Recently, I’ve come to understand something more strongly and clearly than ever before: presentation matters.
I have always considered myself a very lucky person. People around me have a tendency to take me seriously and respect me as a professional and as a person. People tend to have great faith in my abilities, and offer me opportunities. They also tend to give me the benefit of the doubt any time they can.
Why is this the way it is? Is it because I’m attractive, intelligent, or hard-working? Maybe to some extent. But there are many other attractive, intelligent, hard-working people who do not get this same treatment.
The main reason I get the recognition and credit I get is presentation.
Building confidence with presentation
I care about the way I physically look, smell, and even feel. And I care about the way others perceive me – my looks, my actions, my attitude.
At work, I make a conscious choice every day to look and behave professionally. This has formed such a strong impression in my colleagues that, when I show up at a casual or athletic event, they are shocked to see me wearing sneakers.
In general, I make a conscious choice every day to at least look put-together. Unless you catch me just letting my dog out to do her business, you’ll see me wearing clean clothes that fit and are appropriate for the situation.
While I would rather be over-dressed than under-, it surprises me when other think my style is “fancy” or “glamorous.” I don’t see my style that way at all. I focus on being appropriate and put-together. It’s, of course, not a bad thing if people think of me as fancy or glamorous. What matters is that I get the results from my presentation of myself that I want – which I clearly am.
Building confidence with style
The key to giving others a strong impression of who you are and what you stand for is to be focused and consistent in your style. The idea is not to restrict yourself, because trying new things with your style can be exciting and fun, but to have a few guidelines to stick with.
I like to use three adjectives or words to describe myself and my personal style. For example, my style is currently:
- body-conscious, and
Using these three adjectives to ‘vet’ potential wardrobe additions helps me stick to the right flavor and tone for my life and wardrobe. However, it still allows for experimentation.
For example, I can play with the ideas of hard and soft, without allowing myself to veer off (for example, into a decidedly un-sophisticated hoochie look). This helps to keep my wardrobe focused and consistent with who I am – and who I’d like other people to see.
It’s also important to behave in a focused and consistent manner.
Building confidence with behavior
The ideas of organization and self-management are paramount. While we all know this, many people do not practice personal responsibility.
Again, the key is to be focused and consistent. Know what’s important to you, and make consistent improvement on those things. Don’t worry about the things that aren’t important to you.
If you want to get goodies like I do, remember that presentation matters!