I’m gonna be honest and admit right up front, I’ve got a serious girl crush.  

Her name? Jennifer Garner.  Now yes, she’s not the best actress in the world. But, I’m sorta in love with her, and it all started in 2001 when she showed up as Sydney Bristow in Alias.  
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I was in my prime baby-having years during that television show, and I think I must have been living vicariously through her kick-butt character. 

In fact, it was probably her her rock-chiseled body that pushed me towards my first mini-marathon. Before Alias premiered, I had one baby.  By the time the show ended five seasons later, I had 4 kids under the age of 6.  Sweet Jesus, I know not what I was thinking. 

But nonetheless, I dreamed about being Sydney Bristow. She was my escape, and somewhere in my sleep deprived brain, I thought I could look like her on the outside if I just worked out hard enough.   

20 years later, I’m still waiting for it. . . 

Last week, I shared my Character Analysis tool with you. And as I’ve thought about this tool, I’ve realized my connection to Jennifer Garner really has LESS to do with Sydney Bristow and more with who she is sans celebrity. 

Remember. . . in literature, we use character analysis to peer a little deeper into a story.

We use it to learn more about a character, to see beyond the obvious, and to understand what an author might be trying to tell us between the lines. 

And when you use the Character Analysis with your own brand story, you get to bust past the messy mental blocks that love to show up when you try to talk about yourself.  

You get to find pieces of your story that say something powerful.  

You get to discover pieces of your story that surprise you.  

And you get to debut pieces of your story that connect with real people

One of the first pieces of the Character Analysis tool focuses on physical appearance, and to show you how to put this into action IRL, let’s get back to Jennifer Garner. Jennifer consistently shows up on scene dressed like the girl next door.   
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 She wears T-shirts. She ditches the makeup. She wears long dresses with mom-style cardigan sweaters. She pulls her hair back in messy buns. She wears overalls and red milking boots. 

Very rarely does Jennifer show up dressed to kill.  But. . . when she does, she’s a total knockout.

Her classic beauty almost always catapults her above any other movie star, and without trying to make a statement, she almost always does-→ Beauty doesn’t have to be loud to be seen. 

The thing about Jennifer’s outward appearance is that it tells us so much more about who she really is as a person. You know. . . the inside, heart-and-soul stuff that makes people like me fall in love with her.  

→She doesn’t take herself too seriously. 
→She’s a mom first. Stardom (while it pays her bills) is far down on her list of important things in life. 
→She’s a devoted friend who champions her friends’ causes. 

And when I download all of this info into my Character Analysis tool, here’s what I discover.
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 All because I took a second look at her physical appearance, I’m able to draw deeper understandings about Jennifer’s values.

I can begin to see that she is aligned with her message, and I discover the primary themes that seem to be driving the story she tells.  

It’s almost always SUPER EASY to use the Character Analysis tool on SOMEONE ELSE.  

But using it on yourself? That requires a commitment to self-honesty.  

This is because the temptation to feel good about yourself is going to almost always be stronger than the desire to plant yourself where it hurts.  This is basic survival brain science.  Self-flattery is easy peasy. But doing the work required for true, helpful, and needle-moving insights is HARD.   

But it’s also worth it, because it’s here in the HARD where a story worth telling emerges.  

Have you completed your Character Analysis yet?

If not, consider starting with the first question: How does your physical appearance inform (and maybe even betray) the WHO of YOU?  

Don’t feel like you need to do this part on your own, either.

Seek out the advice and the insights of TRUSTED friends, spouses, partners, coaches, mentors.

Ask them to describe the ways they see you, and then weigh those responses against your own thoughts. 

If you’re ready to work on your own brand story, then grab your Character Analysis here. Try it out this week, and if you have any questions, I’m just one email away.