How do you keep motivated to stay focused on your first impression every day (and all the THOUSANDS of first impressions you create throughout the day) whilst also focusing on the high demanding elements of your ‘day job’. What a great question Aisla submitted — and if interested in the answer, watch the video above or read on, as I’m going to share the number ONE secret that will help you day by day to focus on your first impression—and everything beyond—plus three tips to combat the overwhelm.
1. Define your first impression
If you do not define what your first impression should tell the world, it will be challenging to consider all of the thousands of elements that create your first impression every day. From your appearance, behavior, and communication, you want to radiate the definition you have chosen.
In my presentations, I ask my audience to describe their first impression with one word – yes really just one word. This often helps people to hone in on exactly how they want to come across to others. This one word is how you will be known.
Once you have thought of your word, you can put it into action. This might look like buying new pieces in your wardrobe, new makeup, or accessories to compliment this word. Maybe this also is communicated through your body language, etiquette, and attitude. The way you speak both in-person and online makes up how people perceive you.
If you sculpt all of these elements to go along with your one word, this will send subtle messages to those around you on a daily basis. If your word is ‘creative’ that is going to look, sound, and feel a lot different from someone whose word is ‘professional’.
Do you know your ONE word?
2. Consistency is key
If you already know it, keep in mind that it is important to be consistent. It is impossible to change everything all at once, instead layout your actionable steps by day, week, and month. Maybe this month you promise yourself that you will focus on your wardrobe. Let go of everything that does not magnify your word and add in pieces that perfectly showcase who you are.
Then maybe next month you will be able to focus more of your efforts on your digital footprint. Clean up any content that you feel does not accurately represent you or goes against your word, add new and engaging content, and connect with people who amplify your word.
By planning and taking your changes slowly, you will be less likely to get caught up in the stress of your day-to-day responsibilities when it comes to also adding the effort to maintaining your image.
3. Three tips to combat this overwhelm
Tip#1- It is important to show everyone that you take care of yourself.
Only if you care for yourself, will it come through that you can care for others. The way we show that we care for ourselves is by taking charge of our appearance, behavior, and communication. Get enough sleep, eat healthy food, work out on a regular base, invest into high-quality clothing, learn a new skill, surround yourself with great people. The way you present yourself shows that you put time and energy into your mental and physical health.
Tip# 2- Outsource when possible!
We often underestimate the number of daily tasks we can outsource in order to maximize efficiency. This is not workplace-specific, as this is just as important in your home! Let others complete tasks that they are possibly more suited for. We all have different skillsets and often there are others who will be able to do a better job at a task that has been on your to-do list. Outsourcing also allows you to make space for what moves you forward in your career. This clears up your schedule to put more energy into your priorities. What can you “outsource” that would give you the freedom to spend more time, for example, taking care of yourself?
Tip# 3- Be realistic and give yourself some grace.
You are doing the best that you can. Maintaining a work-life balance while also being aware of your image is a lot to balance. Be gentle with yourself and celebrate your small victories.
So, the #1 secret is: You are WORTH it. You need to realize and truly believe that YOU are the most important person in your life, your career, or your business. Without investing in our own growth and development, it is extremely challenging to maintain consistency on a daily basis. It will be difficult to find ways to keep yourself motivated and interested in the way you are reflecting your image to the world if you don’t truly believe that you are WORTH it.
For additional tips and insight into how you can continue first impression planning and putting your best foot forward, as well as some other concrete ways to own your leadership potential, get my book “The Image of Leadership”.