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What's Written All Over Your Face?

01/07/2016 05:01 EST | Updated 01/07/2017 05:12 EST
Fabrice LEROUGE via Getty Images
Close-up of two women back to back

Have you looked in the mirror lately? Have you caught a glimpse of yourself as you walked by a store window, or entered a mirrored elevator? Did you like what you saw? Would you be attracted to you? Would you want to move toward you, or away from you?

I am not referring to your physical features. I am referring to how your are expressing 'you' at any given moment in time.

Years ago, when I was teaching in the business program at a local university, we were discussing the keys to successful leadership. Being 'approachable' came up high on the list. One gentleman in the room -- with a scowl on his face and his arms crossed -- said emphatically and defensively 'I'm approachable...I have told all my staff over and over that I have an open door policy, and they never come to my office. So, what am I supposed to do about that?!'

I told him he might want to tell his face that he had an open door policy, because his face clearly did not know. (Don't worry, this happened in the most respectful, fun way; he ended up bursting out laughing at it, and at himself.)

You see, it is really not about the door.

How approachable you are, how much people want to connect with you, and whether or not they will come to your office, has EVERYTHING to do with what's written all over your face! And, what's written all over your face is exactly the same as what you allow to be written all over your mind.

Your face reflects the internal narrative that you allow to take up space in your brain. It mirrors the voice in your head.

Have you tuned into yours lately? Pause right now, close your eyes and focus on your breath for a few seconds. Then, pay attention to your thoughts. What are your thoughts saying to you -- about you, about others, about work, life, family.

We all have a voice in our head. That voice is often a critical one, a negative one, one that is ruminating on some past event, or worrying about a future one. It is not a voice of the present moment. However, when people see you (and your face) it is in the present moment.

You can be mindful and purposeful about what people see written all over your face.

Every day, as you arise and prepare for the day, you can decide -- choose -- what the voice in your head is saying. You can choose to say to yourself (to think); 'I am excited about completing my project at work,' 'I am looking forward to having lunch with Sarah,' 'I care about my team and I want to hear what they have to share with me.' As you drive home at the end of the day, you can choose to think; 'My family appreciates everything I do for them every day,' 'I value my family and appreciate them and what they do,' 'I am excited to share a fun story with my spouse as we relax after dinner.'

Remember, whatever is written all over your brain (whatever you are thinking) will also be written all over your face.

What do you want people to 'read' when they see you?

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