I’m re-running an article I wrote a couple of years ago with some updates because (shhhh!) we are just beginning to release my new brand! One big part of that is upleveling my appearance – again! So this article is as timely as ever – for me, and for you!
I know, as visionary entrepreneurs who are on the leading edge of the new economy and creating the New World, it can get pretty sharp out on that edge. And if you are just sensitive and aware at all, and you want to create a business and a life with integrity, you have to make real and sometimes difficult choices. Choices about what you’ll do, what you won’t do, how you’ll present and position yourself, what you’ll charge, what you can offer, what you can promise, etc. etc. etc.
And it’s a stretch if you are growing—and if you truly are contributing to creating a new economy and New World, because none of us know what the hell we’re doing. We’re making it up as we go along, we’re using proven techniques and ideas, and we are innovating like crazy because everything is moving so fast and changing so fast, and who the hell can keep up with all of it. Okay, b r e a t h e.
Over these few years since I started my coaching business, I have come head on with walls inside that I didn’t know were there. I didn’t know they were there until I ran into them—ouch! Some things I suspected, and others took me by surprise.
One of the most intractable for me has been appearance.
Now I know that might not sound edgy to you, but it really has been for me. And even more edgy to share with you! But I’m offering it up because I suspect that I am not the only one for whom this is an issue.
I mean, learning to make sales calls, finding ways to meet and talk with new people, working hard to get my expertise out of my head and into written and audio formats—all that has been a big learning curve.
But the biggest curve has been on the inside. And where the edge shows up for me is appearance. Cause I grew up in the 1970s, with an English Professor for a father and a feminist activist for a mother, both of whom were suspicious of glamour and wealth.
Better to be smart and respected than to be wealthy—that was the unspoken creed in my family of origin. And women who wore makeup, dressed in high heels, and were overly concerned about their appearance were not respected, not really. There was always a sense that they couldn’t be serious, couldn’t be of substance, had to be superficial through and through. At least that’s what I took in.
I am still most comfortable in yoga clothes, barefoot, in the grass, with windswept hair.
And on this journey I have been upgrading my appearance—many of you have noted this approvingly if you’ve known me for awhile. I get the importance of it—even though I have this little voice saying, “oh, that is so superficial, how could you?” But I have to confess it’s been harder than I thought it would be. I find myself sabotaging myself sometimes out of habit or lack of focus. And I had a dream recently about missing a really important opportunity to speak because I was stuck in the house I grew up in, with no makeup, no hair dryer, and none of the right clothes.
The power of internal self image. Really powerful and persistent.
The thing that has helped the most? Painting with Shiloh McCloud. Learning to paint women’s faces, on canvas that is. Because now I can see that I’m painting my face, just like I am painting their faces. And it’s beautiful. It can be fun. Creative. Playful. Delicious even.
I now have several pairs of serious high heels. And you know what? I love wearing them. I thought I would hate it. I thought they would hurt my feet and make my back ache. But you know what? I love wearing them and my body does not hurt at all.
This is truly a breakthrough for me, because the little girl inside of me has been thinking that putting on all that stuff (hair, makeup, clothes) is equivalent with selling my soul, being inauthentic, out of integrity, yucky. And now, now, she’s having fun.
That might sound small to you, but to me it’s huge. Because I have to update that internal self image, or I will never grow beyond a certain place—and stay stuck in my old conditioning.
What part of your internal self-image needs upgrading? Are you willing?