Some people believe “things” can make you appear more credible like driving a fancy car, membership in an exclusive club, wearing an expensive watch. But there’s one form of credibility that speaks louder than degrees or club memberships. It’s your visual credibility. How you present yourself through your clothing choices and grooming habits can be the key to making the right impression. It’s what makes your presence stand out and be noticed for all the right reasons. Do you look the part of the successful, credible person you are, or strive to be?
How you dress and groom yourself speaks volumes. People make a visual assessment of you within the first 7 seconds (YES, 7 seconds!) they meet you. And you have the power to change that perception; to shift their way of thinking. Shift it consistently and you’ll fundamentally change the way people see you show up in the world.
The fact that people make a subconscious judgment when they see us shouldn’t instill fear or pressure. It should instill excitement and empowerment! You have the power to influence how you’re seen and perceived. You’re in control. And while your professional image is importance to success; your visual credibility goes beyond your job.
If your appearance hasn’t been a priority it’s time to examine your visual impact on yourself and others. When you stop paying attention to this fundamental principle, you’re likely to stay static in your professional growth or even lose ground.
Do any of these statements sound like you?
1. You’ve gained weight and your clothes are fitting tightly yet you’re not making the lifestyle changes that will make you feel comfortable again.
2. Each morning, you’re frustrated with deciding on what to wear only to select from the same 5 outfits, while ignoring the rest of your closet.
3. You love the idea of new clothes, but too busy (or hate) to shop in order to revive your tired wardrobe.
4. You don’t feel your age; so adjusting your wardrobe to be age appropriate isn’t a priority.
5. After giving birth, you’ve put all shopping for new clothes on hold until you’ve lost the baby weight.
So many times we let life and excuses get in the way of what we want for ourselves. “If only this, then that.” Stop wasting time and do something constructive about getting your visual credibility up where it needs to be. The truth is, no matter how much you hope and wish visual image doesn’t matter, it does.
Here are a few things to consider and fix.
1. How well do your clothes fit your current physique? Any strain or bagginess makes you look like you don’t attend to details. That’s a strike against your professionalism. So it’s important to wear the size you are, not the size you want to be.
2. What condition are your shoes in? They should be looking brand new. Fix this by repairing or replacing the shabby ones. One tip to extend the life of your shoes is to add a thin rubber sole for maximum protection.
3. What’s the condition of your fingernails? Do your hands look rough or dry? Your hands are always visible. Make them look impeccable and your image will match. Treat yourself to regular manicures or do them at home. Be cautious of toxic chemicals in nail polish and opt for natural, eco-friendly brands.
4. How’s the quality of your clothing? Do your clothes help you look important and respectable? If not, you may need to up the quality of your wardrobe pieces. While quality doesn’t necessarily equate to expensive, look for clothing that has good structure to ensure a proper fit or consider a tailor.
5. Do you take the time in the morning to put on your best face? Those five to fifteen minutes that it takes to care for your face and put on makeup is a small investment of time compared to the large reward that comes from looking polished and present. If a full face of makeup isn’t your thing, pick one feature of your face to play up. Go bold with your lipstick or emphasize your eyes with dramatic eyeliner.
Since you get dressed every day, why not make the most of your assets? Investing in your visual credibility adds to your confidence, improves your image and leads to a wealth of opportunities.
Author’s Bio: Chanelle White is a personal stylist on a mission to end your bad outfit days and closet-overwhelm, so you can focus of living and not what you’re wearing. Visit www.chanellewhite.com and let Chanelle maximize your visual credibility.