You have probably heard for a hundred times, “What is in the inside, counts.” Eventually what matters is who you are from inside, not just the outer appearance. In that case, how does your appearance affect your success? In first place does it even affect??
Well, let’s take this example.
It is your special day. It’s your birthday. Party is on and friends, family, and guests are pouring in. Gifts from near dear ones are piled up in a corner. Once the party is over and you sit down with the gifts, what is it that catches your attention first? For most of us, most of the times it is the gift that is packed in the most attractive manner. Now, we all understand that what matters is the gift and not the packing, yet, we cannot help but get attracted to the fancy packaging. Well, it is kind of same with life.
We all know what matters is our skills, our values, our abilities, our education, and experience; however – knowingly or unknowingly – we all end up getting influenced by the packaging which is the appearance. A disclaimer here: Appearance is not the face or body statistics only – it would include the overall personality. Apart from the looks, it talks about the communication skills, people skills, etiquette and mannerism, code of conduct, an attitude which speaks a volume about you before you utter a single word.
I need to be careful while I talk about this since this is a delicate subject. In no way am I trying to convince anyone to be extravagant or go out bold and bright or loads of make-up and gel. All I am talking about is: You never get a second chance to create a first impression. Let’s all accept this. In a given situation when you meet someone for the first time, they make judgments in about 3 to 7 seconds.
American Personal Consultants, those who are responsible to make a decision on acceptance or rejection of any individual, they once quoted they consume just 30 seconds to make a decision. In these 30 seconds, they haven’t heard you, your skills but have taken a decision about you. This is where your 3 to 7 seconds of work. Using appearance as one of the ready resources is very much a tool for success. And, your clothing is responsible for 90% of that first impression.
There can be some simple and small changes in our appearance that can help us climb the ladder of success. It makes sense to look successful with the help of clothing; after all – like attracts like.
Psychology of clothes says, there are different kinds of dressers and there is a thought process behind that. A sloppy dresser with wrinkled, stained or mismatched clothes sends out the message that you don’t really care – about yourself, your work, your job, your future and anything else.
On another hand, a skimpy dresser – someone dressed in shortest, tightest most revealing dress irrespective of the occasion – shouts about the insecurities that the person goes through. It is generally only through their bodies that they think they can claim the attention. It shouts out that this is perhaps all they have to offer.
As against this, a drab dresser will want to blend in the crowd. She/he would not want to dress in any way that would make her/him stand out. They generally feel safe when they are a part of the crowd.
The way you dress does not define who you are but it is certainly a reflection of how you feel about yourself. Dress in a way that ignites self-confidence.
Allow me to quote a brilliant experiment done by John T Molloy, author of the book, “Dress for Success” where he used himself as a prop for the study. He did an interesting study at Central station, New York. He went to the station during the busy hours and asked people to give him 75 cents, telling them he had forgotten his wallet and needs this money to travel to his destination. The first hour he did this experiment he managed to pull $7 in an hour. He returned to the same station and within another hour he managed to pull $26 in an hour. So what was the difference, the second time he had put on a tie!! As simple as that. Just by adding a tie to the suit, he could fetch so much more, which, at that point in time was his success. The same principle keeps repeating in all walks of life.
Post this experiment, Molly quoted, “What I wore was directly related to my success on that day and in my life.” Like attracts like, and hence wear something that will boost your confidence, make you look neat and organized. People buy you first and then your service or your product. If people don’t relate with you or trust you they do no business with you.
Coming back to the question, does your appearance affect your success; I strongly believe YES, it does. We need to leverage this ready resource to be successful.