How You Look Matters!
Some well meaning people may say that how you look doesn’t matter, and it only matters what’s on the inside. This is true - to a point. However, let’s take a look at the issue from a different angle.
As humans, we are naturally conditioned to formulate impressions based on visual cues. What we actually see accounts for 80% of the input we receive and from there we further formulate opinions based on our previous patterns, beliefs, education, and cultural and social backgrounds. On the other hand, only 7% of our information intake is verbal, or what people say. We can’t help it. It’s just the way our brains our wired.
So how you look DOES matter. To others and to you.
Think about different products on the market. Those of great value typically have exquisite packaging. You know that whatever is inside is valuable and worthy of having or consuming. That’s why you never see diamonds packaged in plain, cardboard boxes. And that is why chefs make sure to put just as much effort into how food looks - undoubtedly, gorgeous food tastes better.
Humans assess others in the exact same way. Remember, a large percentage of our opinions of others, and others’ opinions of us, are formulated by what we see. And since the visual is the first point of contact in direct human interaction, it’s important to present yourself well.
In today’s high-speed society, people are focused on the immediate and easily consumable. That goes for visual intake of information. As hectic as life is, people don’t make the time to uncover the real you, so you have to use what is available to you: your presence. Your image will tell others something about how they can connect with you - professionally, socially and even romantically.
I am not suggesting that you spend hours and hours obsessing over your appearance. Not at all. Simply put, you want to be conscious of how you present yourself to the world, not only for others, but for yourself. Like everything, it is a process worthy of consideration. Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg did not begin their careers in casual attire. They donned suits when necessary in order to convey a certain message.
Taking care to present yourself well also changes you. When you look drab, though, you can feel drab and you can potentially give off the same level of energy. However, when we look spectacular, we FEEL spectacular - to the point where people can’t help but to notice. It’s a win-win!
So, until the time comes when you can wear your favorite stretched t-shirt like those tech icons, do yourself a favour and give yourself a secret power by ramping up your visual calling card.