Appearance is everything
Did you know that we judge a person by the way they look within the first 5-12 seconds of meeting them? In those first 5-12 seconds, we perceive how a person is purely by how they appear to us. It is known as the unconscious bias theory. That is why is it so important to look your best every time, no matter the situation. People will discriminate even when they do not realise they are discriminating against you.
How do you think you appear to others? When you look in the mirror, do you like what you see? Better still do you look good naked? If you answered no to the last two questions, then you read on my friend, if you do that is awesome, keep doing what you are doing. I bet you look amazing.
I was sitting in a shopping mall the other day, observing people as they walked by. I wasn’t being judgemental. I was just being observant. However, I was astounded at the countless men and women I noticed, many very shabby, dirty and overweight. What was even more astonishing to me was that the men were dressed in business suits. To be honest I was shocked at how many men are not looking after themselves or taking pride in their appearance.
Did you know that the key to your success lies in your appearance? Studies have shown that men and women who are well-groomed, appear neat, have clean pressed clothing and who look reasonably fit have been known to have greater self-confidence, personal pride, walk taller and attract more good things in their life.
Grooming is the number one thing everyone should be doing, to make the best impression in life. Being professionally groomed not only shows others that you take pride in your appearance but also can help with many other areas in your life, including business, career and personal relationships, besides when you look good you feel good. There is nothing more off-putting than someone who does not take care of their appearance. What can be very distracting to others could be the difference from a sales negotiation, landing your dream job, meeting your ultimate mate so on and so forth. I am sure you get the picture.
Over my many years as a manager, I have interviewed many people for positions from sales consultants, personal trainers, managers, administrators all jobs involving customer service. It is astounding to me just how many of those people I have said ‘NO’ to before I have even spoken to them, based on the way they present themselves at the interview. Trust me when I say this, if you expect someone to look good in the job and they arrive looking shabby or late, do not hire them, you will regret it. If you can not make an effort to look your best for a job interview do not expect to get the job and stop wasting everyone’s time. Would you take the time to look your best for your or a friends wedding? Of course you would, why is a job interview any different?
When meeting someone for the first time you have between 5-12 secs to make a good impression, and the first 5 seconds are the most crucial; usually, when you are sitting waiting for the interviewer or greeting the reception, you are being judged. You only get one chance to impress so do not mess it up.
Ask yourself these questions. Do you make a good first impression based on how you look? Would you hire you based on how you look? If your answer is yes, then you are on the right track, if not it is ok, read on.
Up until I was sixteen, I did not care about my appearance. I rarely brushed my hair or teeth. My fashion consisted of Adidas tracksuit pants, runners, and t-shirts; you know those funny printed t-shirts from the markets. I had random acne as every teenager does, and I may have had terrible body odour, as I do not ever remember using deodorant. I showered but I do not remember how often. Hey, I was a teenager boy!
Then one day something in me changed. It was my older sister Simone who instigated this change. She taught me a valuable lesson in how important it was to look your best. My sister always looks great. When we were younger it would take her a long time to get ready before she left the house. One day we were both going to the shopping mall to hang out. She drove, and I wanted a lift, so I had to wait for her. It took me about five minutes to get ready, and it took Simone more than forty-five minutes to get prepared. Frustrated with the wait I turned to Simone and asked her why it takes her so long to get ready, and she replied, “You should always look your best whenever you go out the door, as you never know whom you might meet”. She may have also said “looking this good, takes time”.
My sister is beautiful, always has been. She has a natural beauty, a beauty that doesn’t require much makeup, even to this day. What she said that day was so true and has stayed with me always. From that day forward, I made a massive change to the way I looked. In retrospect, I think that having low self-esteem played a big part in my appearance. After I turned sixteen, I gained self-confidence and made some significant changes to my fashion. I stopped wearing tracksuit pants and those silly t-shirts. I began to use moisturiser and use deodorant. I also starting showering twice a day, sometimes three or four times. I went to the dentist and had my teeth fixed. I began to wash my hair and brush my teeth religiously. I started to try foods I had not tried before and started to drink water and lots of it.
I began to educate myself on how to look professional. I observed how professional people dressed, how they talked, what they ate, where they ate. I drunk the latest fashionable drink and partied at the trendiest nightclubs. What I learnt in those early days has opened many doors and opportunities for me.
You too can change the way you look to attract more into your life. It is never too late to start. Start with the following:
- Get a good haircut- When it comes to cutting your hair, haircuts should be done at least once every 2-3 weeks. Make sure you find yourself a good hairstylist. Over the last ten years, many good barber businesses have set up to cater for manscaping. These are usually a bit higher priced than an average barber but are catered to men wanting more than just a short back and sides haircut. These barbers are perfectly ok, but please avoid the cheap barbers and hair salon. Cheap haircuts are cheap for a reason, and there is nothing worse than a bad haircut. Unless you are balding or going for a number 1 crew cut than avoid the cheap barber or hair salons like Just cuts, Express cuts etc. These are ok for kids, but if you want to look sharp and professional you need an expensive haircut, any price from $50 – $80 will suffice.
- Join a gym- If you cannot afford a gym jump on Utube for free workouts and incorporate this into your daily life. See my blogs on Health and Fitness for how to exercise.
- Buy a new suit- Buy yourself the most expensive suit you can afford. If you do not wear suits, buy a brand new outfit that will look a million bucks in the office. Make sure you purchase for men- four new shirts and four new ties, a new belt, matching socks and a new pair of shiny shoes, the equivalent for women.
Three fundamental steps to point you in the right direction, here are and additional pieces of advice to aid you on your journey;
- Visit the dentist every six months. Get your teeth fixed and whitened if needed
- Brush your teeth and floss after every meal. Take a toothbrush to work if need be
- Trim your nose and ear hair
- Trim your eyebrows
- If you have a beard and/or moustache, keep it clean and well-trimmed
- Wash your face with a good face cleaner every day, use a scrub once every three days
- Style your hair, use a superior product
- Ladies, wear light makeup that enhances your features, no heavy makeup
- Wear a superior fragrance Eau de parfum or Eau de toilette
- Wear a deodorant, not an antiperspirant as it wont stop the smell only the sweat
- Visit a dermatologist and have unsightly skin tags, moles or bumps removed from your face and neck
- Educate yourself on the best fashion that suits you
- Make sure your shoes are new, clean, neat or shiny
- Make sure your belt is new and clean
- Your sock colour should match your shoe and belt colour. The exception to the rule; wear different socks if you wish to stand out
- Eat healthy, nutritionist meals, get rid of that belly fat
- Always eat breakfast
- If you are a messy eater, avoid foods that splash, like spaghetti bolognese on white shirts
- Have mints on hand in case of bad breath
- Before you shake someone’s, hand ensure your hands are not cold, sweaty or clammy
- Do not drink alcohol at business lunches; you will become tired
Be the best you can be- Physically
To make a change in your life, you must start with the question Why. Why do you want to make a change? It is a very confronting question when you think about it carefully. Think long and hard about this question, because the answer will be your greatest motivation.
Once you have found the answer to
why you want to make a change. You then need to dig deep and create some goals on
how you are going to make the changes to yourself and your life to achieve your
why. The most important thing when creating your why is the make sure it is
your reason not someone else’s. If the reason is not yours, you will fail to
achieve the outcome of changing your life for the better.
Activity: Sit down and write out a list of reasons why you want to make a change. Be as brave and as bold as you like. Think of a minimum ten whys. There needs to be a WHY for every part of your life you want to change.
To get you started here are some common reasons:
- Become a better person, better partner, better father/mother
- Learn to be professional, more confident, increase your self esteem
- Become stronger, fitter, healthier
- Become more educated, less ignorant, more intelligent
- Look better, dress better, smell better
- Communicate better, speak clearer, use and understand the English language better
Now you have your reasons, you now need to put these reasons into goals so you can start creating this new you. Start with ensuring that your reasons are very clear, so you can create goals that are also clear.
In my Life coaching and Personal training business I start by asking my clients, why they want to make a change. This is before I ask them their goals or any other questions.
I often hear from my clients that they want to make a change for any of a dozen reasons, which is great, when I ask why I often hear them say “I am doing this for my children”, or “my partner wants me to lose weight”. This is when I say “Stop”, these are not your reasons, lets start again. Many are puzzled by this reaction but let me tell you the reasons must be yours, they cannot be for someone else. I think it is great people think this way, but you must be saying I am doing this for me so that I can play with my kids. I am doing this for me, so I can be a better husband for my wife. Only then can your really own the reason and start to make a change.
Doing something for someone else, usually ends in regret and often disaster, especially if your fail to achieve something that some else wants. A lot of pressure can be put on you so please do it for yourself. Of course, you will need the support of people around you. Now you have your reason lets begin with creating goals to match those reasons and put them into action
Be your best
Have you ever thought to yourself how you got so out of shape? Usually, life gets in the way and we end up compromising our health and fitness for marriage, work, kids and life in general. We are so busy living we think we have no time to exercise. Then one day we wake up tired, overweight, old looking, unfit and depressed. Sound like you?
I have trained hundreds of men and women who have all thought this exact thing but just don’t know how to make a change, their lives have become such a routine that they do not have the motivation or inspiration to make a change, some people do not know where to start, do not have the time, money or both.
Let me tell you that if you do not make a change now, you will have time to be sick and that sickness could cost you a lot more than just time and money. I understand just how hard it is to start on a healthy life path and stick to it. I myself are constantly challenged everyday. However, it does not have to be hard, hurt or be time-consuming, all you need to do is find what is going to fit into your weekly routine. I will not lie, it will be very hard in the beginning but I promise you if you stick to it, it will become easier and you may even fall in love with your new lifestyle.
How to start- Step One is to evaluate your fitness and overall health. If you have not exercised if over 12 months or are in extremely poor condition, then may I suggest you go to your doctor and get a full physical. This is extremely important as you may be boarding on a variety of different illnesses and exercising could trigger a really bad reaction, for example, a heart attack. Get a doctors clearance.
Step Two is to think about what exercise is going to work for you and something that you are going to stick with. I recommend joining a gym but if you can not afford a gym then there are a plethora of exercise groups that are free, such as walking groups, running groups etc. There are many inexpensive options for joining a gym such as off-peak memberships, these can be as little as $5 a week, that’s only one coffee is some areas. Sometimes we have to give up some of our luxury items to make these changes. If money is no option find a gym that works for you, again many options. I use a 24-hour small size gym as it works for me.
Much research has been done on people using a gym and it has been found that, the majority of people who join a gym will not go more than 5km to a gym that is either from work or home. Therefore find the closest gym to your home or work. Try before you buy, just about every gym will give you some sort of deal, like a 7-day pass.
Step Three Get started, start slowly and build yourself up. Slow and steady will be the key to your success. This is some really important advice. I have seen time and time again clients start a gym routine all gung ho, they try to train like they are in their twenties and it always ends in them quitting. You must take it slow and make gradual changes, remember that you are making a lifestyle change, a change to last the rest of your life and it can take a long time to change.
Unfortunately there is no quick fix. Reality shows like the biggest loser where contestants lose a huge amount of weight in a very short time is not a reality, most contestants put all the weight back on soon after the show finishes and their fame fades back to their old life. However, it is possible to lose a huge amount of weight in a controlled environment, but is it the safest and best way?
Step Four Get yourself a program. The program is your guide to your training. It could be a weight/strength training program, cardio-vascular program or as I advise a combination of the two. To be successful you need to do some form of weight training (see future bogs on various weight training routines) for strength combined with a cardiovascular program for your fitness.
I will be providing many various generic programs in future blogs, however, if you can not wait and would like a personalised program I can write one for you for a small fee. Please email me at email@example.com and I will provide you with a template to complete.
Be the best man you can be- Physically