When do we present ourselves at our absolute best? When we look into a mirror, that’s when.
We suck in our tummies, we smile without showing too many lines or teeth, and we sometimes check the view from all angles. We take pride in our best, and we leave the mirror feeling content.
So why then, do we not present the world with this same carefully checked version of ourselves all day long? Why do we let the world see our cracks and our flaws? Why do we not show our best at all times? Do we think no-one is watching? Well, they are. They always are.
We are always on show, and we are always being observed. And while we are on show, people are making judgements about us. How often have you delivered a presentation to a client, and the face they reward you with looks like it has never laughed in its life, like it needs a hug, a kiss, or a slap? It is blank, bored, expressionless and perhaps even angry.
When we are listening, we are being watched – what do you think a presenter concludes about a listener who just looks bored, uninterested or angry? We all make presentations, whether it’s a story about our weekend exploits, or a sales pitch to a prospective client. When we deliver this presentation, we are looking for interest, warmth, encouragement, perhaps even a smile. So do we always give this, when we are on the other side listening?
Why do men think they are invisible whilst driving, so they take the opportunity to clear out a few cavities – nose, ears, etc? Why is it when we wear headphones, we think we can stare, expressionless at people – because we can’t hear them, perhaps they can’t see us – really? Why when on a packed train or tube, and we are on the phone, do we assume only the person interested in what we have to say is the person on the other end of the phone?
Imagine we had a mirror in-front of us the whole time, there to remind us that we need to always present ourselves at our best, because someone is always watching, and they are looking for interest, understanding, compassion, respect, or a connection.
Isn’t it better that the world sees the warm and welcoming you, rather than the you that slumps on the sofa after a rough day, comforted by a glass of wine and a tub of Ben & Jerrys, belt or button open and those ‘comfy’ but desperate sweatpants on?
Remember that face you show to the mirror? It’s smiling, it’s warm and encouraging. It’s you at your best. Try wearing it all day, and see what happens to those around you. They might mirror what they see…