Monday
Jun222009

Making Yourself Recession-Proof

The news reminds us daily of the unfortunate economic situation that our country and state are in. In the midst of this downturn, there are many things we can do for ourselves to increase our successes in our personal and professional lives. This way we can make ourselves as recession-proof as possible and thrive in good and bad times.

You are the only one who can make a difference in your life. Let this economic downturn be the motivation to improve your situation. Let’s not sit and wait for things to get better. Let’s make it happen. Analyze what you want, set goals for where you want to be, and plan out little by little how to get there. And of course, it’s most important to dig in and work hard at accomplishing the small tasks and large projects that make up your goals.

There are so many aspects you can address to allow yourself to stand out in your company, small business or profession. Let’s start by looking at your professional image. Whether or not you are a professional and work in an office, what is the first impression you have on others? Do you seem confident and assured? Do your clothes enhance your image? You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money to “dress for success.” When in doubt, dress more professionally than you think you should.

Professional image also includes personal appearance. I have learned from many of my patients that it’s very difficult for self-consciousness and self-confidence to exist together. Patients tell me that they try to hide their teeth from others because they feel embarrassed about their appearance. They don’t smile as much as they want to or speak up at business meetings with their good ideas. Why not? They don’t want to draw attention to themselves.

To feel more confident, these patients proceeded with cosmetic and restorative dental procedures to meet their needs. After having their teeth restored to a beautiful finish, they say they don’t know why they didn’t have it done sooner. The changes patients talk about are amazing. They say they enjoy smiling and want to smile all the time. They say they don’t mind the attention when they talk. They say their “new teeth” have catalyzed a new-found level of confidence.

A smile can start to look “old” over time without a person realizing it. The teeth may slowly turn yellow or grey, and gums may recede to show discolored crowns. Porcelain veneers may be one solution to help rejuvenate not only a smile, but, most importantly, help a person look younger immediately.

Is there something you feel self-conscious about that limits your self-confidence? If you feel confident about your clothes, make-up, hair, smile and more, you will naturally project that self-assurance to others. You not only represent yourself but also your company, too.

In addition to image and appearance, what knowledge or skill level do you need to be the best? If you aren’t happy with what you know or can do, what will it take to get better? Perhaps taking classes, spending additional time practicing a skill or reading independently? Or if you’re good at what you do, how can you maintain it? This improvement will make you more valuable at your workplace, or more successful in your small business. It will also make you feel better about yourself and more confident. Confidence is infectious, and attracts positive energy to you.

Finally, your attitude determines so much about your success. Don’t dwell on negativity. Work toward being the best at your job, whatever it may be. Whether your results are extremely visible or not, your work is a direct reflection on you. Be customer service oriented. It may take more effort, but it will allow you to stand out. Furthermore, address your problems as they occur, so they don’t interfere with your goals. A dental health example of this is immediately seeking dental treatment when your teeth hurt. When you’re in discomfort, it affects your mood, non-verbal language and your attitude.

Surely the challenging economic environment can be discouraging, but it also creates a huge opportunity to reflect and improve on our professional images, appearances, knowledge, skills and attitudes. Then we can truly be our best no matter what environment surrounds us.