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Second Chance to Make a First Impression?

I guess it sounds a bit ridiculous, because can we really ever “step into the same river twice”? When the water of the river (of life) flows is any moment really the same?

I know that I’ve been taught that the first moments are the most important when presenting yourself, your business or your ideas. However, as I’ve discovered more and more, the creative process doesn’t instantly produce a finished work, and we (as humans) are always in the process of creating and recreating ourselves…

With the revamp of the website and the newsletter, it’s been on my mind, and made me think about originals and versions 2.0. How does the subconscious mind deal with updates, mistakes and retakes, so that we can learn and grow, while keeping ‘true’ to our internal records (which it is always storing, whether we realize it or not).

Is reinvention possible?

I know that over the years, my professional and personal life has transformed. And I’m so grateful for it. While I would never want to erase the jobs and professions I’ve experienced in the past – because I truly believe that they made me better at what I’m doing now – I’m glad that I’m doing something I love and believe I’m good at.

I’m part of a generation that wasn’t expected to take on a particular job upon graduation and work my way up in the same company until I retired. And I believe that it made it much more possible for me to find another, more meandering path because of it. The subconscious mind works on belief systems and in a world where something is the norm, there’s a greater likelihood of that thing happening – because that’s what we believe and expect and seem to discover (yes, rules of the subconscious mind).

If we’re one thing, how can we suddenly (or over time) be something else? Fortunately, our ability to make changes is extraordinary, otherwise I would have a very tough job to help people become non-smokers again, shift their health and wellbeing, let go of emotional baggage and so much more. When you sit in my chair, you see that people are a combination of many actions, thought patterns, emotional tendencies, personal strengths and weaknesses. Yet the alchemic ability for us to shift our intentions, directions, feelings and habits is fantastic. Often times the greatest difficulty isn’t the individual’s ability to change, but for others to adapt to a seemingly instant transformation. This is often the same for groups or companies because it defies the constancy we often expect in others. Yet as Heraclitus is quoted, “the only thing that is constant is change.”

Are there components to an impression?

Looking at the deeper part of the mind, you can see that there are many peripheral issues that direct our impressions or something or someone, even without our awareness.

Expectation is a very important component to a first impression. A name, a job, an association can all affect the anticipation we feel when faced with something new. With products, positive or negative expectations can seriously help or hinder the launch. Sometimes it’s based on past examples or interactions. Sometimes it’s based on our historic classifications or stereotyping. While some of this we have control over, there are aspects of expectations that, unless we are in the minds of others, we have no clue about.

A halo effect (or horn effect) can happen because the subconscious mind loves to link or connect things together. The halo effect is a favourable association with several aspects of something or someone, while a horn effect stems from a negative or less favourable alliance. For example, you meet someone who likes the same books as you do – what tends to happen is that you might think well of that person, of how smart they are to have such good taste (just like you) and may then extend that to other, yet unproven, characteristics. The halo effect tends to have us respond with a more positive perspective on another, whether rightly or wrongly.

Influence is one of the aspects that we have an impact on when others are gathering impressions of us. We can give covert positive suggestions that can have others responding with greater connection to us. We can actually create a halo effect through similarities (us, not them) and using words that align us positively together. While we like to think that we’ll naturally have a positive impression on others, there are ways to enhance that possibility using the subconscious mind, rather than through conscious processes.

Can impressions change?

Whether it’s bell-bottoms (are they back?) or an ‘ex’, sometimes we change our impressions. There are external forces that can be powerful, like fashion magazines which aim to imply that your outfit is so last season and encourage you to update your look immediately. Media, families, peer groups and cultures can all have a strong influence on our initial reaction, which may have us questioning ourselves or changing our minds.

Sometimes we acquire more information or experience with that thing or person, and with the fuller, clearer picture, we may like more or like less the updates we get. Interestingly, our emotional state can affect this to the extreme as sometimes we miss pieces of information when we are feeling something strongly. For example, some of the ‘darling’ things spouses did while courting, may become irritating over time, once the chemical flooding of first love recedes.

The saying ‘timing is everything’ is also a factor. At certain points in our lives there is more relevance to something or someone. Once the subconscious mind has an idea, it finds it everywhere and our priorities over time can affect how we see, or even if we see, something or someone in a certain light.

Giving (and Getting) Second chances

So back to the second chance part of getting a second chance to get a first impression. Is it possible if we’ve messed up, dropped the ball, changed our tune?

We can ask others for a second chance. Sometimes it’s simply in the reconnection that others will shift back into synch with you.

Yet mostly it is that we need to do what we say we will, work hard to meet and exceed expectations that align with ourselves and our promises, and keep connecting with those who want to restart the ‘conversation’. You can use your influence, align yourself with others, support them in their needs. Yet communication is 100% on the sender, AND 100% on the receiver. You can only assure your own 100% and hone that impression to get the feedback you need and want.

Being All Things to All People… or Not

However, as Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” Hypnosis and self-transformation isn’t for everyone, and I’m not going to knock on doors begging people to change when they don’t want or feel the need to. That would be a waste of my resources. Sometimes we get into patterns of wanting to be liked or be _______ (fill in the blank with an attribute or trait) based on our experiences or needs in the past which may no longer be relevant to us or our current needs now. But we still try to please or do whatever else that old tape might be suggesting, and use a lot of energy with probably not a lot of return.

Sometimes we need to drop those patterns of the past (hypnosis can help!) and move into a new, and possibly unfamiliar, chapter of our life, sharing our truths and expertise with those who are ready (or nearly ready) for us.

If you know of someone who would like thoughts like these, please forward this and suggest that they go to www.GreyMatterNetwork.com to sign up for the newsletter. I’m also writing on facebook page www.facebook.com/GreyMatterNetwork – so like us (and click get notifications so you actually get it – it’s been a learning curve for me…) We’ve got a professional training course in Bangkok in October, our home study program for learning hypnotism at your own speed and in your own space, skype sessions to get your ‘mental massage’ or work through the ups and downs of life, and other products and services coming down the pipe (if you’ve got a request, PLEASE let me know – these are crafted to help YOU so contact me directly at jennifer@greymatternetwork.com with ideas)

One of the great powers that we possess is to learn from our experiences, let go of what isn’t working, and draw to us what may support us better. Use your powers and enjoy. You always impress me…

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