There is a great quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that I love, "No one ca n make you feel inferior without your consent." Her perspective is so true, yet all too often I see women who put themselves into the role of victim and they give their power away. They don't do it so overtly, but very often it begins with their appearance. Maybe they've gained a few pounds and don't like the way their body looks, so they grab any old thing that fits and settle for the dirty tee shirt they wore yesterday. If they must go out, they hide behind a big, boxy jacket and slip on the most comfy shoes they can find. Makeup is non-existent and their hair, most likely, hasn't been cut in 6 months or more and their roots are beyond showing. Sound familiar?
Now don't get me wrong - I am not here to judge anyone. I am here to support women and to help them step into their power by expressing their authentic selves. So few things drive me more crazy than seeing a beautiful woman 'hiding out' and playing small. Why is this so? Well, because this used to be me. There was a time when I had absolutely zero confidence in who I was as a person, and thought I had nothing to offer. I had a good childhood, so there wasn't anything traumatic behind this. But I grew up being overweight in elementary school and through high school, and the effects this had on my self-esteem have been lifelong. It wasn't until I was in college that I got a handle on my weight issues, but my low self-esteem that I left me dressing in a way that totally hid my body, my emotions and my true self. And because of having such low self esteem, I totally gave my power away. To friends, to boyfriends, to stylish women whom I admired. It's been a journey for me to reclaim my power and to feel great in my own skin. I guess this is why I am so passionate about what I do because I know that it's not just about how you look on the outside, but that in many cases, that's where transformation can begin.
So when you look in the mirror how do you feel? Frumpy, fat and fatigued? How would it make you feel to look in the mirror and give yourself a high five for looking so great? It would affect your entire day and make an impact on everyone you come in contact with! You may be feeling overwhelmed and wonder where you even begin...
Reclaiming your power doesn't have to take lots of hard work. Often it starts with a commitment to yourself that you will value YOU and not put everyone else first. Taking steps to look your best will get you off on the right foot and help you to feel great, no matter what your size or shape. Here are my 5 top tips for stepping into your power through your personal image 1/ Wear clothing that truly fits your body. If you've gained weight, it can be depressing to squeeze into something that's too tight, but hiding behind a tent can make you look even bigger. Clothing that skims the body and shows your shape can be more flattering and helps keep you from getting 'lost' or looking sleazy.
2/ Get a great haircut - color too! This makes a huge impact on your appearance and is something you'll enjoy every single day. Make sure you discuss your lifestyle, face shape and coloring with your stylist to be assured you'll get the perfect look. After all, if you're a busy woman you want to look great but don't have all morning to spend on your hair.
3/ Wear clothing that you LOVE! Wearing something that is a 'should' or that you just happen to have in your closet does nothing to inspire you. However when you put on a jacket that is so very YOU, you just can't help but feel good in it!
4/ Reconnect with your Current Style - If you're still dressing like you were in college, that's likely to bring you down (however, if you can still fit in the clothes that's awesome). Reevaluate who you are, what you like and what your lifestyle is. If you've made a change in recent years, ensure you're dressing to suit that and not stuck in a rut from decades ago.
5/ The Devil's in the Details - A little makeup goes a long way. Bring some color into your face with a pretty lipstick or gloss, brighten your eyes with pretty shadow and make them pop with mascara. It'll make you smile! Add in some accessories that you just love and it will personalize your look while adding interest.
6/ Dress for the Body You Have Right Now - If you've had kids, lost weight or gained weight (be honest, nobody minds) then dress to enhance your assets and downplay your flaws. When you do you'll look like a million bucks and feel great to boot! If you don't know what your assets are try asking a trusted friend to point out what's great about you!
Now that you know how to get dressed, it's time for a little inner reflection. I want you to look at your self image and ask who you compare yourself to? Who do you give your power away and why? When did that start, and what belief about yourself did you form? If you grew up feeling like you were never pretty enough, take a look at yourself now and feel grateful for all your gorgeous assets! If you felt like you weren't good enough, try feeling thankful for all your gifts and the ability to help others. It will help you to shift your perspective and to see that you are beautiful, you are valued and you are LOVED!
Marianne Williamson wrote, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." Her beautiful words have inspired me to feel great about who I am and to know that I can make a difference in women's lives. I'd like to encourage you to embrace your power, however it might look and feel how beautiful you truly are!