How To Ensure People Know Who You Are?
by Carol Hanson
Walking into a room full of people, most of whom you’ve never met before can be intimidating. If you’re new to networking or even a seasoned networker in a new group it can be a bit scary.
Almost the first question someone will ask you after you’ve exchanged names will be ‘what do you’. We love labels (I’m not talking designer brands). By putting a label on someone it helps us to:
- Frame our next questions. Okay so we might make it still very general but our minds are already thinking in terms of a mini profile
- Make some assumptions about the type of person we might be talking to. Sorry but we do tend to do it.
- Think about whom we might be able to connect them to. I genuinely believe this is the best part of networking
When I ran my accountancy business, the comment I received was ‘You don’t look like an accountant’ I used to high five at that point why? Simple! It was my personality showing through and not my profession. Mission accomplished!
I wanted to engage with people who were attracted by my personality. People do business with those they know, like and trust. My style may have put some clients off and that was just fine, as I’d guarantee they were not my ideal clients.
It’s no different today. I have my style and there will be people attracted to it and others that are not. Perfect! My clothes help me to attract my ideal client.
But we don’t always express our true selves through our clothes. Since I started my styling business I’ve realized there are some common obstacles women put up that stop them from expressing themselves. If you recognize any habits below, I hope by reflection you will see that they’re not healthy.
I must have approval from others
I’m sure most of us can remember being told, as a teenager: ‘You’re not going out dressed like that!’ More importantly do you remember how you responded?
No doubt you were angry or upset? You may have stormed upstairs to change or just rushed out slamming the door behind you.
Neither option being a positive outcome! Our early wardrobe influencers often have a lot to answer for!
By dressing to meet someone else’s expectations we’re compromising ourselves. It builds resentment and/or anger. We may see ourselves as a victim.
How does this help us to look and feel fabulous from the inside out? Simple answer – it doesn’t! By feeling good about ourselves we will be much happier and have more success (whatever that means for you).
She Looks Absolutely Amazing …
We blame a lot of social comparison issues on the media and in particular social media. Everyone seems to be looking prettier, having a fantastic time, wearing the most amazing outfits etc.
But you are only comparing yourself to what you can see of the other person. You are not living their life, feeling as they do, experiencing their life. You are only ever seeing a snapshot of their lives. Furthermore this is only your interpretation of what their life is like.
Instead turn your attention to the one person you do know very well – you! Start compiling that list of positive mantras to repeat to yourself. Realise that you are a unique and special person. You do not need to compare yourself to others.
I Hate My Arms, Legs, Bust etc
Accept yourself for who you are. Love the good bits about your body. Stop focusing on the negatives. If you draw attention to them how does it make you feel? Not exactly positive and if you’re not feeling positive how will that reflect in the way you appear to others.
Recently when I was working with a client I asked her to tell me which parts of her body she loved. She told me that she really embraced her curves, how she felt sexy and feminine. She told me how she hated her thighs and wished her legs were thinner. Then she stopped and started to laugh.
An ‘aha moment’ as she realised that if her legs were skinny she’d look out of proportion.
Nourish Not Punish
Expressing yourself may simply mean listening to your body.
There are some days when I want to feel nurtured. I want soft natural fabrics against my skin. I want to be close to nature and it’s difficult to do this wearing synthetic materials.
But there are other days when I really want to stand in my power and wear bold colours and fabrics that cling to my body in the right places.
There will be days when a colour I love and normally looks great on me, just looks wrong. It may still be in my colour palette but by listening to my body I can usually tell why it doesn’t work.
Let your subconscious take you by the hand and offer you wardrobe guidance.
Live Your Truth Through Your Style
I love it when clients ask for my help, who are going through a transformation.
Their values remain the same but they want to express different parts of their personality. This often happens when they are going through a major life change.
One client recently showed me her latest purchase, a biker jacket. A statement piece that she’d bought to embrace a new phase in her life.
But she didn’t want a hard ‘rock chic’ look. Her soft feminine sexy approach was fundamental to her style DNA.
We worked with the jacket pairing it with various accessories, pretty scarves, jeans/boots and soft blouses. We also created outfits with jersey dresses to create a gentle feminine style embracing her sexy playful look.
Ready To Give It A Try?
Not sure if your wardrobe does help you to express yourself? I’d recommend something to try.
Write down how you want to be seen by the world. It’s not an essay but is between three to five words.
Then look at your wardrobe. Do your clothes reflect the way you want to be seen? Or are you struggling to see those words on the hangers? You may need to put together a couple of items to make an outfit to see the patterns emerging.
Why not book a free 30-minute call (no obligation) with me to help you define your style?
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