Inside Out, Outside In?

untitledWhere does your confidence come from?

Is it something inside of you that radiates out, or is it something you can coax out with the a new shade of lipstick, a haircut, hot heels, or a splash of perfume?

For me, I think it’s a little of both.

I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel extra-confident (like a lion — roar! Hence the image!) in my favorite dark Joe’s jeans with peep-toe pumps.

But by the same token, I know that confidence is not (and should not be) just about physical appearance; it’s about how we carry ourselves.

Some women just have an air about them; they literally ooze confidence, and the size of their thighs just isn’t relevant to their self-esteem.

I would so love to be that kind of woman. Continue reading “Inside Out, Outside In?”

Being Your Own PR Flak: Perception is Reality

(*Disclosure: I’m a PR professional in real life, and have a master’s in public communication — so I have a vested interest in changing perceptions and building relationships — two basic tenets of good PR).

Are you your own best PR person?

Are you putting your best image, er, foot forward every day, or are you still hung up on your looks, imperfections, and short-comings?

This was one of the topics of the keynote yesterday by journalist, writer and blogger Penelope Trunk at the Public Relations Society of America conference I am attending here in Detroit.

Her argument was that, when it comes to women and their careers (she authored a book called The Brazen Careerist and writes a blog under the same premise), all too often, women are not being their own best PR person, even though they are most qualified to do so.

Women today have the power to carve their own path, regardless of the state of the economy or if they’ve been out of the working world for a while, she says. We can be our own biggest PR flaks.

Penelope contends that we ought to be out there pitching ourselves (our authentic “brand”, what makes us unique and desirable) like mad … because jobs don’t last forever, career tracks change, but we’re still “us,” and we’re worth investing a little time to polish the image we portray to the world.

We don’t need to be perfect by any means (something I’m coming to terms with). But like it or not, perceptions matter.

If you’re perceived at a job interview, for example, as confident and firm, people will think you are. It essentially becomes your reality.

On the flip side, if you walk into a room with your eyes down and are constantly touching your hair or fidgeting, people will see you as insecure. That becomes your “reality,” because that’s the image you’re portraying.

So how does this translate to body image issues so many of us face? Oftentimes it is these issues that hold us back from becoming our own best PR person. If we don’t think we look good, well, we probably won’t carry ourselves with confidence. Continue reading “Being Your Own PR Flak: Perception is Reality”