By Kathleen E. Murphy
Swagger. What actually is it, and how do you get some, or more? Now consider those who have it (e.g., Mick Jagger, Dwayne Johnson AKA The Rock, Mark Wahlberg, Beyoncé) certainly seem to be having more fun, or perceivably more outward success than others. Perhaps it is all an illusion, or only perceived by some and not others? In looking up the definition of this word in the on-line version of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, as a transitive verb they define this word as “to conduct oneself in an arrogant or superciliously pompous manner; especially: to walk with an air of overbearing self-confidence”. My take on the definition of this word is a bit different, as over the years I have heard it utilized more as an adjective to define someone who exudes confidence and has an illusion about them which sets them apart from others who may be classified as ordinary.
Assuming it is possible to obtain more swagger, how does one go about achieving this? Perhaps you could start out with your attire. Consider the fact celebrities often rely upon professional stylists to select their attire for them. They do this for numerous reasons, but namely to make sure they are presenting their image of who they want the public to see them as….perhaps as being more stylish than if they were to select their own attire. The psychology behind fashion and how and why people choose their clothing is a topic which could be explored on its own, but think of the last time you bought and then wore a new item. Did you feel different or better, or more attractive wearing this item? Did you feel more confident, or more willing to talk to people you might not otherwise talk to if you had been wearing one of the items you have had in your closet for a while?
Hairstyles can come into play for both sexes and amp-up one’s swagger, providing it’s the right cut, and color (Hint: some of the extreme hair colors might not be adding to your swagger, but in fact detracting from it). Most people notice when others get their hair styled, and typically will comment in a positive way, although not always. Having the right hairstyle can make you look younger, older or more fashionable. I don’t know about you, but whenever I get my haircut and styled, I can never achieve the same look the stylist does, that’s why we go to them in the first place. I consider myself hair challenged from a styling perspective, and I am going out on a limb by assuming most people place themselves in this category.
Becoming proficient at something can contribute to increasing your confidence and swagger too. It does not matter what it is you are good at, I simply encourage you to do more of it if you find you are deriving a positive result (e.g., you are skilled at making gourmet meals, you help others who need assistance in their life, you can draw realistic images of anything, you have mastered the art of throwing amazing parties which everyone wants to be invited to). As I have noted in my blog titled “Articulating Your Value Proposition. Yes, You Have One”, everyone is good at one thing, some people are good at many things. If you do not know what you are good at, ask your friends and family to help you sort this out, or as I often recommend, check out the book Strengths Finders 2.0 by Tom Rath and take the on-line survey which will tell you what your top five strengths are. Mine are Positivity, Strategic, Arranger, Individualization and Woo. There are 34 possible strengths, and it is really fun to find out what yours are.
Add more swagger to your life and see if people take notice, or if you feel differently in a positive manner by focusing on doing things which contribute to setting you apart from others. In my opinion, and I tell this to my kids all the time, being ordinary is not an option when you can strive to be extraordinary and have a bit more swagger in your life each day.
Kathleen E. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me Too. Market Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. Contact Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org.