Originally published in The Huffington Post at this link – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carol-brailey/let-your-style-be-the-gateway-to-living-authentically_b_6241298.html
I am currently 40 years old. Up until a few years ago, the authentic me was in hiding in most areas of my life. My hide and go seek act was driven by my limiting beliefs of me and the world around me.
In my mid 20s I started working in and rising up the corporate ladder. In my mid-30’s I was working in production management on film sets with some of the top film industry professionals, including Forest Whitaker, Andy Garcia and The Trailer Park Boys. I’m not a name dropper, I’m just trying to set the context here of the life I was living. I had large personal and financial responsibilities as well.
I was miserable and on the inside felt miles away from being successful. On paper it appeared I was living a successful life. How could I not be ecstatic? Now looking back I can tell you that I was miserable because I was living a life that others wanted for me and was not being me. I got caught up in the daily grind.
How did I start stepping out on my current path to living more authentically? I have come to realize my style choices played a major role in my journey. I know this may seem ridiculous, but, hear me out.
When I worked in the corporate world, I used to feel awkward every day wearing my corporate costume. I’m not knocking business attire here, nor am I knocking working for a corporation. I’m just saying that the look and the lifestyle was not aligned with the authentic me. I’ve always felt like I come alive when I’m wearing outfits that show off significant creativity and fun.
One day while working in a leadership role for a major national healthcare organization, I woke up and said screw it — today I’m going to wear a fascinator to work with my favorite matching cocktail dress. I was terrified as I was traveling to work that day, however, I felt so alive.
To my surprise when I arrived at the office, my colleagues commented that I was giving off a vibrant energy. People were extremely friendly to me. I found my conversations and decision-making processes went smoothly. I was thinking clearly. Now I know the energy and smoothness of my day was driven by me displaying my authentic self, which tapped into me feeling great and attracting circumstances that continued my great feelings.
From that point forward I wore clothing and accessories that gave me a feeling of being on cloud nine and continue to do so. Now just three years later I have attracted and am continuing to attract a career, people, places, events and things that I feel are in alignment with the authentic me. My life on paper is completely different than it was just three years ago and to some may seem less successful. The major difference is that I am now happy and feel successful. There are negative situations that arise, but, I handle them in a manner that is more connected to my authenticity.
It all started with me having the guts to show up at the office in an outfit that made me feel like a superstar. Aligning my appearance to display who I authentically am was truly the gateway to my life overall getting into alignment with my authenticity.
If you woke up today feeling miserable about the day ahead, I recommend you put on an outfit you feel like a superstar in and see how your day plays out. If you experience a day similar to my experience noted above and would like to continue along your new found style awakening, here are some subsequent steps I recommend.
1. Find out and start wearing daily your seasonal color palette – If you are not wearing colors in your hair, makeup, clothing and accessories that are in alignment with you, our eyes are distracted by the colors. We do not easily see you. You cannot even see you clearly when you look in the mirror.
Visit a color analysis professional in your area to have your best colors revealed to you and implement their recommendations. This will be a truly profound experience.
2. Wear styles daily that display your authentic personality – If you are not wearing hair, clothing and accessory styles that are in alignment with your personality and the times, you may be feeling unbalanced and unhappy deep down.
This step is a little tricky to implement for some. If you’ve been playing hide and go seek for most of your life, you may have lost track of your core self.
I recommend taking baby steps by finding and wearing hair, clothing and accessory styles that give you a feeling of excitement and joy from the first second you put them on. A feeling of immediate excitement and joy is an indication of being in alignment with your core self.
If you put on something and have an immediate feeling of excitement and joy and then start second guessing yourself with thoughts like – what will others think/say? I need to lose weight, where would I wear this to? I feel guilty about spending money on me. Please stop the second guessing. This is more than likely your ego, not your core self. Your core self has an abundance of love and kindness for the authentic you.
Are you feeling like you are living a life out of alignment with who you really are? You now have a process to allow your style choices to kick-start your journey to live more authentically.
One of my favorite quotes is “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with” – Tony Robbins. Take a leap of faith into uncertainty with your style choices only if it’s for one day by wearing an outfit that makes you feel like you are on cloud nine. Sit back and immerse yourself in what you attract. I am excited for you!
I hope this blog inspires you to wear your authenticity!