“People often say that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder,’ and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.” – Salma Hayek
In the previous article, I shared 5 areas which make a great outer image. Here are 5 more points to consider in order to Achieve A Leading Image. I agree with Ms Salma Hayek, that we must find the beauty within ourselves too.
I. Speaking Ability
Have I ever met someone who looks good but when she started to speak, I feel disappointed? Yes, for what we say and how we express our thoughts are very important in how a conversation goes; therefore, we must always think before we speak.
That’s hard advice for me. I am a bit of a motor mouth and because many thoughts come into my mind at one time, I am in a constant chatter with a number of topics going on at the same time. Women, you say? I know some men like that, too. But I try now to be more aware of what I say, to slow down and be more focused.
Have a good knowledge of current affairs and other general topics of interest lined up is an asset, so that when we first meet someone, we have things to talk about. Having a few silent pauses here and there, though this may feel awkward, it gives us time to think. Bombarding the other person with too many questions can be misinterpreted; however sharing some opinions or thoughts of our own makes the exchange a conversation, two-way and both can leave with some knowledge of the other.
II. Good Manners
Basic courtesy calls for them. They make us more pleasant to be around and others will mirror us. Respect, thoughtfulness, consideration and kindness are keys to good manners. But it is sad nowadays to see people leave their manners at home. We see bad behaviour everywhere – but there is no point complaining about the behaviour of everyone else. It is always best to start with ourselves first.
As a driver, I used to get annoyed that cars never seemed to give way on the roads and that the moment we show the indicator signals, the other cars seem to speed up! Once I became a mum, I thought I should set a good example especially when my younger son was repeating some of the “choice” words that came out of my mouth. So I am now a more patient and considerate driver. To my surprise, I am given way more often and people do wave back to acknowledge when I give way.
Most importantly, we make someone else’s day more pleasant by saying “Please” or “Thank You” especially to a service staff, or we smile at a person whom we have seen around our office area or neighborhood. It does leave a good feeling all around.
III. Voice Tone
Our voice can influence people’s impression of us as a gamut of emotions, such as enthusiasm, honesty and sincerity, is projected by it. If we smile when we speak, or lift our head up slightly or even straighten up our posture, we will find that our tone of voice changes. Thus we can feel more confident and at ease.
It is hard to manage our negative emotions when we feel like we are under attack. These feelings are normal and may stem from the situation, not a personal attack.
I do find this challenging, too; as sometimes my emotions get the better of me and I allow my many thoughts to control me. Taking a deep breath does not help me. Neither does putting the emotion aside. It causes me to mask my feelings. Then my voice tone gets across insincere and detached. Now I take time to re-look the situation, recognize my feelings, ask myself what do I want as an outcome and speak accordingly.
I grew up hearing these maxims – positive outlooks produce positive outcomes, learn from one’s mistakes, be willing to accept changes and adapt, or do not wait for things to happen as opportunities are always there for the taking. But attitude is something that cannot be taught; it must come from within us. I used to try and be positive about every challenge that happened in my life, but all that did was cause more pain around and within me as it would eventually flare up in some way or another at a later stage.
Instead of a just a positive attitude, I now try to maintain an attitude of gratitude. To appreciate simple things that happens each day; to enjoy the wonders of nature and to recognize the little gestures of love from those I meet have made each of my days good and worthwhile.
V. Self Esteem
The right Image is about being US and recognizing our self worth. Knowing ourselves, seeing the talents and the gifts we have and being confident in who we are make us the complete and lovely persons we can be. Thus we must focus on our potential and enhance both our outer and inner.
We don’t need to be an actor, a beauty queen or a pop star to be beautiful or successful. It all starts with how we feel about ourselves – love ourselves and celebrate our lives! The saying goes, “If you look good, you will feel good”, but I have discovered that it works the other way too for “when you feel good, you will look good”.
Then we can say to ourselves “I have the X-Factor to be remembered as a person with A Total Image, A Great Image; and a person others would like to meet again, to work with or carry out a business deal with.”