Recently I was chatting with an image consultant I know, and it proved to be an illuminating conversation for me. I realised that after my first career in fashion I went from looking ‘myself’ to ‘looking the part’ when I changed direction. As a holistic therapist in the 90’s I donned a crisp white tunic, white shoes and navy trousers to send out the message that I was a professional. When I trained as a talking therapist, I swapped the white and navy to grey and beige, a smart jacket, a shirt, and trousers. I no longer wore bright colours, bold patterns, or dramatic jewellery. The reason I adopted this ‘uniform’ was that I wanted to be inoffensive and unthreatening to my clients; to be pleasantly unnoticeable. ‘It’s about them, not me’ I remember explaining to a business owner at a networking event after complimenting her on her bold outfit and chunky necklace. When I put the same point to my image consultant friend, stressing that clients need to feel comfortable with me and looking bland was non-threatening, she nodded then said, ‘I think the positivity that radiates from a therapist who is dressed in their own style will give clients confidence.’ Ding! Her words resonated with me and the part of me that loves pattern and colour lit up!
Being authentic when I work with clients is really important to me, so after weighing it up I decided that I should ditch the drab and be ‘me’ rather than assume that my clients won’t feel comfortable if I’m wearing colourful clothes or beads! Of course, I recognise that how we look or dress is trivial compared with many things in life, especially now, during a pandemic. But this isn’t about being fashionable or following trends; our identity and sense of self is central to our wellbeing.
Being true to yourself and not being a square peg in a round hole, is what I’m talking about. It may not be what you’re wearing that is an issue for you, it might be that you’re earning a living doing something you don’t enjoy, or you are in a relationship which is draining your energy. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to do something but have told yourself that you can’t or you shouldn’t. If you’ve lost your mojo or want to reinvent yourself in some way, get in touch. We can work together to identify your objectives and eliminate any blocks that have held you back, so that you can be the person you want to be and lead the life you want.