They say that perception is reality. The challenge is not to let other people’s perceptions cloud your reality. I’ve learned that perceptions in my business can be both a blessing and a curse.
I recently went for breakfast with two acquaintences I haven’t seen in a while. When I arrived, the one exclaimed, “My gosh, you are such a glamazon, you look incredible!” I thanked her and we had a lovely breakfast. Later in the morning I thought about this … I was wearing denim jeans, one of those Woolies camisole things in blue, a little black lace Mr Price t-shirt over it and a pair of heels to dress the look up. I had my usual jewellery on, silver bangles and cuffs, 2 silver rings, no necklaces and no earrings and i had minimal makeup as usual, mascara and a nude lipstick. Now if not for my heels, I would have said I was dressed weekend casual, and yet this lady thought I was a glamazon … So I had to wonder … Was her perception clouded by what I do?
On the flip side, I had quite a negative experience recently out at my local pub. I bumped into a couple of friends and hung out with them while waiting for my other mates to arrive. Some guy mates of theirs joined us and the usual conversation ensued … Until the moment my friend informed the little group what I did for a living, at which point the one guy, AKA “The Knob” (there is no better description), launched into a full on verbal judgement of me, stating that I obviously came from a questionable upbringing in a home with loose morals … When I calmly informed him that in fact I grew up in a conservative, stable and even slightly religious home he changed tack and said, “oh well that explains it!” … Insert my confused face here … He then went on to say that he could tell by the way I was dressed that I was in the “sex industry” … Well, I almost laughed out loud at that point because I had come out that evening after a tough day, unplanned, and not dressed to go out wearing flared (not sexy!) denim jeans and one of those square loose t-shirts from Mr Price at the mo, it wasn’t fitted or sheer, but it did have a sort of animal print print that faded into cobalt blue at the bottom of the shirt. Seriously?!?! I pointed out that half the women in the pub were wearing animal print and the other half jeans so was a little confused by his statement. Was half the room in the sex industry now? He then indicated it was my body, i.e. my big boobs, seriously, had the guy not looked around the room? Was everyone with more than a C cup now in the sex industry?!?! Needless to say, the knob’s perception was seriously off kilter!
So, I guess the secret is listen to perceptions that are positive and ignore perceptions that are knobbish!