Dress for Success
If you believe there are deeper meanings behind the clothes you wear then they can become conscious extensions of how you are feeling inside. The colours and clothing style you choose announces to the world the attitude you want to project. Your self-worth can be enhanced by what you wear.
This story continues from tip#74 with my friend who had overcome the pain of his last relationship. Through the gift of time he slowly transformed his depression into rebuilding his self-worth. He was drawn to dressing in new clothes that reflected the rebirth of his self-esteem. The new clothes represented the new him. He was dressed for success!
Other friends noticed the difference and would tell him how good he looked. They referred to his new clothes as much as the positive attitude he exuded. Interestingly he was having difficulty finding a new watch for himself so I offered to help him. Since I had learned the 'art of watch shopping' I was happy to help! (see tip#62)
My friend had seen my new watch and loved my story of how I found it so he was excited for my assistance. Helping him helped me to outline the simple steps for how we can consciously choose what to wear to enhance our inner strengths and value in ourselves. This exercise will also help you visualize your goals.
Here are the 5 steps we took to dress for success:
Step 1: Identify What You Want To Project
Identify what appearance you want to project. My friend was coming through a major transition in his life and wanted his new watch to reflect his newfound strength, confidence and inner value. NOTE: This step is a paradox because you may not know what you want until you see what you don't want! So you can skip this step for now but be aware of it.
Step 2: Just Look
Have fun window shopping. I suggested to my friend to take time just looking at watches in department stores and see the abundant choices and styles. Don't be pressured by any sales people wanting to make a sale or dictate to you what looks good on you. And because my friend wasn't sure what he wanted I also had him look at the watches other men were wearing. That helped him visualize what he wanted and didn't want.
Step 3: Try Something On
Some watches, like any clothes, may look great on display but won't look good when you put them on. Once the item is on your body it has to feel like it is an extension of your personality. For me, I want to feel like a million bucks when I find clothes I'm drawn to. That positive 'feel good feeling' radiates and others will feel it too. Unfortunately, my friend had tried a few watches on but felt overwhelmed by the choices and brands. He was stuck from too many choices so...
Step 4: Have A Shopping Ally
My friend needed help to get unstuck and to focus within the sea of watches in the stores. So I offered to be his shopping ally. I asked him what he was looking for and because he had spent about a week researching watches he was able to articulate the styles he was looking for. We had identified categories for dressy, sporty, casual and even cool looking. Verbalizing what you want is very important.
Step 5: Understand What You Want To Project (Step 1)
At this point I was with my friend at one of the stores he first visited. He now knew what he wanted to project. So we took our time for him to try on several watches. We didn't rush because this was all suppose to be a fun experience! This was about the empowering feeling of making conscious choices.
Some of the shapes and colours didn't look or feel right on him though it was great he experimented with ones he would never have thought of wearing. Eventually he truly understood why some watches either looked good or wrong on his wrist. He was trusting his gut. He was finally seeing the watch as an extension of his new positive strength and energy.
Finally my friend's eyes lit up as he showed me a watch he had tried on a week earlier. He put it one his wrist and to my surprise it looked perfect on him! He felt like this watch was made for him.
My friend was truly excited. Even the saleswoman gave her honest opinion that the watch looked the best on him. My friend bought the watch on the spot and celebrated by taking us out to lunch. He wore it out of the store for the world to see! The smile on his face was radiating!
Regarding Henry (1991)
My friend's self-discovery reminded me of 2 movies. One film was the drama Regarding Henry starring Harrison Ford playing a ruthless lawyer who gets severely injured and loses his memory. As he rebuilds his memories he becomes a new, kinder and more thoughtful man. Henry is so transformed that his family life improves, he leaves his job and let's go of business and personal relationships that were toxic. At the end of the film Henry says that he doesn't like his clothes. He says he doesn't feel comfortable in them and wants to buy new clothes for the new him.
The Family Man (2000)
The romantic comedy drama, The Family Manstarring Nicholas Cage has a great scene that expresses the transformation one feels in certain clothing. Cage's character Jack is a single wealthy executive who experiences a magical, alternate life in a simple suburban family. Later he gets overwhelmed and exhausted being a family man. When he is in the men's department of a mall his spirit transforms when he tries on a $2,400.00 suit.
His wife sees Jack and says in awe, "You look amazing in that suit. I mean really wow! Off the charts great!" Jack replies, "It's an unbelievable thing. Wearing this suit actually makes me feel like a better person."
Clothes can make a profound difference to your spirit. They can lift you up. And it can be an enjoyable and empowering experience taking time in choosing what you want to wear. My friend chose to give himself a gift of time for having given himself time to heal and become a self-confident person.
Ultimately though, your self-esteem and self-confidence can radiate without any expensive clothes, accessories or jewelry. Dressing for success has to start from within, from your inner self-worth. Clothes are like icing on the cake.
What you wear can make you feel like a million bucks or can make you feel on top of the world. However you define success, feeling success first in your heart and soul is the biggest part of rebuilding your self-worth and self-esteem.
"I base most of my fashion sense on what doesn't itch."
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For Part 1: Click here
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007