Be Smart About Art

Let your true self shine in everything you do

written by: Susan Mumford Dec. 14, 2014 1) RECOMMENDED-> Susan Mumford + Chris King's Blog 3893 views

Let your true self shine in everything you do

from our Sunday reading series - a weekly blog post (subscribe here)

Have you ever felt that in order to be taken seriously, you have to pretend to be someone you are not? While most of us experience this temptation, the irony is that you attract success by expressing your true self.

Looking back to a time when interviewed for a retail management as a recent graduate, I cringe at the memory of the dull grey skirt & white blouse I wore that afternoon in Notting Hill. It wasn’t me! Thank goodness they still gave me the job…  I subsequently donated the two pieces of clothing to charity.

While it can make smart business sense to be sympathetic about whom you’re meeting, it’s also important to be true to yourself. Say you have a meeting about an art commission at an investment bank. Sure, you won’t wear a t-shirt and shorts for the meeting, yet you needn’t go to the extreme of wearing a three-piece business suit. Consider what are you genuinely comfortable wearing that enables you to express your unique self in a way that is also respectful of the corporate setting.

This notion of being true to yourself has never been so apparent as it is today with online profiles. A few weeks ago, a friend complained about people who don’t have up to date profile pictures, making it near impossible to recognise online contacts when meeting face-to-face. She cited people whose hair colour has changed in reality, but seemingly not virtually.

The resulting damage can be significant, as areas such as confidence and authenticity are negatively impacted. Say a person’s profile is out of date by a decade. What does that communicate?

As a starter, it can suggest that they suffer from lack of self confidence, so much so that they don’t display who they truly are. It can also imply that they aren’t forthcoming, in which case others might question if the individual gives false impressions in other areas of life. This latter point can result in an absence of trust, meaning that people don’t reach out to them for creative and professional opportunities.

Who is your true self? Let that person shine through in everything you do - warts and all.

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Photographs © Chris King.