Look the part

Personally, I have never thought too much about looking the part, or how I am perceived by others. I am usually preoccupied by what I am doing rather than what people think of me. I like to think that I don’t judge or make assumptions based on looks, clothes or the car someone is driving and, I suppose, I have thought that judgements are not being made about me. It has taken too long to realise that I am quite wrong. Firstly, I do make subconscious judgements all the time ( even though I don’t want to) and secondly, I am being judged and categorised by others. Now, I could rebel against this, because It is wrong to make assumptions based on looks, clothes and cars- and haven’t we always been told it’s wrong to stereotype? The truth is that stereotyping is a psychological process that we all use to simplify a very complex social world. We need to be able to quickly categorise people (starting with ‘are they a danger to me?’ ) in order to process and manage the world we live in. It is extremely difficult to disengage this core part of human nature. So yes, I am being judged and I am judging others. With this in mind, it is important to understand what image we are projecting (on a simple visual level). How would I be instantly categorised and is it in line with who I am and how I want to be perceived? It has taken me many years of denial to come to the conclusion that if you want to succeed in our society, if you want others to buy into what you have to offer, then you have to play by the rules and look the part.
So, how do you want to be categorised? Are you still wearing the same clothes that you did five or ten years ago, even though your story has changed? How do you want to be seen today? Artist, entrepreneur, super organised? What would people, with the characteristics you wish to project, look like and can you build a mood board of these looks? The disappointing truth for me was that I looked like a slightly tired, bland, forgettable middle-aged stay-at-home Mum. What I actually want to portray is energetic, successful female entrepreneur. It is quite exciting and refreshing to realise this. I have already started my re-vamp without any guilt about getting new clothes, a new haircut and a manicure. I am now convinced that this is vital for success, not merely a self-indulgence. Here’s to looking the part!

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