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Do you ever think about how much your body image affects your success in both your personal and business life? Would you be surprised to know that it does? It shouldn’t, but it does.

Most consumer industries knows the value that packaging brings. Our brains know that a cheaper car does exactly the same thing as a more expensive model. But do we go for them? No. And why? Because our hearts don’t agree. We don’t want the sensible, box-shaped, family car, we want the sleek, powerful, head-turning car. This is because we are driven by our emotions not logic.

People buy with their eyes, that’s why marketing and merchandising experts have packaging down to a fine art. They know the colours and shapes people are most likely to buy, and design their packaging accordingly to make sure it grabs our attention amongst the competition.

Time to look at your personal packaging

It’s the same with people. Your personal packaging can be the equivalent of the sleek sports car or the bland and boxy car.

Rightly or wrongly, and whether we like it or not, people are likely to make judgments about you based on your body image and the way you are packaged. Then they’ll decided whether they like you, whether they’ll give you the job or even just believe what you say. Shocking isn’t it?

It doesn’t matter what you do; lawyer, accountant, IT consultant, or CEO of a multi-national corporation, other people will make a judgment about your abilities based on your personal packaging. Your colleagues and your boss will all make decisions about the quality of your work and your promotion prospects by your dress and body image.

A famous story about the 1960’s pre-election presidential debates between John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon reveals that a survey of TV audience members believed Kennedy was a better candidate, but the radio audience thought Nixon was. The reason? The TV audience preferred the look of the Kennedy ‘packaging’, whereas the radio audience only had the voice to base their vote on.

First impressions

Psychologists have established that we sub-consciously make around 11 decisions about other people within the first six seconds of meeting them.

Surveys have revealed that interviewers will make a decision about a job applicant within the first 30 seconds of the interview, and these decisions are based primarily on how the applicant looks and carries themselves.

So, how you look will either confirm or contradict what you say.

First impressions are also lasting impressions and will take a long time to change.

Don’t panic, when it comes to image, no one’s perfect!

It doesn’t matter one iota if you don’t have the perfect looks or what shape you’re in. What does matter is how you package that shape, if you’re looking to make an impact on other people.

How you package yourself can also have a huge impact on your self-confidence. Think about it. When you’re wearing something that makes you feel good, you’re confidence levels and self-assurance also seem to increase as opposed to when you’re wearing your gardening clothes. How you dress can also affect how you carry yourself and appear to other people.

Where should I start?

The trouble is that when it comes to image, most of us don’t really have a clue about what suits us and compliments us. So where should we start?

Some people pay for an image consultant to help them out, some have personal shopping sessions and others ask their nearest and dearest. But if you ask for advice, you have to be prepared for an honest opinion and then listen and take note of what is said.

They say that ‘clothes maketh the man’, but it’s not just about clothes, it’s also important to look after the finer details including accessories, hair and skin care.

6 tips to improve your image

Skin care

In an earlier blog, we talked about the need to up your skin care game. You also need to be following a sensible skincare routine, which includes a moisturiser with sun protection, because sun damage is the main factor that ages skin.

Ideally, you need to drink eight to ten glasses of water a day to help moisturise your skin from the inside out. This is especially important during the winter months.

Acne

No one is immune to spots, and some people suffer more than most.

If you have blemishes, aside from following a good skincare routine, one of the best ways to treat them is to use appropriate creams, and nowadays there are some natural alternatives to the chemically laden spot treatments of the past.

The main thing is to give one treatment/cream time to get work instead of constantly switching between brands.  If, after a while, you find they are giving you the desired effect, then change products.

If nothing seems to be working, visit your doctor who can give you advice and prescribe medication to help.

Body Odour

No one likes bad body odour, and another earlier blog dealt with the issue of controlling body odour.

Obviously the easiest way to deal with body odour is to wash regularly and use antiperspirants and deodorants.

Hair cut

There’s no sense in looking sharp and smelling nice if you have greasy and unkempt hair.

Make sure you get your hair cut regularly and work out a style that suits you. Use a shampoo that suits your hair type and makes your hair look good.

Healthy diet and exercise

There’s a reason healthy diet and exercise keep cropping up. To keep yourself in good health you must aim to eat well and exercise.

Avoid excessive fast and processed foods and eat a balanced diet consisting of plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables to help keep you healthy. It can also help improve your skin and hair.

Exercising regularly will help keep your mind, body and soul in good order. It’s important that you enjoy the exercise you do, because if you enjoy it, it won’t seem like an onerous chore!

Clothes

If you want to stay fashionable read another earlier blog for some top tips, but whatever clothes you do wear they need to be neat and clean.

A few final pointers on image

On a final note, keep your finger nails clean, and avoid biting or picking them, and the skin around them, change your socks and underwear daily and take care of your teeth and breath by flossing, cleaning properly, using mouthwash and having regular dental check-ups.

You may have more to offer than a packet of cornflakes, but no one will pick you out of a line-up if they don’t like your packaging!

If you’re interested in improving your health and fitness, but the thought of the gym leaves you, why not give Combat Arts a try? For more details about classes and training, email gordon@combatartsuk.com

Post Author: Gordon McAdam

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