There are so many ways you can choose to reinvent yourself. You can become more thoughtful, you can become more outgoing, you can become more artistic, you can become more organized, you can become more of anything you set your mind to. With all the different ways to reinvent yourself, I put myself to the task of picking one and focusing on writing about it every day in October as part of the Write31 project. Yeah, I know it's a little crazy to try to write about the same topic for 31 days, but what am I if not a little crazy???
Two weeks ago, I attended the Blog Elevated conference in Grapevine, TX (recap coming soon!), and along with learning a ton of amazing blog advice, I took the time to do my hair and makeup every morning and I carefully picked out some fun and funky outfits; I haven't felt that good about myself in a very long time. Unknown to me at the time, Dennis took a video that weekend of me and Jack together. I watched it for the first time last night, and I saw the person I want to be and the person I can be with just a little motivation, focus, and dedication. I was centered, confident, patient, kind, silly, and engaged in ways I'm not when I don't feel like I'm at my best. I realized that I've fallen into the trap of the mommy wardrobe of yoga pants and a t-shirt with a default pony tail and no makeup. My low maintenance became no maintenance and my self esteem and confidence plummeted. My countenance had become sloppy and I just stopped caring - it's such a slippery slope for me. Don't get me wrong - I don't think there's a thing wrong with the mommy wardrobe of yoga pants and a t-shirt. It's comfortable, practical, and easy, and with just a smidge of effort doesn't have to be sloppy, but I was abusing the comfort and ease of yoga pants and I looked and felt like hell. Not to mention my attitude and mood were being negatively impacted. Nobody wants that for themselves. I know I sure don't.
I used to think image didn't matter. I believe that no one should be judged by the way they look. The color of your hair or your tattoos and piercings have no bearing on your ability to do a job. The clothes you choose to wear, whether or not you put on makeup, and how you style your hair have nothing to do with your intelligence. Your weight has nothing to do with whether or not you should get promoted. I will rally to my dying breath for workers to have the right to dress and look how they choose, and I believe that being able to embrace who you are and express that by the way you dress makes everyone more grounded, centered, and more comfortable, and therefore, better able to perform at work. I will also rally to my dying breath against school uniforms; most people's chance to truly express themselves slowly goes away as we get older - why should children be robbed of that opportunity entirely? (I digress, but I am passionately against school uniforms).
However, one thing I have learned is that image does matter, but not in the way I used to think. My belief that I shouldn't care about what other people thought of my image (and no one should worry about what someone else thinks about their image) had slowly morphed into believing that I shouldn't care about my own image. And that is the wrong way to think. Caring about how you look means that you care about yourself. Caring about how you look means you will put forth the effort to look the way you want instead of just throwing on the nearest item of (maybe) clean clothes and looking like a disheveled unkempt mess. Caring about how you look doesn't mean fitting into a cookie cutter mold, it means taking the time to present yourself in a polished manner. No one should be judged by the style they choose to have, but being messy, dirty, wrinkled and generally unkempt will make you feel bad about yourself and people will judge you. Right or wrong. You will lose confidence in yourself and others will feel it. Taking the time to care about how you look and presenting your best self tells the world that you are a force to be reckoned with.
I want you to think about your image right now and how you present yourself to the world. I want you to think about what you like about your style and what you want to change. Do you want to start building a new wardrobe or try a new hairstyle? Do you want to make a small change like wearing makeup more often or incorporating more color in your closet? Now I want you to list 5 things you like about your image and 5 things you don't like. Then list 5 things you want your image to be and 5 things you don't want your image to be. This exercise is inspired by Marie Bonaccorse, aka, the Sassy Tweetress - she spoke at Blog Elevated and was amazingly inspirational. Now, go share your lists on my Facebook Group where we can all connect and cheer each other on while we reinvent ourselves!
Stick around this month while we explore what it takes to reinvent your image and personal style, whether that be an extreme self makeover or a subtle refinement of what it means to be you. I'll talk about finding your authentic self and expressing who you really want to be. We'll look inward and tackle the demons of bad self esteem and boost our confidence. This journey won't end in 31 short days, but it's a great jumping off place to looking and feeling better about yourself, and building your self esteem and confidence.
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