Is Your Personal Image Up to Par?

Because you can never retract that infamous first impression, perhaps it’s time for you to consider how to make a great one.

Is there a better time of year to assess your image or is there only now? There are numerous, perhaps even hundreds of people in your world who have a perfectly formed concept (in the privacy of their minds) of who you are without even speaking to you. "Who cares?" you might say. "If I don’t know them, why do I care what their opinion is of me?" You may be surprised at the many ways a bad image can come back to bite you. It takes less than seven seconds to create a first impression, a difficult image to change. Perhaps you are a meager staff person today, yet will be running the company in a few short years. Be aware of the image you project on your way up the ladder. And we all know of ‘C’ level leaders behaving badly—CEO’s, COO’s, CFO’s. It’s never too late to upgrade your personal image.

What composes your image? Not merely losing that ten pounds or the shape of your belly. It is your essence - everything from the way you speak to office assistants, to the way you walk, your eye contact, and of course your physical appearance. It’s also how you feel about yourself and those around you. This is all weaved into the way you present yourself to the world, and the way those in your world accept or reject you. Physical appearance: I know that a client is taking more responsibility for themselves and their image when he or she comes to a coaching session excited about having cleaned out their closet and saying "It was easy." Clothing that they bought even a few months ago no longer represents who they are today. And for those "What was I thinking?" items, better to have them out of sight now.

In Dress to Express, Tracy McWilliams puts it this way: "The image we create for ourselves directs what is possible for us. The key to looking great in clothes is understanding that you are the best judge of how you want to look. Connecting your outer image to your inner depth is the first step. If you can dress to express your own personal image, your self-confidence will shine through. You can take yourself further along the path to being the person you aspire to be."

Confidence Level
How you feel about yourself: You simply cannot hide a lack of confidence. You can hide it temporarily, as in ‘fake it until you make it,’ but unless you create a solid confidence foundation on which to stand you’ll be lost in the crowd. There are plenty of more confident folks to take your place in any arena.

What makes a person more confident? Taking time to asses your strong points. Focusing solely upon your week points allows little room for growth. In what areas do you excel today? How can you build upon these? How can you use the same talents, traits or magic formula to improve in other areas?

Body Language
How you feel about those around you: 93% of your communication is reflected through body language in the following ways:

  • Sub verbal (38%)tone of voice, speed, softness or loudness, anger, excitement, sincerity, enthusiasm or lack thereof

  • Body Language (55%)your stance, how you walk into the room, where your eyes are, placement of your hands and feet, your smile or frown. If you do not agree with, approve of, like or feel comfortable with the people you are with, it shows. Be very aware of what you subconsciously (albeit boldly) emanate.

This is a week to take inventory for upgrading your personal image. Be honest with yourself; ask for feedback from those you trust, or hire an image consultant. Because first impressions cannot be taken back, eliminate what no longer works for you. You’ll feel lighter, more free, fun and productive. Even slight changes to a bad image can bring dramatic results. Go out and shine this week. Enjoy your discoveries!

By Ann Golden Eglé
Image by Stock Source
Ann Golden Eglé is a Master Certified Coach and President of GV&A Success Coaching working with top level executives, entertainers and sports figures. Ann has a ten year track record of 100% thrilled business and executive coaching clients and 30 years experience in working with highly successful, top rated individuals. Ann holds a BS-Business Administration from the University of Nebraska, Certified Professional Co-Active Coach certificate from the Coaches Training Institute and numerous certificates to practice from the International Coach Federation. Sign up for her free e-zine Success Thought of the Week @

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