Life experience as well as my coaching journey has taught me that for the best results " before we go where we want to be (e.g. your style), we need to first know where we are now."
I want to share with you a process today that I came across in a book I have recently read on "Overcoming underearning" by Barbara Stanny. I realised that the steps of changing/ healing your relationship with money are in a way similar to what happens when I work with my clients on improving their image. They can be easily applied not only to revamping your style but (with small tweaks) to anything in life to ensure progress and success.
Here is my version of 5 steps to creating an image we love & deserve: 1. Tell the truth about what's working and what is not working (e.g. I don't know how to dress my body, I have no idea what's in my wardrobe, I don't know how to shop for myself). Sitting with yourself or with a Style Coach and uncovering what stops you from looking and feeling the way you want and deserve is an essential prerequisite to success. If we don't get to the root of why we are doing things in a certain way and devise a plan of how to address it, we will most probably revert to our old patterns very soon. The inner work (e.g. understanding your limiting beliefs, why you are stuck in a style rut, your relationship with your body, your shopping habits etc) is essential in enabling you to do the practical outer work with a new way of thinking and perceiving things. You cannot e.g. change the way you dress, shop or look at yourself with the same mindset that brings you your current challenges. Be honest and do the hard yet essential bit first.
2. Make a decision about what you want Now that you are fully aware of what is working and what is not working. and why, it's time to make a decision of how you are going to address it. You can try by a trial and error yourself but the truth is; we are not experts in everything. There are people who can help us (e.g. personal trainers, coaches, nutritionists, style experts) achieve our goals in a more educated and effective way. It is much more efficient too! I have noticed that we are also very good at minimizing the scale of our challenges and the deeper impact of addressing seemingly trivial issues. Many people still disassociate confidence, self-esteem, personal and professional success, well-being, happiness from how they look while these are the by-products of polishing your image. Remember you are not alone. Decide what matters to you, budget for it and don't downplay the importance of it. You do matter!
3. Look for opportunities to go beyond your comfort zone It may feel icky, it may be scary and very uncomfortable but this is what any transformation; be it physical, mental or visual takes. If we do exactly what we have been doing until now; staying in our cosy "uncomfortable comfort" place, we cannot expect our life to change. We have been conditioned to avoid pain or discomfort in life at all costs; this has helped us to survive, adapt and fit in with how we look, what we do in life and how we think. This is how our authenticity has been lost; being 100% yourself can be painful if others especially the close ones reject it, right? This is what's called a stretch; when we do something despite the discomfort, pain and effort involved. Making an investment in yourself, asking for help, trying new solutions (e.g. colours, styles, shapes) or doing style coaching exercises may feel uncomfortable. Your task is to get to the bottom of "why" it feels icky. Most of the time the culprit is fear. Fear of failure, fear of not being enough, fear of being judged, fear of the changes etc. you name it. This is what you also need to address; understand the fear and work through it. Then, I invite you to "feel the pain, fear, discomfort and do it anyway"; this is when miracles happen!
4. Surround yourself with a supportive community Just as "it takes an village to raise a child", it takes a true supporting, loving and inspirational group of people to help us succeed in our efforts. If you are surrounded by people who are negative, disrespectful and indifferent to your mission (e.g. improving your style); it is unlikely your journey towards reaching your goals will be smooth or even successful. We unconsciously mimic people around us to fit in so I invite you to analyse who you surround yourself with and what you hear from them. Can you talk to them freely about what matters to you, about your dreams and fears? Do they encourage you to go for what you want? Do they cheer you on your transformation journey and motivate you to go on no matter what? Or are you surrounded by people (it can be your partner, family, friends, colleagues) who constantly complain, doubt, disbelief and downplay the importance of what you are trying to achieve? They may be using language like " I can't/ you can't, it's not possible, forget about it, this is how life is, things/ people don't change." Scan your closest community and see who is impacting you the most. Then, look for opportunities to build connections with people who have similar goals and mindset. There are offline and online communities who share the same interest, challenges and goals. I invite you to join my Signature Style Lounge FB group to facilitate your style journey.
5. Enjoy and continue the process
For a long time, I was looking for quick fixes in my life. I always thought that once I learn/ know/ get this or that, my life or certain challenges will be fixed for good. The truth is that, yes, of course, the skills/ knowledge/ awareness/ mindset shifts do transform our lives BUT our journey does not end there; what really, really matters in ensuring success and profound, long term change is to enjoy and continue the process. If we think about transforming your image; once you know how to create a style that truly feels authentic and know how to dress in a way that makes you look and feel confident, happy and empowered, you need to make sure to nourish the new habits, to practice your new skills, to challenge yourself on a regular basis. It has to become part of your lifestyle. This is the beginning, not the end of your style journey. There is always something new we can discover about ourselves with the knowledge and awareness we have. We also evolve as individuals so seeking feedback and support at the different stages of our life is crucial in ensuring we succeed with our goals. For instance, I keep taking selfies to analyse my outfits and I work with a style mentor to polish my look. I offer the same to my clients; they can book Style Practice coaching session to get feedback on their current image and tips on how to improve it. This is how you learn and progress; change does not happen overnight!
So...do you feel energised, excited and motivated about the idea of making things happen in your life e.g. revamping your image, addressing a challenging area in your life etc especially now that we are going back to the offices, travelling and socialising but you are not sure how to start? I would be honoured to help you organise your thoughts and make a plan of next steps! You can book in 30min of free consultation HERE.