When people are asked what it takes to become successful, the following traits are often mentioned:
- Hard working
- Receptive to new ideas
- Not afraid to take risks
- Willing to step out of their comfort zone
- They love what they do
I agree with this list. Our probability of becoming successful increases if we have these important qualities. (Every successful person I’ve encountered exemplified what’s on this list.) While these are all keys to success, that’s not all we need: having a powerful brand and the right image can be just as important. In other words, the wrong image can prevent you from being successful no matter how hard you work.
Image Is Everything
As we discussed in a previous post , companies understand the importance of branding. Marketing executives work extremely hard to project the appropriate image to consumers. They understand this small but important detail can be the difference between being profitable or going out of business.
As individuals, that same philosophy applies. We must work just as hard on our brand and image as we do on achieving our goals.
However, there’s one problem both companies and individuals could encounter: it can be extremely difficult to change or repair a tarnished image.
For some of us, becoming successful means changing some aspects of our lives. For example, improving our brand or image could mean taking the following steps:
- Changing the way we dress
- Distancing ourselves from certain people
- How we conduct ourselves in certain situations
Each of these actions are key in how we are perceived by those around us, but is that enough?
Making the Image Change
How many of us are not the same person we were 5 or 10 years ago? Who among us woke up one day and simply said “I’m not that person anymore?” As I look back over my life, I can see areas where I have changed. I’m more mature, focused and serious about what I want to do with my life and where I want to be. As I changed, so did the image and how others perceived me. I wasn’t the same person anymore, and I wasn’t afraid to let others see that.
Trying to change your image can be challenging. People may be used to seeing you one way and be hesitant to accept the “new you.”
When it comes to transforming our brand and image many of us may be hesitant to make the change for many reasons:
Will they accept the new me?
Will I lose my friends?
What if it doesn’t work?
The fear of rejection or ridicule can be a huge deterrent in people changing their image. We all want to be liked and respected, but this abrupt change can cause those we care about us to not like or approve what of the person we are becoming.
The mere thought of that possibility can be terrifying.
This type of thinking can prevent a person from making positive changes in their lives or reach their full potential. They are simply unwilling to take the chance because they feel the risk is too great. They’re stuck. They have decided to live their life based on someone else’s perception of how they should be.
How many of us have been in this situation?
This quote from Socrates sums it up nicely:
The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
It took me a while, but I finally realized no matter what I did, someone wouldn’t like it. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t please everyone. If I wanted to go left, someone thought I should go right. At some point I realized that the only person I could truly make happy was Cardiff.
Once I made this discovery, I spent less time worrying about what others thought and more time on transforming my image to what I wanted to be and making myself happy.
I know if I can do it, you can too.
Tips on Changing Your Image
Rebranding yourself may be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Here are easiest ways to change your image and become the person you want to be:
Define who you want to be. Have a clear image in your mind of your brand and who you aspire to be. The more detailed the vison, the more likely it is to become a reality.
Commit to your new image. This could mean not doing things you used to do in the past.
Tell and show. Tell those closest to you about your new image, but also show them via your actions. Let them see that you mean business with their eyes. You’re not all talk.
Associate with like-minded individuals. It’s easier to change your image with new people because they don’t know the “old” you. Find individuals who fit the image you are aspiring to be as they will be more receptive and provide valuable insight.
Have patience. Patience is required on two fronts: Old habits may be hard to break, and those closest to you may have a hard time accepting the new you. In each instance, resist the urge to give up. Patience is key.
Remind yourself why you’ve changed. Why do you want to change your image? Remind yourself when times become tough.
Stay true to yourself. Your new image should be a sincere extension of yourself. If people sense your new image is not sincere, they will reject it.
Don’t be afraid of change
At some point in our lives, we all feel the urge to change our image. While change can be scary at times, we should not place limits on ourselves or let someone stop deter us from becoming the best person we can be.
As you grow and evolve as a person, don’t be afraid to rebrand yourself, embrace it. You’ll be glad you did!
PS- You have ability to change your image and also change your thoughts. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer wrote a book entitled: Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life. Utilize this book to help create the change you desire. Click on the link for more information.