In case you missed yesterday’s blog, here’s an excerpt:
When do you love yourself the most? I asked this question to several women all around the world over the last week. I was interested to hear what situations or circumstances inspired them to love themselves. Sometimes I was met with silence, other times with baffled looks…The answers I received to my questions can be categorized into three main groups. These are: I love myself most when I look great, when I am successful, or when I receive love from others. Read more…
After the blog published, I received answers from another category, which is, “I love myself most when I stay true to myself.” This is a great answer, and I think many people will agree that sticking to our own path despite attractive offers to join someone else’s journey is a great way to cultivate love for ourselves. I added this category to my list and we’ll talk more about it later this week.
One of the most frequent answers I received when I asked the first time was, “I love myself most when I look great.” On the surface, this sounds superficial, but let’s explore it a bit more and see why appearance is so important to people’s love of themselves.
I love myself most when I look great
Most of us can relate to feeling awesome when our looks are on point. We know we look good and we’re ready to conquer the world. Who doesn’t have that one outfit saved for when you need to feel powerful, competent, or brave? You know you feel better on a good hair day! I carefully choose an outfit for a meeting with a client or my class reunion. I want to know I look good so I can let my personality take over and seal the deal. What I wear to a client interview or speaking gig is going to be different than what I wear for date night. I’m advertising different aspects of myself. At the very least, if you want to make a good first impression, it is important to have brushed your hair and checked for stuff in your teeth.
Dress for success
The key is to cultivate a feeling of self-love and worthiness from your inside first. Your appearance only gets you so far. After that, you’re on your own. Hiding behind that power suit only works until you have to talk to someone. How you see yourself has a direct effect on how others see you. Your self-image affects your posture, your facial expressions, the energy you exude, even your tone of voice. That all-important handshake and eye contact? Your suit can’t do that for you. While your power suit might give you that extra boost you need to rock out that presentation, it’s you that slays the room, not your outfit.
Your image is ultimately about who you are, not what you look like. I’m sure you have noticed the woman who can command a room while wearing yoga pants and a messy bun. She has an inner beauty that shines through no matter what she’s wearing. You’ve also experienced the woman who was polished and coiffed, but unreliable, indecisive, unknowledgeable, or downright mean. What about the person who has absolutely no interest in what they look like? Stained shirt, sloppy pants, and untidy hair are not good advertising points. While appearance isn’t everything, you have to be aware of what you’re saying with how you look.
So, while it is important to care about your appearance, it is more important to care about the person inside the clothes. For more about working on the inner you, then choosing the right clothes for your most confident self, visit my friend Veronika’s site at Style Coach MI.
Here’s the skinny
Think you need to lose a few extra pounds before you can go on vacation? Or maybe you feel low if the number on the scale is too high. This is another area where dialing up your worthiness is going to help you. You are not a number. Weight isn’t even a good way to evaluate your body composition, let alone your worthiness. My best advice would be to throw the scale out. That thing is the single best killer of dreams, and it can’t stand in the shadow of meaningful health.
That being said, loving your body as it is takes practice. Look in the mirror and express love for all of those parts that you loathe. No, really. Feel love for those stretch marks, that beautiful belly, and those sturdy thighs. Ultimately, it is your inner self that matters and that is what people will remember, same as with what you wear. When you come from a place of love, you start to make mindful choices towards meaningful health, not just counting calories and worrying about that silly number.
You are worthy
How can you shine from within? Cultivate confidence and worthiness independent of your best power suit. Start by deciding that you are worth it! Walk in there with a killer smile and a posture that says you deserve to be there. Try giving yourself some compliments first thing in the morning. Maybe you go full on affirmations–I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and damn it people like me! Practice that killer smile and confident posture while you do it. You can also practice gratitude throughout the day to remind yourself how abundant your life is. Focus on your strengths and know that your weaknesses are either temporary or serving you somehow.
It might feel awkward at first, but keep practicing. You don’t have to wait to be a super confident boss lady to get out there and own it. All of us have fear of rejection. The trick is to get out there and accomplish your goals despite your fear. Once you do it, congratulate yourself for being such a rock star!
Leverage your looks
It is true that how you look directly influences how other people see you. You will be judged based on your appearance, whether you like it or not. The good news is that you can leverage this fact to work in your favor. How you look is one more trick in your handbag of success strategies. Dress how you want to be perceived by others. Want to come off as polished and business-like? Wear a power suit. Want to appear feminine and airy? Pull out that flowery sun-dress. Most importantly, wear what makes you feel good and represents who you are inside.
You rock! Now go show the world.
Check back tomorrow for I Love Myself Most When…I Am Successful.