Remember the famous line of the queen in Snow White, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” Mirrors do not tend to lie. The queen was happy as long as the mirror retorted, “you are the fairest.” However, when Snow White’s name was mentioned she lost all composure. Are we sometimes like the queen struggling to handle the truth, getting horrified, frustrated or envious ‘cause someone else takes the time to craft a better version of themselves and is seen as fairer than us? Or perhaps, we show up to the mirror with a huge disconnect between who we are and what we project. Either way, as a leader, we make the choice to change the reflection from the inside-out by becoming more self- aware.
It is important for you to like what you see so that others can, in turn, have the best impressions about you. As a leading lady, you can better manage your image in order to prevent envy, comparison, doubt or unhealthy competition from impeding your ability to purposefully maintain your presence as a transformational leader. When you know who you are, what you bring to the table and have the ability to project it in a polished, poised and professional manner, then you will show up with a greater degree of confidence and credibility. As a result, people are more likely to notice you and be compelled to create opportunities for you.
Here is a mini-analysis that you can use as your mirror. Make the environment conducive for introspection and reflection by quieting down your mind, heart and life (turn off the phone and computer). Keep a blank sheet of paper handy to write things down to help restrain your extraneous and random thoughts, so that you can maintain focus. Grab a cup of tea or coffee, play some soft music, light a candle and begin your journey.
Here are 3 keys questions of observation and reflection:
What do I see? (Find a mirror and look at yourself)
- Describe your physical appearance.
- What does your wardrobe say about you?
- Give 3 adjectives to summarize your observations.
- If you had a magic wand, what 3 things would you change?
What do other people see? The truth is, we all have blind spots.
- How do others perceive your leadership style and effectiveness?
- How well do you relate to others?
- Describe your personality/temperament.
What do I want them to see?
- Identify 3 strengths.
- Consider strategies to minimize your weaknesses. (This is a great place to seek the advice of an expert.)
- What is your purpose/mission?
- What does your presence communicate about your core values?
Unfortunately, there is usually such a huge disconnect between who you are and what you project that it gives people the wrong impression about you and your image as a leader. Stay focused; continue to implement the right strategies and solutions so that you can more effectively manage the perceptions that others have of you. Make self-awareness a habit and lifestyle.
Remember too, with the help of an expert, you can continue to pursue a presence as a leader being keenly aware of how to present, package, project and promote the best Y-O-U (Your Opportunities Unleashed!). When you own your space with confidence, you will reflect and respect a presence from the inside-out and hear others say, “Y-O-U are the fairest of them all.” You deserve to like what others see!