Once, I asked a much more senior person in my organization for any career advice he could share. I was so disappointed because all he said was something like:
“Look the part. Dress for the role you want.”
In my mind I was like, ‘What in the world is he talking about?’ For a while, I thought that it was the most shallow career advice I had ever heard. Or in his defense, maybe he wasn’t impressed with my sweet-looking Khaki pants!
My wife usually catches me before leaving the house if I’m dressed like a clown. Thankfully, she has some type of radar that catches me on the days I feel like color coordinating and ironing doesn’t apply to me.
Anyways, so now I understand what they meant (maybe).
Be The Best By Acting It Out First
It wasn’t about driving a Mercedes or wearing an Armani suit to work. It’s more about acting like the person you want to become, which to some extent includes looking the part as well. It’s really about looking and behaving now like the person you want to be in the future.
When I started acting and looking more to be the best I wanted to become, people started treating me differently. My wife noticed it too, so this wasn’t something just in my imagination. I could feel how people treated me like the leader I wanted to be all along. Their reaction reinforced in me the belief that I was in fact, a leader.
Lots of people have this idea that because they aren’t in a leadership position, that they don’t have a corner office, or high salaries, that they aren’t leaders. But that’s a trap keeping some people in a glass ceiling made up of false ideas about themselves and NOT reality.
But this isn’t just about being leader.
It’s applicable to whatever type of person you want to become. If you want to be seen as an honest, dependable or dedicated person, then act like it today. There’s no reason to wait on some magical moment to be the best person you want to be.
This reminds of what my business coach, Kendal Flicklin, likes to say:
“Take action before you’re ready.”
The truth is that when you start acting like the person you want to become, you start to internalize this change not just physically, but emotionally, intellectually, and even psychologically.
Well what do you think about psychologist Amy Cuddy’s work on body language and its effects on our behavior, which is summarized in her TED talk seen by nearly 40 million people? Her research can be summed up with one her more popular quotes:
“Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it.”
Here are four more quotes from her, which go into a little more detail:
“When our body language is confident and open, other people respond in kind, unconsciously reinforcing not only their perception of us but also our perception of ourselves.”
“Focus less on the impression you’re making on others and more on the impression you’re making on yourself.”
“Our bodies change our minds, and our minds change our behavior, and our behavior changes our outcomes.
“The whole body-mind thing comes into play, when you are feeling that self-doubt and your body is not going to help you if you’re not paying attention. Your body’s going to go with the self-doubt and make you feel worse, so by making the adjustments – pulling your shoulders back, standing up straight, walking in a more sort of expansive way – all sorts of little things will help pull you out of that self-doubt.”
So, are you acting now to be the best person you want to become?