How do you show up in life?
And by this I mean – when you get out of bed, how much care and effort do you put into your appearance? Do you wear clothes that fit well? Are they clean and ironed? Do you look after your nails and hair? And do you put in the effort only for work, or every time you leave the house?
I ask because I’ve come to the conclusion that your appearance plays a much bigger role in your overall confidence and effectiveness than I used to give it credit for.
I used to be one of those people who didn’t really care.
Not that I didn’t like looking good, but on some days I’d be like “I CBF today” and wear my comfy boyfriend jeans, loose fitting T-shirt and sneakers, with no makeup. Or I’d wear my gym clothes out, even though I’ve never lived in Prahran and don’t ever plan to (that’s an inside joke for the Melbournians).
I have always been a big believer in ‘showing up’ emotionally — that is, being positive, enthusiastic and energetic so you can be your best self for the world. But I’ve since realised how important it is to also pay attention to how you ‘show up’ physically.
I recently listened to an excellent episode of the Life Coach School podcast with Brooke Castillo (an excellent show, by the way). She talked about how when you look good, you feel good, plus you’re always prepared in case you run into someone you want to impress.
It totally resonated with me.
For example, I went into Hub one day in my gym clothes. I thought ‘I’m only here for an hour before I go to the gym…I CBF getting changed!’ And of course, that had to be the day my friend brought a bigwig entrepreneur to Hub and introduced him to me. Appearance-wise, I was totally unprepared. It’s hard to make a great first impression when you’re in your track pants at the office. Never again.
I’ve also noticed that I do, in fact, feel better about myself when I’m dressed well. I feel super fabulous when my nails are done, and I have an extra spring in my step after a fresh haircut. And I love feeling good. My walk becomes more of a strut, I hold my shoulders back, and I speak with more confidence.
And does it affect my work?
Hell yes. I find I’m more productive, more focused and more confident when I put in the effort to ‘show up’.
And this doesn’t only apply to when you’re out in public.
For example, I’m writing this in my lounge room. But I still got dressed in my work clothes, I put on my normal makeup, orange lipstick, did my hair and put on earrings.
Because I’m more likely to get work done when I’m dressed for work. I don’t ever ever EVER roll out of bed and start working in the track pant/oversized T-shirt combo I sleep in.
Also, when I made the decision to record a quick training video for one of my clients, I didn’t have to worry about putting on presentable clothes or making my face look nice — I was already good to go.
So I want you to think about how YOU are showing up in your life.
And I’m not saying you have to spend hours and hours doing your hair and makeup — just take enough time to make yourself presentable; enough so that you would feel comfortable bumping into an important business associate walking down the street.
Ladies, here are my suggestions for feeling like a rock star:
- Get rid of anything in your wardrobe that doesn’t fit well or doesn’t make you feel amazing. Think about the clothes that you DO feel amazing in, and get more of them. Make it your ‘uniform’.
- Learn how to do foundation properly (sounds obvious, but it makes a big difference, and so many women get it wrong. I did an afternoon makeup course and learned a tonne of makeup tricks. Highly recommended!)
- Wear a bold lipstick
- Wear heels, even if they’re little ones (I wear comfy sneaker heels…not exactly corporate, but they look cool and make me walk with a bit of swag!)
- Wear a fitted jacket, or at least one thing that’s fitted. So if I’m wearing tight jeans, I’ll wear a softer top and jacket.
- Have your nails done, and if they start to chip and go nasty, get it fixed or take the polish off immediately!
- Wear one ‘stand out’ or bright item of clothing, even if it’s a simple scarf.
Fellas, same principles with well fitting clothes, neat hair etc apply to you!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an important hair appointment to get to :P