Sunday 13 April 2014

What really is Image Management?

Whether we like it or not, whether we want to or not we communicate messages about ourselves. It is therefore a good idea to step back and take a look at ourselves, our perception, our image, what messages we subconsciously communicate to others around us. A conscious effort to ‘consider’ ourselves outside & inside will not only offer us insights but improve our relationships.

Is there a ‘real’ ‘core’ ‘true’ self? Or is it who we ‘think’ we are? Or is it actually our ‘self image’ (, made up of childhood conditioning.

Self image is formed due to our experiences largely during our growing up years. A child is told about him/herself based on someone else’s compass or perception – parents, relatives, friends, teachers, and societal norms. The child forms an image of his/her personality and carries it through life. Reactions, behaviour, attitude, actions, self worth, self confidence stem from self image. For example, a person may be an introvert as a result of him/her being told in growing up years he/she is overweight or underweight or too tall or too short or not so good looking.

At some point in our lives we all decide to take a look at ourselves. The decision for internal introspection and the actions we take for it are itself a positive step towards awarding ourselves self worth. The paths we explore could involve studying a new philosophy, a religion, exploring deep meditation, taking on a guru, physically working out, adopting a new hobby or getting more adventurous and taking more risks. The moment we decide to invest in ourselves we value ourselves more. This becomes a turning point in our growth journey.

I’ve had several interesting discussions on Image Management with a variety of different responses. Some think it’s an outwardly change and there is no reason for presenting a different image than who we are. Its artificial and a less ‘intellectual’ activity.

Is it really an outwardly change? Think about it.

Like I mentioned earlier, we feel a ‘need’ to change. Once we’ve stopped blaming our circumstances, luck and others for not moving in life or for not having what others have, we start looking into ourselves. Initially reluctantly. We are hesitant to admit we need to be worked upon. We are hesitant to get out of our comfort zone. However, those who embrace internal growth & change, those who are more self aware, are the ones who are generally happier. Image Management is actually rediscovering, recognising and accepting who you are. It is being in sync with your personality and projecting who you really are.  There is no right or wrong. We are all different from each other.

Image Management is evaluating and enhancing our image and how others perceive us and therefore respond to us. It is about creating first impressions and more importantly an impactful presence. Image Enhancement includes an understanding of ourselves, our tastes, our likes & dislikes, our personality, our roles & goals. It includes improving appearance, body language, and etiquette. It is about presenting an authentic image of ourselves. The one you are most comfortable with.

We need to introspect before we understand our personality type. The clothes we choose to wear reflect our values. Our mannerisms & etiquette reflect the respect we have for ourselves and others. The colours we decide to wear reflect our mood. Our body language and tone of voice can make or break a situation. Everything about us gives out a signal that is received by people around us.

If you are fine with the way you are, great! If you feel the need to think about yourself more consciously then let go of your fears. See your life change. Go ahead, do it. Press Refresh.