What if you could walk into a room and by your sheer presence, literally turn on the lights?
This may sound a bit fantastical if not downright unrealistic, yet turn on the energy in a room is exactly what you absolutely can do, by balancing and ramping up your own personal, positive energy.
Think about it for a moment. Haven’t you seen this done? Haven’t you at some point been in a room or seated in an auditorium, only to experience the energy of the space changing for the better when someone in particular walks in? Believe it or not, this is an ability we all have.
The truth is, how people dress is related in some way to how they feel. They feel first and dress later. Just think of a time when you didn’t feel well, did you want to pull out all the stops and dress smart? Not likely. You probably pulled on whatever was closest to you and dressed the way you felt – not that well.
If we change the way we dress the way we feel will change. When we are dressed well and look good we automatically feel better. When we feel good we are more likely to feel good inside, have more energy and treat others better.
But, dressing with confidence is more than wearing the latest fashion trend, it’s about feeling good about what you’re wearing, looking poised and feeling self-assured in all situations.
Your Self Confidence Levels Differ according To Your Clothes
Have you noticed that your self confidence levels differ according to the clothes you wear? Have you noticed that when you wear a certain t-shirt or pullover you tend to become more self confident?
Your Self Confidence is strongly related to your self-image, which is the mental image you have for yourself in your mind. Fortunately, your subconscious mind does not differentiate between your body parts and the clothes you wear and so it considers clothes an extension to your body. The result is that your self-image differs according to the clothes you wear and so does your attitude, self-confidence and level of motivation.
The Value of Dress
The military has long recognized the motivational power of dress. Many sales organizations stress the value of personal appearance not only from the standpoint of the outward impression it creates, but because of what “feeling sharp” does for the inner person as well.
You can boost your attitude, self-confidence, level of motivation and feel good about what you’re wearing if you:
1. Know the occasion
2. Know your audience
3. Know your personal style
4. Know the effects of color
Know the Occasion: While you are standing in front of your closet give some consideration to the occasion. What you wear will depend on the event. Whether you are going to a business meeting, shopping, to church or to a gala event, what you wear should be tailored to the occasion.
A business setting can be traditional (banking, law etc.) or softly tailored (advertising, public relations, etc). The dress code for traditional business is structured, tailored clothes with straight lines and firm fabrics (suits). For softy tailored business setting, use softer lines, structured blazers and jackets, matched or unmatched tailored pants
Social occasions can include anything from a lunch with a friend to a formal event. To feel comfortable at an informal social event opt for unmatched suits, denim skirts, khaki pants and turtlenecks. Black tie means formal and white tie means ultra formal. At a black tie event men wear tuxedos and women wear cocktail or long dresses.
Know Your Audience: Your audience is the people with whom you come in contact. They can be your clients, boss and colleagues (in business) or your peers (social situations). Dress to fit the image of a person in your role. We don’t expect to see bankers dressed in jeans and a t-shirt; athletes dressed in suits; clean mechanics; or cleaners wearing delicate fabrics. When you are dressed out of your role your competence comes into question.
When you dress to suit your role you feel more confident. For example, if you work in an environment where you create artistic products your audience will expect you to dress a little artistic. If you are dressed conservatively not only will you feel uncomfortable your audience will feel something is astray.
People want to interact with people with whom they feel comfortable or who they feel are like them. That means knowing what is expected in particular roles and dressing to fit that role.
Know Your Personal Style: Your personal style is expressed in everything you do. When it comes to fashion your style is evident in the patterns and texture of fabrics you like to wear as well as your accent pieces such as jewelry, handbags and shoes. When you are aware of your style and feel comfortable with it then you can express yourself with confidence.
Take a moment to decide which one of the four style preferences best suits you – classic, romantic, sporty or dramatic? The classic style has an elegant traditional look and wears timeless garments. The romantic style has a soft feminine look and prefers to wear dresses and skirts rather than pants. The sporty style likes casual comfortable clothes and prefers natural fabrics. The dramatic style is sophisticated, turns heads and likes to wear the latest trends.
You may be thinking, what if my personal style is sporty and I am attending a gala event or my style is dramatic and I am attending a ball game? How can I feel confident, express my style and still fit the occasion? All occasions will not fit our personal style but if we know our style well enough we can make accommodations. The sporty style would feel comfortable at a gala event wearing long, flowing pants, and simple top and low (but elegant) shoes. The dramatic style can feel comfortable at a ball game wearing a leather jacket, a bold print top and angular jewelry.
Know The Effect of Colors: Color is the magic that brings interest to our world. We are instinctively drawn to certain colors and respond to them with feeling; this is called “the psychology of color”. When used in garments and laid against our skin they produce either positive or negative results. The right colors will make your eyes sparkle and your skin glow; while the wrong colors will make you look tired and your skin drab. This is why it is important to know the colors that look best on you. You can do this yourself by sitting in front of a mirror, placing different colors next to your face and notice which colors make your skin come alive and which ones wash it out.
Colors are divided into two categories –warm and cool. When you discover which colors look best on you and wear them consistently you will notice that you look better, feel better and have more confidence.
Colors produce specific emotions and it affects how you feel and how others respond to you. For example, blue is a soothing, calming color and red is an exciting, energetic, attention-grabbing color. Knowing the affects of these colors which would you wear in a potentially argumentative situation?
Knowing the emotional effect of colors and their symbolic links allows us to choose colors that will give us our desired effects.
When you dress with confidence you know you have made the best choices for you and you feel comfortable in any situation. It means feeling attractive and completely you. Our confidence is enhanced when we know that we are dressed appropriately for the situation and our style, we are wearing colors that brighten us on the inside as well as outside and we feel attractive, secure, motivated and authentic.
Dr. Paul McCarthy Sport Psychologist on Golf says: Ian Poulter’s confidence brings success in World Match Play.
“I just felt that if I could deliver what I believed I could, then I could put myself in a good position. I’ve certainly done that over the past 18 months. And I’ve certainly been able to deliver on that today. It’s nice to see myself at No 5 in the world rankings and hopefully I can keep going in the same direction.” (The Times, 23 Feb. 2010).
Ian’s quote tells us much about success in golf. He said that “if he could deliver what [he] believed he could” then he would put himself in a good position. To achieve success, a golfer must believe in his or her ability to achieve. If you believe in your ability, you’ll persevere with your plans to be your best, which often means working hard. Ian Poulter believes in his ability as a golfer but that belief follows many hours of deliberate practice to develop a consistent game. Another string to Ian’s bow is that he also dresses smartly – a firm indicator that he respects himself, and shows high self esteem. The next time your play golf; see what an effect dressing smartly has on your confidence. Remember: Look good, feel good.
Besides, who said that exercising cannot be done in style? It seems like an impossible job to look good while working out and sweating it all out. Believe it or not, looking good while exercising can boost your confidence and even encourage you to do complete workouts.
Although the old adage of “Clothes make the man” may or may not be true, the clothes you wear can make or break your attitude, self-confidence and level of motivation, so choose wisely.