“Are you feeling okay?” My coworker uttered the four dreaded words. These four seemingly innocent words serve as a reminder of why it’s never acceptable to roll out of bed and head out the door. I chuckled and replied that I felt fine, but made a mental note to put a bit more effort into my appearance the next day. She looked unconvinced, but accepted my reply. However, before exiting my office she grilled me one more time, “Are you SURE you’re not sick? You look really pale.”
Let my embarrassment and shame-filled day stand as a warning; you CAN control people’s perception of you! While obsessing about the external is not healthy, it is important to convey a poised, self-respecting image. On that fateful morning I was telling my colleagues that I belonged home, in bed with a cold tablet and some orange juice. If I had invested only ten minutes—thrown on a necklace, a pair of black dress pants, and applied some concealer—I could have made a statement of preparedness and enthusiasm for my job, instead of one of illness and exhaustion.
As you work on the internal, on becoming the best you, let your exterior shine forth your amazing potential. And unless you really are sick (in which case, go back to bed!), don’t follow my example; avoid going out in public looking like you have swine flu. Ten extra minutes could change the destiny of your day!