Yesterday was a thinking day. I spent the morning listening to a few dark stories on NPR. Then, I devoted some time to friendly acquaintances who've recently experienced tragedy. Yes, thinking for sure.
It's a funny thing, being a personal stylist. At first glance it can seem shallow and unnecessary. But, it truly is a quest to help people take the time to value themselves. I get to help them feel confident that they are expressing who they really are, so that they can unleash their power to do great things. It is, in fact, pretty darn rewarding.
This thinking day evolved into two questions: Do you value yourself? And can anybody else tell whether or not you do?
When I was younger, I did lots and lots of leadership training. Other kids played sports, I learned how to be a leader. In workshops, we often did one exercise.
Feel free to try it in your office with a friend.
Find a partner. One person in your pair holds his/her arm straight out to the side. Person 1 (whose arm is not extended) says something nice to Person 2 (whose arm is extended), then tries to push Person 2's arm down. No dice. Next, Person 1 says something mean to Person 2 followed by a push of the arm. Immediately, Person 2's arm goes down. Every time. The lesson: negative words really do weaken you. Countless self help books will undoubtedly tell you that negative self talk is the worst of all.
When I'm with clients, I regularly hear the negative self talk disguised as information.
It occurred to me that it might be nice to give you, Dear Reader, one tip to limit the negative self talk, at least in the style department.
After all, the goal is to feel so good about how you look that you don't spend much time thinking about how you look.
Here's your tip: Dress for bed.
Waking up in the morning and looking in the mirror should not be your first opportunity to criticize your appearance. Seeking an easy fix that does not include the seemingly impossible remedies of getting more sleep or loosing five pounds?
Wear something beautiful to bed. Single? Married? Kids? No kids. It doesn't matter. Get a nightgown or hip pajamas. No animals, no sloppy old sweatshirts.
Not sure if your P.J.'s fit the bill?
Try this simple test.
If the delivery man shows up first thing in the morning and you're still in your pajamas when you get the door you feel:
A. Embarrassed because you feel like a complete mess in your sloppy pajamas.
B. Embarrassed because you feel like your ensemble is inappropriate for a stranger, as in hello racy-time.
C. Totally confident because nothing phases you ever.
We're shooting for B or C here, friend.
The key is this:
Remember that lovely pajamas come in all sizes in a variety of fabrics. Like your clothes, they should reflect your personal style and of course, be comfortable and functional for your life. If they are, you will look better and consequently feel better during that first look in the mirror.
In the words of Oscar Wilde, famous pajama enthusiast, "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken."