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They say, “You should never judge a book by its cover.” They also say, “You should never say never“. Unfortunately, book covers do a lot of the initial selling when buyers are browsing the shelves (in person or online) and the way you dress can speak volumes whether you’re aware of it or not. So I must ask, “What do your clothes say about you?”
Halloween brings about costumes and role-playing for children and adults alike. It’s a time where we get to dress up as someone or something we’re not and have fun with it. But for the rest of the year, we usually dress in a way that uniquely expresses our self-image. Much of how we dress is a reflection of our belief system, particularly our belief about who we are, how much we’re worth, and a reflection of our perceived position in life. Some people wear activewear, some people wear casual wear, some people wear streetwear, some people wear business attire, and some people don’t put much effort into their clothing style at all. So, WEAR-ever you fall in the WEAR-abouts, it tells a brief bio instantly to everyone around you.
Have you ever seen those videos of people giving opportunities to a homeless person? The person showers, gets a haircut, gets a new outfit, and a large meal. The added elicited emotion of gratitude is always touching and they look like a completely different person! If you saw that same person after the makeover segment, you’d never know the person was struggling in life. The external appearance of a cleaned up and well-dressed person gives you the impression that the person is successful to some degree and has their life together. Isn’t it something though? The external appearance changes your perception of a person’s entire image.
Here are a few examples of these videos.
The way you dress tells a story about who you are and what you’re about. It’s the reason we put on nice, professional looking clothes and groom ourselves for a job interview. We want the person interviewing and potentially hiring us to believe we are worth the time, energy, and money. We put on suits or tuxedos for weddings, we wear black for funerals to represent mourning, we wear certain colors in the Spring and Autumn seasons to match the natural colors of flowers and foliage, and these different styles make gestures about our feelings, moods, and the image we are portraying. Seems like an easy concept, but what about all those days where you just “throw something on“? Like it or not, people judge. My Grandma always used to tell me, “Always put on your good clothes when you go out. You never know who you’ll run into.” And it’s true. Do you really want to run into your boss or clients wearing your pajama pants while running out to the market for milk? I know I don’t. I at least put on some activewear and tie my sneakers. The other thing is, I have an online presence where I’m marketing myself as a lifestyle coach and promote lifestyle management. How does my reputation stand up against a disheveled look? I’m not a celebrity by any means, but celebrities are constantly bombarded by paparazzi trying to catch them at their lowest to exploit them in tabloids and TMZ. My point is if someone recognizes me and I’m poorly put together, it gives off the wrong impression. I know… It’s sad, but it’s the reality we live in. With that said, it’s important to maintain some minimum requirements and standards when you’re out and about, even on your off hours.
I recently started dressing better, more dapper. My wife notices, my colleagues notice, and I get treated better at stores because of it. I haven’t been awarded anything recently, no acknowledgments for achievements, no inheritance of a large amount of money, no videos have gone viral, no social media overnight fame, no significant promotions, or anything else to the likes. I’ve simply put on different clothes. I’m the same man, these clothes have been in my closet the whole time, I’ve just decided to put them on. So, what’s changed? Only my external appearance. That’s it. But as I silently observe the behaviors of others around me, I see a positive impact on the interactions I experience directly correlated to the clothes I put on. It’s fascinating! People call me sir, step out of my way as I enter a room, smile more, take my words with authority, and are happy doing all of this!
Now, here’s the kicker. Why am I dressing this way now? What’s the occasion? Where am I going? Normally I would say “No reason“, “No occasion“, and “Nowhere“, and I would go back to my less noticeable attire to avoid the extra attention. But I have new answers, which give me a new purpose, which in return gives me the results I described in the previous paragraph. I’m dressing the part because I am becoming the part. I’m dressing the part of an owner, a CEO, a boss, a leader, a success. And “where am I going?”, closer to my dreams.
Some people call this, “Fake it till you make it”, but those who know the truth know that this is preparation for the position you want in life. You want to be a boss, you have to think like a boss, work like a boss, behave like a boss, and dress like a boss. If you don’t, you’ll never be the boss. Bodybuilders don’t become bodybuilding champions by doing the minimum requirements for a workout, they work hard and go the extra mile. Authors become the best selling by spending time writing, reviewing and revising, and then writing again. Successful entrepreneurs become successful business owners by putting in the mental, physical, and spiritual energy to create and persist, and they don’t give up after one, two, or even three failures. No one is perfect, and we all have off days, but even though those successful people have plenty of failures in their life, They stayed on track. We started at the bottom now we here!
Module 6 of A Living System is Vision & Goals. Part of my vision and goals are to build a lucrative business that helps people and create a legacy that I can leave to my children. I need to be the kind of man that can lead people by example, which means if I’m encouraging you to clean up your life, I had better be cleaned up myself. Would you take financial advice from someone who’s broke, doesn’t manage their money well, has bad credit, and tons of debt? I didn’t think so.
I’m not telling you to start wearing suits, but take a look in your closet and then the mirror and ask yourself, “Is this my best look?”
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