[By Shalisha A. Jacob]
If you could brand yourself, what would your brand image be? What would the people around you remember you for? In this day and age where first impressions are usually lasting ones, would you be able to survive?
As young adults we often struggle with who we want to be or how we ought to present ourselves in public, in ways that would gain the attention and approval of others. Needless to say, we need an image that would snap into place when our name is mentioned. So how do we go about making ourselves unique and memorable?
Here are a few pointers you might like to consider:
- Dress to impress.
Don’t just wear anything that merely suits you! Find something that you can use to channel who you are on the inside by picking the right clothes for the outside. Many people tend to confuse being fashionable as being in fashion. This brings an unwelcome wave of peer pressure and low self –esteem. Stay true to your roots by showing off what screams “THIS IS ME!” and you would be surprised at how far a pair of earrings or fancy wristband can take you. Your personal wardrobe is your signature runway so flaunt those frills!
- Stay confident.
These two words speak volumes, but be careful not to confuse confidence with sheer arrogance. There is a thin line between the two. Therefore, a good warning bell is if you often find your nose in the air while speaking to your peers – you know for sure that you are heading for the red light zone! A simple tip to staying confident is to SMILE often. People who smile a lot are often defaulted as friendly and welcoming, so flash those pearly whites and go make an impression!
- Mind your language
What comes out of a person’s mouth often reveals what goes on at the back of his or her head, which makes what you say who you are. We can choose to guard both our tongue and mind by focusing on positive things – though this may sound difficult, once achieved positive comments naturally and effortlessly come out of our mouths as well, without deliberation. Be sure to also pay compliments in places where they are due and keep a firm leash on cursing in public because a slip of the tongue may cause you more than just your reputation.
- Stay open
One of the amazing things about humans is that though we might all be the same biologically, in essence we are all different people. Use this to your advantage, by being a good listener and not being afraid of meeting opposing opinions. We may not be able to have the experience of being in the shoes of others, but by welcoming them as who they are, we might take a step closer to understanding the many different personalities that make us all unique individuals. Whenever you are in doubt, ask yourself “At the end of the day, do I want to be remembered as the person who brought a smile or the person people wince at when they think about them?”
Of course, there’s a wide array of other suggestions to leave a healthy impression on others. At the end of the day though, it is as Sonya Parker said, “Almost everyone will make a good first impression, but only a few will make a good lasting impression”.