How others view you is more important than you think, and it makes a huge difference in how you see yourself. Now, we’re not speaking of what someone’s opinion of your beliefs may be, that’s another article in itself. We are speaking of the overall way you represent your personal values, your profession, your family name, your family members, your place of employment, your closest friends, and your faith. Whether we realize it or not, every one of us, are always representing something or someone, and how we represent matters. In fact, it can lower our self esteem and confidence if we feel we have done a poor job of representing the people and things that matter to us the most.
By applying some of these ideas and being more self-aware, you can improve the persona you are putting out there and improve the impact and contribution you have in this world.
Take care of yourself – People will know immediately that you care about yourself and assume you are a hard worker based on their first observation of your health. More importantly, by exercising and eating healthier, you will feel better about yourself. When you are healthy, you have more energy, it improves your mood, and in general you are more pleasant to be around.
Dress Appropriately – What you wear says a lot about who you are. It’s a choice you make each and every day that represents your style. How you dress should be used as a tool in presenting yourself to others. There is a time and place for casual, business attire, and dressy. Of course, it’s important that you like what you wear, but be aware that dressing for the occasion and choosing appropriate attire, will make a difference in how others view you.
Be aware of your body language – Even if you are in great shape, and dressed to the nines, your body language can make or break the deal. Body language communicates more than spoken words or appearances when it comes to how others perceive you and your emotions. The most important aspect of your body language are your expressions. Scowling and pouting don’t make for a good first impression, so try to maintain a smile, make good eye contact, and practice proper posture.
Speak with kindness – Be sure to always use your manners by saying please and thank you. These seemingly small things can have the greatest impact on how others see you. Always introduce yourself to others and make every effort to remember their names. It makes people feel special and they will recognize that you remembered. You can offer small honest compliments to make people feel appreciated and noticed. Graciousness doesn’t have to be in big gestures, but in everyday efforts that make people feel important and included. Finally, remember the language you use speaks volumes. When your language is inappropriate, to others it feels like a loud clanging and annoying gong. Words have the power to kill and destroy or build up and grow people. Let your words be seasoned and be mindful of vibes you are putting out.
Take an interest in others – Be assertive but take an interest in others. When you’re with other people and you don’t make your opinions known, you miss out on an opportunity to earn their respect. When meeting new people, there is a balance between a little shyness as well as assertiveness. Make a case for yourself and what you believe, but don’t shut down someone else. Take an interest in what others think. Ask questions and listen patiently to their answers. You will learn about them and appear to be considerate and thoughtful.
If you practice some of these ideas, you can start to be more aware of how you’re representing yourself and the people and things that matter the most to you. Remember, it’s not just about what other people think of you, it’s also what you think of yourself. We carry more confidence and can be prouder of our actions when we believe we have done the best job possible. How we represent matters.
Kim Martin, Founder of I’ve Decided, INC.