“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.”
– Edith Head
Before you even open your mouth, people make assumptions about you. Is it fair? Of course not. Is it true? Maybe. Maybe not. What are you wearing?
If ‘seeing is believing,’ how you dress defines how the world sees you. It’s a form of branding, but one we don’t pay much attention to. That’s a shame, because what we convey visually is often the first impression people have about us – and, we all know the old saying, ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression.’ Perceptions are hard to erase (but not impossible).
More importantly, how you dress defines how you see yourself . There’s no doubt, clothes influence how we feel about ourselves, as well as how we look. By extension it impacts how we behave, talk, stand, walk – and even think. Dress well and we gain confidence – and it shows. Keep it up and we subtly shift our mindset and the clothes become part of who we are. What we display visually, combined with what we say and do comprise a picture that enhances our brand, credibility and stature.
One of the first things I learned was to never underestimate the power of a good suit.
Many small business owners have no problem investing in the furnishings and tools that make their businesses look strong and healthy, but often skimp when it comes to taking care of themselves. They short change themselves. To breed success, they need to appear successful. They need to take off the shirtsleeves or overalls that keep them in the here and now and dress as if the success was already theirs.
It’s not at all hard, either. It just takes some getting used to.
Start with the end in mind. Visualize where you want your business to be and what your role looks like. Imagine how you want it to make you feel. Dress accordingly. If you’re uncomfortable or feel the clothes aren’t comfortable, keep wearing them. They’ll grow on you.
Wear the clothes that represent the business you want to become. Wear the brand you want to be known for.
Once you do, the magic begins. You begin to transform the perceptions others have about you, and those you have about yourself. It shifts your mindset. Call it branding, rebranding, creative visualization, or whatever else you like, but it works. Do it consistently and you’ll find that despite the pundits, second impressions are often the most lasting and will win the greatest rewards.
How we present ourselves translates into how capable we are, how smart we are, how trustworthy we are and how successful we are in the minds of those we want to influence to buy our products and services. People want to believe we are who we say we are, and oftentimes our clothes are a dead giveaway.
It’s been shown that people who ‘dress the part’ are most often the people who achieve a higher level of success.
Those who haven’t tried it yet, please do. If you have any reservations, push through them and find the light at the end of the tunnel. If you don’t find it, you may need to buy yourself a better suit. You deserve it. It’s been proven that simply changing the way you dress will change the way you think about yourself.
We all want to gain confidence, have a sharper focus, be more motivated, and general, be happier. We know we feel better, stand taller, speak better, look better and appear more credible when we dress for success – and the ability to take it seriously and act on it is simply a matter of shifting your mindset from where you are to where you want to be.
Get into that power suit. I guarantee it will not only decrease the time it will take to get from A to B, but increase your odds of succeeding.