Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life

How to Make Your Wardrobe Part of Your Self-Care

How do you feel about how you look right now? I mean right this minute as you read this post? Here, I’ll go first:

As I write this today I am wearing a pair of cut-off jean shorts, no shoes (my toenails are coated in glitter gold though so I feel like they look ok exposed), and a gray t-shirt that I love so much I bought it in three different colors from Evolve in Canada. It is a t-shirt, but it is a special t-shirt made out of buttery soft cotton, with a nice drape to the neck and I know looks great straight out of the dryer. I am wearing no makeup but I’ve been boosting my lashes with Rodan and Fields Lash Booster, which makes me feel like I only really need to put makeup on when I’m doing video or going out in the evening. Whatever comes up today, I know I can handle it, even in cut-off jean shorts, because my top looks great, my bangs are freshly trimmed and my roots are relatively freshly dyed. So while I am totally in casual mode, perfect for a day at home writing, I also feel like I’ll be fine answering the door if someone rings, going out to the store and going to see my daughter act in a play later on today- though I’ll probably put on some dark jeans, a necklace and at least some tinted moisturizer, a little powder and mascara for that.

How does this affect my day? Well I know on days when I’m wearing ratty workout clothes (not the pretty ath-leasure workout gear with the cool interlocking straps on the bra- but the really ratty stuff) and I run out to pick up the kids or pop into Target just for a sec, I find myself hoping I don’t see anyone I know. When I feel that way, I shrink down, I avoid looking for people I might know because I don’t want to be seen. The feeling of walking out into the world that way feels like a completely different person from the one who confidently strides through town, actively looking for people to say hi to and interact with.

The first time I came across the term self-love was in Danielle LaPorte’s book The Fire Starter Sessions. I was listening to the audio book at the time, which Danielle recorded herself. She has a really lovely, husky, sensual voice that I once described to a friend as being like a tongue in my ear. So when she got to the term self-love, I thought she was talking about masturbation. That is how little I knew about self-love and self-care at the time. Not to say masturbation can’t part of self-love and self-care. It certainly can be, but it is far from the end-all be-all. Fast forward a few years and now it seems like all we hear in women’s self-development is about the importance of self-love and self-care.

So what does the way you dress and look have to do with self-care? When I think about the difference between how I feel about myself as a person when I stride confidently into the world wearing something I love and how I feel when I am shrinking and hiding, it almost feels like two different people.

I spoke with image and sales strategist Lee Heyward to find out why that is. Lee points out that more than anyone else’s opinion of us, the way we feel about ourselves is the thing that most strongly affects our confidence level and how we show up in the world. When you wear clothes that makes you feel like a work of art, you are far more likely to show up to that meeting, event or media appearance with a strong stride, a smile on your face and your hand stretched out to meet new people. She also reminded me that we can meet new prospects, clients or connections in the unlikeliest of places, even on that trip to Target in the ratty workout clothes.

So how do you know when you are on the right track toward building that closet and the image that will do all of this for you? Lee has a few tips to get you started right now, today!

Ask yourself one question “How do you want to feel in this moment?”- The moment could be when you step on a stage or walk into a meeting.

Think of three words that describe the way you want to feel and write them down on a post-it note.

Stick those sticky notes in your closet and when you get dressed, ask yourself if those descriptions match how you feel.

Put a second sticky note in your wallet with those three words and use it as your roadmap whenever you go shopping.

Want to know more? You can listen in on my entire conversation with Lee right here. You can get your own copy of Lee’s brand new book Strategically Suited: Your Secret Edge to Grow Sales and Get New Clients here. And you can find Lee’s website here.

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