Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You, Your Image, and Everyone Else

Have you ever wondered why our society has become so lax?  Why is it perfectly acceptable these days to run around in tracksuits, peppering our language with slang and offensive terminology, basking in our lack of elegance and refinement while offering our middle finger to anyone who doesn’t like our loud-and-proud attitude?  Like or leave it, someone once told me.

I don’t like it, and I just can’t leave it.

For you see, my friend, we’ve got a full-force ripple effect happening.  Our croc-wearing, tattoo-bearing, attempts-at-daring affect others.  Kids today are unfamiliar with the term ‘dressing for the occasion’ because they’ve never witnessed it.  Recent college grads who grew up with a grand sense of entitlement don’t understand why their multi-piercings are keeping them from landing a job.  Women of ‘a certain age’ don’t understand why their bawdiness has yet to attract the perfect partner.  “I mean, it worked for the gals in Sex In The City, why isn’t it working for me?”  they ask.

Like it or not, we are judged by how we communicate, and we communicate through many different avenues each day:  the words we speak, the clothes we wear, our manners, our mannerisms – I could go on.  It’s the Total Package Effect and I speak to so many women about it:  you can look great, but if you don’t speak greatly or act greatly, others will not perceive you as great.

So my question today is this:  what, exactly, are you trying to communicate?  If you desire attracting certain people or situations into your life and you’ve yet to manifest them, you’re image could be holding you back.

I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times.

One’s image plays a significant role in her overall success, both professionally and personally. 

I think a key element that leads to an ‘image downfall’ is the acceptance of the status quo.  No one else dresses up for church, so why should I? Everybody enjoys fast-food on a regular basis, so why shouldn’t I?   Everyone else watches garbage on Television, so why shouldn’t I (side note:  garbage in, garbage out.  I learned that a long time ago, and it’s very true.  Think about it.) 

Because it leads to stasis, and a lifestyle in stasis is a lifestyle in crises.

We should all strive each day not only to look our best, but to speak our best and BE our best.  We’ve got to get over this weird ‘let’s just be comfortable and let it all hang out’ mentality and take ownership of our lives and our image.  We must recognize that our choices affect others – and not necessarily in a good way.

We’ve got to get over our laziness and stop accepting things that simply shouldn’t be acceptable.  If not, I shudder to think of the fruit the upcoming generation will bear.  They’re looking to us and following our lead, so if we want better for them, we must be better ourselves.

Be the change you want to see in the world – Gandhi

What is it you’d like to see?

Beth Newman
Image Consultant, Mentor, Author

ps...I've got a new e-course starting next week.  It's called Your Image and You:  Who Do You Think You Are?  For details go to