“What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, we need to stretch our minds.” — Wayne Dye
“Why do you dress up so much?” I asked Bernadette. We were both young teachers many, many years ago and I could not understand why she was always dressed a couple of notches above everyone else. After all we were simply teachers.
“I dress for the job I want. Not the one I have.” She responded curtly. I never forgot that statement. I witnessed Bernadette thrive and move up the career ladder very quickly and I could not help but connect the dots between dressing for the job you have vs the one you want. Within a couple of years, Bernadette was working in the highest office on the island as the Aide de Camp to the Governor General of St. Lucia.
A few weeks ago, I sent a quick e-mail to her to see if she remembered that conversation all the way back then and surprisingly she did.
“Wow, yes I totally remember that and I ended up with a job that I could never have imagined back then, at Government house in the highest office in the land, thanks be to God, but proof that the theory actually worked. I still teach my students that how you present yourself, not where you are from, is not only representative of how you value the skin you are in, but also the fact that you value others enough to take time to think about how you present yourself to them. With that, I don’t mean designer clothes or handbags, I mean clean and tidy. Not showing your boxers or thong or bra. Yes, I do have that conversation with university students believe it or not, being clean and well presented is important. I am sure that I, like you learnt that from my grandmother who was not rich but principled and had high morals and thought that life should be lived with a specific set of rules – one being never walk around dirty or dishevelled, it says a lot about you. LOL. Oh how I loved those days. I suppose in a world where unfortunately appearance is everything, how you look does matter but that is for a whole different Convo!”
Bernadette is now a Senior Lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University and is doing fabulous work in the U.K. Apart from lecturing, she is also a lead singer with a band.
I too have used that advice in my life. I remember when I first came to Canada, I wanted a job that would get me out of professional clothes to do something different where I could be in jeans and a more relaxed mood most of the time. As soon as I formed that mental image, that is exactly what happened. I got a job where I could do most of the work from home. A year later, I had a vision for a different type of work which required more professional dressing. As soon as I shifted the image in my mind and started acting the part, the new job popped on the horizon.
As an employment coach, I give that piece of advice to hundreds of people. When you are job searching or trying to find another job, mentally prepare yourself by dressing for the job you want. Not the one you have. Your mind is a powerful tool…if you are clear about an image…it will make that image become a part of your reality. Make that image your every day reality. By dressing up for the role everyday, you are conditioning your mind.
“Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives.”Sidney Madwed
TuneIn to the way which you present yourself to the world. Is it doing justice to your vision? Are you presenting yourself in the way which is of highest integrity to yourself and those around you? StepUp and take charge by creating a mental image of how you want to look.
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