Image Is Powerful, Yet It Is Superficial

Let’s talk about image. I regularly share advice on how to build your personal brand and your personal style, but this time let’s talk about the ‘superficial’ stuff- image. Image is all about perception. How you are perceived by your peers, by your colleagues, or by a random person on the street. In the instant they see you, whether it’s for the first time or for the thousandth time, they form an opinion based on how you look. We all know that, that’s not new. What people don’t realize is the power of your image. Because image is superficial in nature, you can change it. Don’t be afraid to add more depth. You are not only what you are wearing or what you look like. Sometimes you don’t know where to start, how to change your image. That’s okay! Here’s the great thing- you aren’t alone in that feeling of insecurity. Watch this.  It’s a couple years old and certainly worth it (all 9 minutes).   … yeah, you heard it. Even this accomplished model is insecure. Pretty amazing that Cameron Russell stood up and shared this publicly. “I am insecure. I am insecure because I have to think about what I look like everyday.” Despite her insecurities, she’s completely right.  Image is NOT everything. (you’re furrowing your brows thinking “where is Lazina going with this?”) Well here’s why I say that… How you present yourself each day IS important- yes, but that’s not all. Your image and presentation needs to be grounded in a solid personal strategy.  Without this, image does seem superficial. Your personal strategy starts by taking some time for introspection. I often get clients to answer these types of questions: What do you value most in life? What motivates and inspires you? What do you want to be known for? What are you the absolute best at? What brings you joy and makes you smile? Take some time to answer these questions…. you won’t be sorry you did. Answering these questions bring clarity to who you are and want you’re about. Knowing what you want will help you embody the image of the person you want to be. Once you know YOU, you’ll be able to better understand and define how you want to share your greatness with those around you. You can walk tall and feel comfortable no matter how others see you.   “If there’s a takeaway from this talk, I hope it’s that we all feel more comfortable acknowledging the power of image in our perceived successes and our perceived failures.” – Cameron Russell

Personal Branding Summer Series- on CBC Radio

Ok, so I’m over my short hiatus. Thanks for being patient. You may have heard or seen that I was on CBC Radio throughout the month of May.  Well, here, here, here and here is where you can find these segments. I know. I should have shared these earlier. You know I share advice and coach people on developing their personal style. Did you know that when I work with organizations I coach people on building their personal brand? Some of you did. My focus is, and has always been, supporting people to uncover a level of confidence and empowerment within themselves. Over the summer, I’m getting the chance to share more of my personal branding expertise with CBC listeners.  This past Monday, I shared some tips on trying to remain focused when all you want to do is sunbath and enjoy a bevvy on a patio. I know.  The early days of summer are hard. You can listen to the segment here: Slipping into summer vacation mode is pretty easy.  It’s not great though, if you’re not on vacation.  Letting things slide too much can, sooner rather than later, be detrimental. I shared some tips during this past segment but I wanted to share a few more things with you. Here are some quick, easy ways to stay motivated during the early days of summer… when really, deep down, you just want to be vacation all summer long. Set micro goals– break up the deliverables and tasks that you have to do into smaller increments. Think about what you have to do today, in the next few days or over the course of the week. Small wins will help you stay on track. Take mini-breaks when needed– forcing yourself to stare at your computer or sit at your desk until you’ve completed a task usually doesn’t work (unless you’re under deadline pressures!). That’s not how we are hardwired.  If you are losing focus, get up, take a break and reset.  You’ll be much more productive than sitting there, forcing yourself to do something that you just can’t do at the moment. Share some of the things you’re doing over the summer- on social media, it’s easy to get into the mode of “I’m using this for business” but if you’re trying to engage with your audience, it’s often better to mix it up by share some of the personal things you’re doing. Selfishly, this is a good way to break up some of the day-to-day grind for yourself and inject some of your personal interests into what you share on social media. Change your environment- sometimes a change in scene is helpful. Go to your local library, the office atrium, your local coffee shop, a quiet park bench or wherever else makes you feel great. This is a great perk-me-up. Go for a walk– Go get some sun. Stretch your legs. Sometimes you just need some fresh air, summer heat and sunshine on your face. ​​Dress summery yet professional- dressing for the season makes you just feel summery and light. Make sure

A new year: It’s time to slim down

Happy New Year! Yes, I know. I’m a bit behind with this one. Though I’m not very big on new year’s resolutions, I do take time, throughout the year, to set goals and then reflect on my progress.  Rather than declare some drastic new goal this year, I’d like to work towards slimming down. Now, I don’t mean losing weight (though shedding a few holiday pounds needs to happen). I mean living a more streamlined, minimalistic life.  This is a personal choice and something that I’ve become much more drawn to over the last few years.  We all have too much stuff and spend too much time away from people who are important to us. We do. All of us. I’d like to have fewer but better quality items in my life.   I’d like to spend more time with people who are important to me and enrich my life. Here’s a few examples of what I plan on doing this year: I headed home for the holidays last month and as I was unpacking my suitcase, my fabulous mother mentioned that she liked the few garments that I brought home with me. This got me thinking. I do prefer having better quality pieces and I certainly don’t need to have alot to maintain a personal style that works best for me. My goal: Just as I do every half a year, I’m going to audit my closet to purge items that I just don’t use. I’ll use more of a critical eye than I usually do. My husband and I are pretty healthy in our diet but there are many times when our schedules become quite hectic. We end up eating out. A lot. We don’t eat greasy fast food or anything like that but we do eat out.  Though I love going to restaurants, this practice is a waste of money. It’s even more of a waste when I have to throw out all the beautiful produce I purchased that has gone bad.  My goal: I’m going to spend a bit of time (some evenings and weekends) prepping meals and/or snacks for the rest of the week. In the long run, this will save us a lot of money. Since I’ve owned my own business, I’ve spent more and more time online. I’ve put effort towards building a brand for myself and for my business.  With this, comes significant effort towards maintaining a presence on social media. That’s the nature of what I do. At times though, this has spilled into my personal life. I see myself commenting on friends’ posts and pictures rather then picking up the phone or seeing friends and acquaintences in person.  My goal: I’d like to spend more time offline. It’s time to get back to basics. I want to see and hear from people in my personal and professional networks rather than just read and type with them. What are you doing to slim down this year?