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Latest Happenings: Fashion Rules ParliamentAs President Mothantle’s speech was either loved or hated so was the fashion. I personally believe that the fashion faux pas far outnumbered the hits at this year’s opening of parliament.The president walked down the red carpet with the Speaker of parliament Gwen Mahlangu Nkabinde. He looked stylish, she looked uncomfortable. If you are a “fuller” woman avoid wearing light colours from head to toe. This will add an illusion of volume and will make you look much bigger.

The lady below has also opted for a cream suit but look at the difference-she looks incredibly sophisticated and chic.

It was refreshing to see that most of the outfits were created by local designers, lending a loud proudly South African feel to the day. Patricia de Lille departed from her usual pant suit, to a lime green skirt and jacket. It was feminine, stylish and she looked great. The best part is-it was created by a single mother who runs a small business-you go girl!

The latest trendy politician (I am conviced she has had a major make-over), DA leader and city mayor Helen Zille, wore a Philosophy creation of cerise wide-leg pants and a chiffon tunic. Although the colour was fabulous on her, I thought it a bit too casual for the occasion and better suited for a cocktail party. Helen, can’t you also take hubby to be colour coded? and remember… posture, posture.

The most stylish couple was Jeff Radebe and the beautiful Bridgette Motsepe, but then again they always look good.

In a turquoise two-piece with African beaded necklace, Sheila Camerer, Democratic Alliance MP, successfully tried out the Afro-chic look. “I’ve decided Afro-chic is going to be a new look for me for big functions.”

I found Deputy President Baleka Mbete’s outfit inappropriate for the occasion. The style and colour clearly did not suit her and she certainly did not appear confident in it.

From the Royal family, Bongi Maria Ntuli, MP from Mpumalanga wore a traditional Ndebele outfit. “The bright colours to me symbolise our rainbow nation. The big gold necklace around my neck symbolises that I am an Ndebele married woman.”

There were some interesting hats at Friday’s opening of Parliament. However a couple of these scared the pigeons as much as the 21-gun salute did.

Most of the men were dressed in dark suits, with the colour of their ties matching their partner’s outfits-come on gentlemen this is so High School!

Contralesa President Patekile Holomisa, on the other hand, arrived in a black suit, in what he said was a protest against the fact that Parliament did not properly recognise the 13 traditional kings in South Africa.

“When they are formally and properly invited to occasions such as, this, I will be dressing fully as a Xhosa traditional leader,” he said.

Bridgette Radebe, wife of Minister of Transport Jeff, was elegant in a long creme chiffon “ra-ra dress” with beads.

The gentleman below looked incredibly stylish but I think his partner really let him down with her high school dance dress.

Looking for the Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift ?Here is an original gift that will linger long in the hearts and minds of your loved ones. Book them their private style and colour consultation!

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What clients say… “Not only did I get very valuable input from the Professional Impressions consultants, it was also a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I discovered, you are never too old to be stylish.”
Kate Grieve:
Retired Health Practioner
“My personalized consultation was a truly refreshing experience. I gained knowledge about the colours and styles and enjoyed the ideas presented by the consultants. I look forward to re-newing my wardrobe. ‘Shopping for clothes’ is no longer an effort , as I now have direction and can make quick and effective decisions.”
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Sales and Marketing Kintetsu World Express, South Africa (Pty)Ltd
11 Daily Habits to Boost your Confidence
What is self-confidence? Trust in one’s personal judgment, qualities or abilities. I believe we could all do with more confidence in some area of our lives-either at work, in a relationship or in meeting new individuals. Failing to act with great confidence will almost always leave you with more regret than taking embarrassing action.In this issue:
11 Daily Habits to Boost your Confidence
Confident Characteristics
Latest Happenings: Fashion Rules Parliament
Looking for the Perfect Valentine’s day Gift?
Phenomenal You Workshop
Highly Recommended Read!


11 Daily Habits to Boost Your Confidence
You step into the meeting feeling reasonably confident. Suddenly, you realise you might not be as prepared as you thought . Your confidence starts plummeting!
This is called the “spotlight effect.” Under imaginary spotlights, many of us suffer major confidence loss. You will soon realise that the worst consequences of living in the spotlight are less oppressive than the best advantages of hiding in the shadows.
Even if you have oodles of confidence, try to implement some of these habits. You just might end up feeling even better about yourself than you ever thought possible.“Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.”
Peter T. Mcintyre
1. Overcome your fears.
Rehearse the fearful situation in your head and mentally walk your way up to the point where you feel the fear most intensely. Next, shift to something calming (a beach at sunset) and as you do a mental run-through, breathe out, physically relaxing your body. Then imagine yourself going through the motions flawlessly while your body and mind are relaxed. In essence, you’re conditioning your mind to replace fear with success.”–Picabo Street, Olympic skiing champion

2. Ask yourself the Universal Question. “So?”
In other words…really, who cares? Here are some instances where the Universal Question might help you break through imprisoning inhibitions:

“If I voice my opinion during a meeting, my colleagues are going to disagree with me”
“If I forget what to say next during a presentation, people are going to think I am stupid.”
“If I disagree with my friend on an issue,
she is going to dislike me.”

Use the universal question every time you feel yourself hesitating to do something that might impact on decreasing your confidence.

3. Calm yourself.
Get rid of nervous energy. Walk around the office block or car park. Then get focused. Find a quiet spot to be alone and take a few breaths before you walk into the meeting room. Then take a slow, relaxing breath once you’ve entered and taken your place in front of everyone. Then smile. People buy things from and listen to people who smile at them.

4. Start Each Day Ready for Action.
How does your day pan out when you get up late and head out of the door in a manic rush? Confident people love life so much that they don’t want to waste a minute of it. Start your day “on the front foot,” that is, ready and prepared and you won’t waste the rest of the day trying to catch up with yourself.

5. Work the room.
“You first must learn to overcome mingle-phobia. Psych yourself up to enter a room. Then make your move. If you don’t know anyone, walk up to a group, smile widely, introduce yourself and say: ‘I don’t know a soul at this party. May I join you guys?’ This usually gets a warm, sympathetic reception, and people start chatting with you immediately.” –Jeanne Martinet, author of The Art of Mingling.

6. Don’t be intimidated.
You are meeting with someone that intimidates you-be the first person to say something so that the conversation is in your control. Don’t say anything competitive or defensive; instead, ask something personal like “How is your family?” “How did you enjoy your holiday?” Be sincere and it will probably throw off the other person’s power-tripping ways.

“Confidence comes not from always being right
but from not fearing to be wrong”
Peter T. Mcintyre

7. Track Your Moods and Emotions.
How are you today emotionally? Confident people have a high level of emotional awareness — they stay in tune with how they’re feeling and the effect they have on other people. Do a stock check during the day. When do you feel confident and when not? What are the telltale signals in your body? Do you convey it by the tone of your voice or your body language? By tracking your moods, you have a measure of where you are at in case you need to refine the direction.

8. Wear your best attitude shades.
Every day you do put on a pair of “attitude” sunglasses. They act as a filter through which you perceive the world. Be aware of what type of filter you have chosen-is it positive or negative? By choosing your attitude for the day, you decide if it is going to be a day that is full of interesting experiences, or one of constant battles to be fought. Your experience begins in your own head.

9. Have a Great Self-Image
Remember the day when you were feeling really low? You chose clothes that were fitting to your dark mood. You looked in the mirror and you thought…”how awful…, ugly…, fat… I look “. Your self-confidence hit rock bottom. At the same time when you feel good, you want to look good and hence you ooze more confidence. The secret to looking good? Healthy eating, exercise and plenty sleep! Of course a good image consultant can also help you choose some great confidence outfits.

10. Operate from a Position of Generosity
Confident people act from a position of generosity and abundance. They give what they can, when they can — whether it’s their time, talent, money, energy, or love. Generous thoughts nurture your mind and attract generous people to you.

11. Review Today and Create Your Tomorrow
At the end of each day, mentally review what happened and how you experienced it. Every night before you turn out the light, write down the five most important things you want to do tomorrow. In the morning, before you get out of bed, take your list and decide how you to fit the tasks and activities into your day. If it looks a tight fit, start with the most important and leave out the least important. In accepting that you are responsible for your journey, you will find more clarity and freedom, and thus confidence to be yourself and do what is right for you. Make sure that what you are doing daily is striving towards fulfilling your life’s purpose. This way you will move forward being your most confident self.

“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced”
Vincent Van Gogh


Enquire about the dynamic “Phenomenal You” workshop:
Command Confidence, Have a confidence tune–up, Confidence Wobblers, Handling criticism, Weeding out non–confident words, Have confident conversations, The confidence tool Kit, Habits of famous confident people Focusing on Attitude Renewal – the way we think Projecting a Positive Self–Esteem – the way we feel.This workshop will let you discover a new powerful perspective on life. You will learn to stop reacting and start creating.

Contact us at Professional Impressions
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Confident Characteristics
In her book, Confidence, Rosabeth Moss Kanter interviewed hundreds of individuals, teams and corporate executives. These findings show the basic personal qualities that are present in people with confidence. Confident People:

  1. Are open to criticism or suggestions.
  2. Are honest about their own abilities and limits.
  3. Seek the advice/input of others.
  4. Learn from their mistakes.
  5. Set realistic goals, and have realistic expectations.
  6. Are willing to work hard to achieve their goals, and do.
  7. Take personal responsibility for their fate.
  8. Embrace new challenges and take reasonable risks.
  9. Replace bad habits with good ones.
  10. Expect good things to happen.

Building up self-confidence takes time and commitment but it is well worth it. You’ll see!
For more Powerful confidence tips for your life and work click on Command Confidence


Highly Recommended Read!
Knowledge builds confidence. So if you want plenty of it read “The 100 Best”:

This book reviews the best 100 business titles of all time. This read will appeal to anyone, who wants to cut through the clutter and discover the books that are truly worth their investment of time and money.

To order go to “The 100 Best


Professional Impressions would like to credit the following:
  • The 10 habits of highly confident people By Tad Simons
  • How to Free Yourself from the Glare-Martha Beck
  • Confidence by Rosabeth Moss Kanter
  • The 10 Habits of Confident Women from Mary K. Moore & Rose Martelli
  • Timeless Lessons-10 Killer, Daily Habits to Boost Your Confidence
  • Weekender 7th Feb 2009
  • Getty Images
  • Proudly South African fashion livens up the red carpet by Vivian Warby, The Star on February 07, 2009
  • Photo: Mandisi Tyulu, Bush Radio
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