Written on the 31 January 2010 by Sue Lester, Growing Content
Our image reflects to the world who we think we are, what we think we are worth, and/or who we’d like to be. Our image is not just our clothing and accessories. It’s our overall grooming, our posture, facial expressions, how we speak, our manners and how we move. Who are you projecting to the world?
A smiling, confident, well-groomed person inspires confidence in others, and that is good for business. It inspires confidence because at some level we understand that she values herself, knows who she is and what she can do, and therefore there is a good chance she will be able to assist us. Her glow of confidence comes from within, her self-esteem, and is only reflected in her grooming and the image she presents to the world.
However, we are all works in progress, and you can always ‘fake it until you make it’. When you get the grooming right, you feel better about yourself, and your confidence automatically rises. People will see your external image and make their initial judgement on your credibility before you even open your mouth. Being well-groomed gives you a head start in the credibility ratings, while you work on your self esteem and silencing your internal critics.
Taking care of yourself has another advantage. Grooming is a form of self appreciation, of self love, and your body responds with good health and vitality. Feeling physically well and energetic also builds your confidence and your ability to cope with situations out of your comfort zone. Be warned, that the key here is self appreciation, not self criticism, when you look in the mirror.
Imagine if your best friend always smiled and paid you a compliment or said a kind word each time you met. You can imagine how fantastic you’d feel then. So imagine what it would be like if you were consistently met with a frown, a sigh, and even harsh critical words from this person whose opinion you really value. How would that impact on your self-esteem? Enormously! Which is why it is so important that you smile, compliment and encourage your reflection in the mirror – it is your best friend, you. Be particularly gentle in those dreadful dressing room mirrors!
Being kind to yourself actually makes it easier to make healthier eating and lifestyle choices. You no longer need comfort food, you start wanting the best for yourself, and you generally just feel happier and lighter all over. Being able to go to your wardrobe and know that everything in there will help you look and feel great because the clothes all suit your body shape and colouring, in turn makes it even easier to smile at yourself in the mirror.
So who are you projecting to the world? Are you undervaluing yourself, putting others’ needs always first, telling yourself you don’t have time to use moisturiser, get those roots done, repaint your nails etc? Could you be missing out on business or those fabulous jobs because of how you present yourself? Is there, and this could be a bitter pill to swallow, any element of self sabotage in this?
When we have deep underlying feelings that perhaps we aren’t quite good enough, deserving enough or [your word] enough, we can unconsciously take actions (or inaction) to protect ourselves from the perceived certainty of rejection or failure. The image we then project is of not being valued, of not being ‘enough’, which people then take as being true. After all, why should your clients value you, if you don’t see the worth in yourself? The end result confirms your expectations, and you feel even less worthy, though vindicated that you were right!
Fortunately you have easy access to experts just waiting to help you make the changes you want to see in your life, both externally and internally. With this assistance you can not only easily look the part, you’ll feel it too.
(c) Sue Lester, Growing Content. www.growingcontent.com.au
Sue Lester is a Master NLP Practitioner and Results Coach who also runs Conception Coaching and Emotion Detox Workshops.
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