In the 48 Laws of Power, Robert Green wrote: “Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once it slips, however, you are vulnerable and will be attacked on all sides. Make your reputation unassailable. Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen. Meanwhile, learn to destroy your enemies by opening holes in their own reputations. Then stand aside and let public opinion hang them”.
It does make sense. After all, you are constantly faced with challenges in your life, and reputation is one of those invisible weapons that can make you a winner even without entering the fight.
Why reputation is the cornerstone of power?
It has a lot to do with how other people perceive you. Starting with appearance, behavior, and actions that you understand. It is important to understand that other people’s judgments are beyond your control, but you can create your own image and make an effort to have people perceive you the way you want them to.
It is not wise to give away how other people will perceive you to outsiders. Especially if you can influence it. Most people take what they see at face value, so if you behave confidently, other people will be confident as well. Few will question this quality of yours. Moreover, if you believe it yourself, other people will have no choice but to accept it.
I mean, even though how other people see you depends on their perception – you can influence it by the way you present yourself.
Of course, you can’t completely control other people’s perceptions, but you can influence your image in their heads. Thus, by controlling your appearance and behavior you significantly influence the perception of other people, evoking certain emotions, thoughts, and images that can help you.
How positive reputation can get you benefits?
Your reputation, if I may say so, “precedes you.” That is, people don’t really look at “what kind of person you are,” most perceive you through the prism of “what kind of reputation does this person have?”
A solid reputation increases your importance and your presence, it emphasizes your strengths. And if you’ve already built one, you almost don’t need to make any extra effort to present yourself properly.
The right reputation creates an aura around you that inspires respect, a desire to share ideas with you, or even fear. That way, most of the work will be done before you even take action.
For example, you want other people to listen to you. Of course, you can introduce yourself to each person and convince yourself that your advice and ideas can be useful. However, this requires too much effort on your part. If you put it in every time, you will simply burn out too quickly.
It is quite different when you have a strong reputation. In that case, when you first show up around people, they feel you and your presence. They themselves want to hear your opinion and are willing to follow you. And you save your own effort.
How to master your reputation?
The main thing you have to understand is that a reputation is something like a house of cards. You need to build it all the time and not allow other people to challenge it. However, you should not aggressively defend it, because that shows your insecurity. Instead, if the attacks are inconsequential, it is better to ignore them.
This is a personal story written by Liza Aaron. The opinion expressed in this story is her own.
Featured image credit: Fine Art America