Updated: Jan 26, 2021
I'm sure you are familiar with the phrase "Fake it until you make it." There is some truth to it. As a leader, have you ever been scared but pretended you weren't? Have you been nervous but acted confident? You can also look like a million bucks but not have millions. The point is, we all know you can't necessarily fake skills and abilities but you can act the part and believe me it opens doors.
In the executive protection industry I sometimes find myself with high net worth principals or ultra high net worth principals. The goal is not to stand out so I must play a role. That role is to be their security and act like I belong. This article is on dressing up and acting like you belong.
Earlier this year I had the privilege of getting a custom made suit. I always tell people that you should try it once. Now, I have other suits and they work just as good, but this was different. Psychologists have recognized that if we act a certain way we feel a certain way. Like a smile on our face can make us feel happy, this coming from someone that doesn't smile a whole lot. When we act a certain way we also have an emotional response. especially when people take notice. If we act in certain ways, all that emotional confidence and attitude will open a door in which we make it. Now inherently we must already have the confidence inside us. It's a tad bit difficult if our mind comes from a place of fear and doubt.
When we wear a suit we are communicating that we are confident professionals. Not only do we feel empowered but we can actually change our perception and how others perceive us. There is a reason people say, "Dress for the job you want, not the one you have." Our suit can signal to those around us that we are taking our job seriously.
Do you realize that suiting up in formal attire helps us change our thinking? It's no surprise that we'd be treated differently than if we were wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and flip flops. Suits are worth the money and we can change entire ensembles by changing shirts and ties. So no matter how much we spend on a suit it is still cost effective.If the suit is taken care of we can wear it often and for a long time. Hey, it's not like the suit is going to be out of style anytime soon. Having said all of this we still need to find the right suit because we need to feel comfortable and we don't want to run the risk of looking unkempt.
Lastly, now that we are looking the part we should never be the smartest guy in the room. We need to know the value of our time. Spending time is like spending money, except money is renewable and time is not. We need to spend time with people that will make us better. Successful people spend their time around other successful people. Like it or not people will judge us on the way we are dressed and who we surround ourselves with. Now, that's okay depending on our life goals. It's not even necessarily nice clothes but it's the right clothes. Being a cut above is looking a cut above. Success is preceded by growth and development. It is our time to prepare, get ready, and give it all we got. To become what we want, what we are destined to be, we must act and dress in corresponding ways.