And I’m proud of it.
And apparently many people I meet for the first time are surprised by my stature. It’s not uncommon for people meeting me for the first time to say, “Wow, you are so short!”
Why is that?
Studies have shown that short people have a lower risk of developing cancer. Height may also affect your heart disease risk. Perhaps they’re commenting on my health?
Or more likely, my appearance didn’t align with their perception of me. Height may be perceived as a marker for authority. Studies have shown that shorter people may feel more vulnerable or see themselves more negatively compared to taller folks. This is disturbing because we all know that physical characteristics have no influence on intelligence, creativity or passion.
I have to work at not letting height influence how I feel or act in some situations. I will admit, even though I’m confident in my ability to communicate effectively, you’ll rarely see me speaking in flats. I’m aware of people’s perception. It’s foolish to discount these notions. The power of perception is real.
However, it’s more important to be authentically you in every situation. So if my feet hurt or if I’m not on stage, I’ll toss my heels aside.
Being true to yourself is the best way to maintain the type of positive perception that you need to accomplish your goals. It’s how you build and maintain a solid reputation.
Prince excelled at this. Read more about him here.
One more note: Trusted leaders don’t let height, weight, hair color or any other distinguishing feature affect their perception of others. To maintain your good character, you need to see everyone for the unique value they possess. This isn’t always easy. We all tend to make snap judgments, but the most respected leaders know that their reputations are determined by their actions.