Image is everything. When you first meet someone they form a judgment about you within less than 30 seconds (and more like 3). What this means is the way you look matters more than you might think. What matters even more is how YOU feel about your image.
I’ve had many conversations with women over the years about how they let their image hold them back and, quite honestly, it makes me very sad. It really doesn’t have to be this way, and the solution can be much more simple than you may realize.
Have you experienced any of these?
Scenario 1: You’re working from home and wearing your most comfortable clothes (read sloppy and ill-fitting) when you realize that you need to head to the grocery to pick up a few things for dinner. While at the store you see someone you would absolutely love to have as a client, yet you don’t like how you look and think if you say ‘hello’ they would be left with the wrong impression. So you sneak out without so much as a peep. Opportunity missed and now you feel horrible about yourself.
Scenario 2: You get a call at the last minute to go to dinner with friends. You haven’t been out in a while and would love to go, but know you need a new haircut, want to learn some new makeup techniques and you have no idea what you’d even wear because you’ve put on a few pounds. You politely decline and spend the evening at home alone, polishing off a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Opportunity missed, you feel horrible about yourself and your friends think your avoiding them.
Scenario 3: You just started a new business and you know that getting out there and talking with people is a great way to spread the word and get new clients. Yet you spent all your money on the business and have nothing to wear that you feel is a great reflection of your brand, so you stay home. Opportunity missed, you feel horrible about yourself AND you just said good-bye to thousands of $$ in potential new business.
So let me ask you, is it really worth it? I think not! You were not created to hold yourself small and stay home alone. You were meant to shine your light and be your very best! It’s up to you to show yourself off in a way that makes you feel amazing and share yourself with those around you! Here’s how:
- First, realize that you’re your own harshest critic and that friends or potential clients will be judging you much less harshly than you judge yourself. While I want to encourage you to take time out to feel fabulous, cut yourself a little slack. We all have ‘off’ days. If you’re caught on one of yours, simply put on your best smile and enjoy life anyway! What they’ll see is a radiant, beautiful woman who is happy with herself.
- Feeling ashamed of your image is very disempowering in all aspects of your life. Ask yourself what one change you can make right now that would make a difference and make that change! Then go forth with all the confidence you can muster and focus on your friends or clients. Starting with one small change can, over time, add up to a major transformation and help you create an image you’re proud to show off.
Looking your best doesn’t have to break the bank. Look for low-cost options that provide great results for little cash and see what a difference they can make!
- If you’re feeling bad about yourself in general, shift your attitude to being grateful. Create a gratitude journal and list everything you have to be grateful for in your life. Include your personal assets such as your gorgeous hair, your strong arms and your smile that lights up a room and you’ll begin to feel better about yourself in no time.
- Create a vision board and pull out images of how you’d like to look. What would your perfect outfit even look like? What words would you like people to use to describe you? What image would you like to cultivate that exudes your personal brand? Begin taking steps immediately to put those into play. Baby steps may seem small but they’ll get you to your goal nonetheless!
- Take massive action! Commit to giving yourself a makeover of sorts. Do what it takes to feel like a million bucks, not just a hundred. Don’t settle for second best – you deserve to look as fabulous as possible and taking steps to do so will boost your confidence, your self-esteem and how you are perceived by others. I’ll let you in on a little secret – others will perceive you as you perceive yourself. So boost your self-image and that alone will go a long way in boosting how you are perceived by others!