we need to do.

Take it one step at a time.

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps purpose-driven brands bring big ideas to life. She teaches at The Johns Hopkins University, has gone back to school herself with the Harvard Business Analytics Program, and is creator/lead instructor at The Social PR Virtuoso® online training hub , where ambitious PR pros learn how to unleash their inner Social PR superheroes. Owned by Lola the Basset Hound, she's mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

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