Einstein’s Definition of Insanity goes something like this – “Repeating the same action but expecting a different result”. How often have you found yourself doing that very thing? I know I have! Does that make me officially insane? I guess so! Well, at least at the time I was doing it! But I’ve also worked out that stopping this behaviour is not as easy as one might think. So I’ve added my personal “Style Counsel Remedy” – a three-step statement that I hope may be a little more user-friendly way of describing the way we mere mortals often want to affect change, yet struggle to see why it’s not working for us. It goes something like this…
“If you keep THINKING what you’re thinking, you’ll keep DOING what you’re doing, and you’ll keep GETTING what you’re getting”
I meet many lovely people in the course of my work. Most of them want to change something about their image/life/self. But often they can’t see the forest for the trees because they are so used to thinking of or seeing themselves in a certain way. You may have heard of this being referred to as “the tapes playing in your head” – or “personal baggage”. Those voices we hear are actually years of self-doubt. Sometimes created from negative experiences with parents, peers, siblings, boyfriends, friends, media etc, and sometimes just created by our own negative self-image and self-talk.
“Do you see what I see?”
I’ve made it (one of) my life’s mission to help people see themselves through the eyes of their beholders instead of through their own negatively-tinged lenses. To see what I (as their stylist) see! I’d have surely built up a good nest-egg by now if I requested (much like a swear jar!) not only a dollar from every client, but a dollar for every negative comment heard as they gaze at themselves in a fitting room only seeing the body part they already dislike and refusing to see the bigger picture. There they are, dressed in an outfit I’ve selected for them (which is making me squeal with delight!) but they can’t even see the amazing transformation standing in front of the mirror. Their eyes are too busy looking at the features they’ve spent years hiding from – under clothes that are one size too large, too black or too long…
I see each body as a whole image – a person, a silhouette, a style – without the accompanying “excess baggage” my clients carry around. I gently point out that MY eyes are not on automatic-pilot like theirs – often lamenting the loss of youth, a pre-baby body or a pre-menopausal flat tummy. I see how amazing they look as a WHOLE person. I see how the colour has lightened or lifted their complexion. How the cut has balanced their proportions and given the illusion of a perfect hourglass feminine form. I see how stylish, classy, sophisticated my outfit has made them look. Or how much younger they look. Or how incredibly appropriate the outfit is for a certain occasion, without being “too much”. I see everything BUT that body part they are so hung up on! And that’s because it was my job or my brief) to do so! I don’t have the tapes playing in my head that they do, and I know how to draw attention AWAY from the bits they dislike. Trouble is, no matter how damn good a job this little stylist does, the person has to be willing and open to “see what I see” instead of focusing on what they’ve been hung up on for so many years before they met me!
“Does my bum look big in this?”
I can assure you, when you speak to someone you are NOT looking at the size of their arse (come on! Really! Are you?? Ofcourse not!). You speak to someone’s face – you notice their eyes, hair, makeup, smile. Perhaps boobs (if they are right out there begging to be noticed!) – perhaps their top, jewellery etc. You notice whether they seem interested, present, polite, friendly, open, etc. But you do NOT speak to their bum! (Or their belly, or their thighs for that matter!). If we all focused more on how we make others FEEL in our presence, instead of how we LOOK to them, we’d have so much more confidence and we’d be making the world a much happier place in which to live! You’ve heard me say it before, but I’m just going to have to say it again. Style really is all about “communication”. So if you are like the hundreds of other clients I have worked with over the years, too busy focusing on what you DON’T like about yourself, LISTEN UP because I’m going to repeat myself here….
“If you keep thinking what you’re thinking, you’ll keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll keep getting what you’re getting”
It’s true! If you want to change your current experience, or how you’re being perceived by others (your image/first impression). If you want to improve your confidence-levels (self-esteem). If you want to change how you feel when you get dressed each day because you never seem to feel fantastic/pretty/attractive/confident when you get dressed (your current wardrobe) then you need to take heed of the statement above. You need to change your thinking first or the rest simply won’t follow. No matter how much you spend on new clothes, or the services of someone like me, unless you change your THINKING first, you WILL keep doing what you’re doing, and you WILL keep getting what you’re getting!
Trust me! It works!
So, until next time…”bottoms up”! And remembering the Style Counsel philosophy “The best way to make yourself feel good is to make someone else feel even better” how about passing sharing this Blog with someone you know who could do with a little dose of such positive self-talk?
Big Al x