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Why First Impressions Matter and How to Improve Yours

Why First Impressions Matter and How to Improve Yours

Seven seconds. That’s all the time you have to make a good first impression on people. Whether it’s walking into a proposal meeting or your local networking event, people will make judgments based on how you look. Is this fair? No. Is it a fact of life? Pretty much. So, what can you do to make sure you are putting your best foot forward?

There are several components to your first impression, but the most important is body language and a positive body language comes from a positive self-image. Self-confidence is not only sexy, but it also exudes trust. Here are some ways to make you feel more self-confident in any situation.

Fix Your Flaws

Chances are you probably really don’t have any, but sometimes you think you do, and those thoughts alone can sabotage your self-esteem. For example, if you are worried about acne, do something about it. Believe it or not, acne breakouts don’t just spring up out of the blue for no reason. From stress in your business to eating spicy foods, there are quite a few causes of acne that will send you running to your dermatologist.

Not happy with your body? Your body language will show those feelings, whether you really have a problem or not. If hitting the gym boosts your self-confidence, do it! If you need to add a few pounds, go for it! What matters most is how you feel about yourself, not some number on a scale. If you control your thoughts, you control self-worth.

Make Sure Your Outfit Is On Point

While it may not be true that “clothes make the man” or woman, you probably have some outfits that make you feel better than others. A power suit or maybe a stylish red dress can make you feel like you’re ready to take on the world. If you don’t have something like that, it’s time to hit the stores. Once you have an outfit picked out for the big meeting, make sure it looks as good as possible. Stains and wrinkles can undermine your self-confidence in no time.

Make Sure You Are On Point

In addition to making sure your clothes look great, make sure you do too. Do you need a haircut or new style? Are your fingernails a mess of last week’s polish and mismatched lengths? Are your shoes scuffed and worn? All these things people will notice and since you know they will notice, you will feel self-conscious about them. Make sure you take care of your appearance and take a few extra minutes when getting ready to touch-up things like your hair and makeup.

No matter what the occasion, putting your best self forward and making a good first impression can give you the leg up on your competition. It can also help you deal with stressful situations. The above tips can help you improve your self-confidence and make you feel better about yourself, all of which will show in your body language when you enter a room. So, make those first seven seconds count and be the best you you can be.

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by Lottie Pritchard // Lottie Pritchard is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.