Keeping up appearances…

It’s been so long since I’ve had to worry about my appearance when it comes to work, because most of the time I’m hidden at home…behind a telephone line and a screen.   And when I do connect in, I can brush my hair and keep my tracksuit pants on.   So I forgot how much that we make judgements based on appearances and how those judgements have the power to affect us.

Apparently people make judgements in less than a second of meeting someone. I was reading an article about the judgments people make based on the online photo you have posted, a simple change in expression can completely change someones impression of you.

So I’m on a trip for work and I realised I’m more worried about what to wear than the work needing to be done. Should I wear my heels or my flats? Do my glasses make me look funkier or just nerdy? What does this dress say about me? I was exhausted before I even entered the office.

And then she arrived, immaculately dressed, designer outfit, so well groomed every hair in place. Suddenly, my well thought out dress felt childish. I noticed the run in my stockings and desperately tried to hide my legs under the table. And seriously, were my boobs popping out of this dress when I left this morning, how the hell did I not notice???  I moved my Burberry bag (extravagant gift from my husbands last trip), hoping it might help detract from everything else.

I was seriously intimidated, and with it, my confidence went running out the room and screaming out the building. I started doubted myself and my ability. I scrambled through the day wondering what impression I had left? I went back to the hotel, worn out and over it.

After wasting time cursing myself in the mirror and wishing things had been different…I started to re-assess. To think about my passion, what do I bring to the table?   My worth is not measured by judging myself against other people, my path is different. I get joy from bringing positivity and passion into the office. To help others achieve their goals and to use my experience and understanding to help build communications strategies.

How I look doesn’t change those things. And what I bring to that table is just as valuable as the others.

So I returned the following day, and I walked into the room and smiled.  She smiled in return.

I’ve got this.


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