Dress for the job that you want, not the one you already have.
This is one of those phrases that I heard many times before it meant something to me. I will start by speaking about it in its most literal sense - in the context of my actual dress. And while it may seem that would mean instead of wearing scrubs, I should wear pajamas (or whatever garb I think that someone who mostly works from home writing on the computer would wear) I will start off by saying that I always admired persons who looked sophisticated and stylish especially in the way that they dressed and accessorized. And in all honesty, I never thought of myself as that type of person. I have never had much of a sense of style, and when I was younger, I didn’t think I could afford it; when I got older, I guess I had taken on board a lifetime of believing that I was too clumsy, overweight and frumpy to look sophisticated, even if I was wearing expensive and stylish clothes. I just didn't have the confidence to pull it off. And of course it didn’t help that I hated clothes shopping and would rather be baking (or watching paint dry).
It is hard for me to say which came first – whether it was that I suddenly realized that I could be anything I wanted (stylish and sophisticated included) or whether it was that I didn’t have to believe the negative nonsense that I had spent a lifetime believing, but I decided that it was time to update my image. I will admit that I also had some motivation from a particularly stylish friend of mine Melinda of ImageUP (link below) although she doesn’t know it - who has always been an inspiration in style as well as substance. In addition, I had a great ally on this journey – a friend who also believed that I could look stylish and sophisticated. It did require me to do some of the dreaded shopping, and try on many outfits that most definitely did not suit me in any way. I should also say that one of my other stumbling blocks was that I believed that stylish clothes and shoes (especially shoes) would not be comfortable (and in truth some of them aren’t). However, I was able to decide what my style would be, and to realise that it was perfectly possible to look stylish but to do so in a way that I was comfortable with.
The next step was slightly more tricky – in that I needed to be able to step out with actual confidence. There is no point dressing the part if you are going to sit at home (unless of course that part is sitting in those pajamas in front of the computer). By coincidence (or divine intervention – who knows these days which is which!) I got roped into a charity tea and fashion show organised by Patrice of Stoosh Images, where I stepped out onto the catwalk all dressed up and made up to the nines. It was a totally mindblowing experience, and one I would never forget, as I put myself out there in a way that I had not before. One of the photos is at the top of this post, and it was taken by a professional photographer (I am still looking for another excuse to get this guy to come and take some more photos – he was goooooooooood!!).
I learned a lot from this experience. I went outside of my comfort zone in the face of many personal fears, and it felt fantastic! I experienced so much self-acceptance with this venture, and it spilled out into my wardrobe overall. I was fully made up (I also want an excuse to work with Alphaeus again – he was fantastic! Below I also link to his FB page) wearing heels! And I got to do it all while raising money for a worthwhile cause. This catwalk experience brought home the true meaning of “dressing the part”.
But there was a greater lesson here for me. I think we all believe that we need the confidence to step out and do these things. We believe that AFTER we develop enough confidence THEN we will make that decision to step outside of that comfort zone. But what I realized was that confidence came from actually making that decision, and stepping out of the comfort zone. It was only by taking action that my confidence came. If I had waited until I became confident enough, I never would have done it. I am sure that there were persons watching me on that catwalk thinking how confident and sophisticated I looked and I can tell you that is pretty funny as I was absolutely terrified inside. But the reality was that after I survived the experience, and saw the photos, my confidence grew exponentially!
And for my next trick – I am giving new meaning to “dress for the job you want”. It is something that I learned from the awesome Marie Forleo from whom I got the phrase – clarity comes from engagement, not thought. I had (and continue to have) this great desire to put my writing out there, and of course a big part of this is writing this blog! In particular, I also would love to do some more travel writing so watch out for my travel posts, old and new as they appear on this blog. I have had the awesome privilege of being a guest on a fantastic radio show – 40+ and phenomenal – another long time dream of mine. For me this phrase now means that I will move toward what I want by taking action – regular and consistent action, and the confidence will follow behind me, even if I have to drag it along! I hope that you all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed my catwalk experience, and as much as I enjoy writing this blog. Thanks again to Stoosh, Melinda of ImageUP amd Alpheus designs for being my inspiration, and helping to transform my confidence.
Big love from a small island.
PS - check out the Facebook pages for:
ImageUP by Melinda: https://www.facebook.com/ImageupByMelinda/?fref=ts
Stoosh Images: https://www.facebook.com/stooshimages/?fref=ts
Alphaeus design: https://www.facebook.com/AlphaeusDesigns?fref=ts