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Are You Dressed Appropriately?


During our Door To Expansion Webcast series "Who Are You," we addressed topics such as code-switching, imposter syndrome, ego and pride, and mindsets. As valuable as all of these topics are to understanding who we are, we must first examine our internal and external appearance.

There have been studies completed, and there is a belief that it takes 7 seconds for someone to form 11 impressions of you, and this is known as the Seven-Eleven Rule. The eleven conclusions made are as follows:

1. Education level

2. Economic level

3. Perceived credibility, believability, competence, and honesty

4. Trustworthiness

5. Level of Sophistication

6. Sex-role identification/orientation

7. Level of success

8. Political background

9. Religious background

10. Ethnic background

11. Social/professional, sexual desirability

The common phrase of "I don't care what people think" is always spouted, but how true is that in a world that's full of vanity? Al Pacino played the devil in Devil's Advocate, and he stated, "vanity, definitely my favorite sin," which is so fitting in the world we live in today. We all have a level of care for our appearance, although you might think of that when you go to some unnamed box stores.

As mentioned in the Seven-Eleven rule, the judgment of your attire, attitude, and mental capacity are what make up your first impression. We look and do the things we do because of our religion, environment, role models, culture, race, gender, economic status, and the art of trying to be original. We all have the mental capacity to evolve to a higher mindset that will allow us to transcend where we are now to prosper to where we desire to be.

While facilitating my employment classes, I make it a point to inform the transitioning service members and their spouses to begin early preparing their wardrobe and minds for the job they will be applying for upon their separation. I inform them that their appearance and attitude must meet or exceed the people and places they are aspiring to be around and go. To be successful in a new environment, you have to remove your past mentalities and focus on future situations.

Here is my challenge to each of you. First, when establishing goals, use a growth mindset by ensuring your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and have a set time for completion. Second, remove the fixed or limited thinking of "sticking to what you know" or "either I can or I can't." Third, look at your attire and your appearance and ask yourself, "am I dressed for where I am going" or "is my look and attitude attracting what I am seeking?" And finally, prepare yourself mentally by reading, researching, and finding a mentor to engage in conversations that will help you get to where you are going.

Preparing yourself now will allow you not to feel the imposter syndrome and help you avoid code-switching. "The reality is that you can't be committed to the dream to attain it. You have to be committed to the process of putting your dream into practice." "SPEAK2MYHEART"

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