Over the weekend I met up with dear friends at my favorite local eyeglass shop. They are also clients and we’ve now known each other for several years. Among my clients, and among my friends, I’d say that they know me about as well as anyone could. Now, they would certainly say that I know them at about the same level, which makes what happened over the weekend pretty profound. Keep in mind that we met at the eyeglass shop so that I could help them choose new frames. The impromptu meet up resulted in unexpectedly yet intentionally reframing our brands.
The intentional part was that they each wanted to look for new eyeglasses. The face is the communication center of the whole entire body. Framing the eyes give the wearers a chance to literally reframe her and his brands from a visual perspective. Even more, the eyes are perhaps the most delicate element of a person’s visual persona. They represent the window to the soul. Dressing the eyes with eyewear, or even makeup, can either welcome or block an onlooker from seeing the truth of a person. Selecting new frames is one of my favorite projects to work on because of the sensitive nature of what the eyes represent.
Once our official work was wrapped up, my dear friends invited me to lunch, continuing the impromptu feeling of the day. Somehow, even if this part of the day felt very “go with the flow,” and very unintentional, they gave me quite a gift.
We were having a very meaningful conversation about some things I’m working on. I was sharing how I always feel the need to do everything without help from others. Yet, I’m learning a huge lesson in taking help from others while I wait to move into a piece of real estate that I own. I’m staying with friends in the area, living a certain kind of “vagabond adventure,” as I’ve written about on my personal Facebook page recently.
We talked about how one of my great strengths is a sense of independence. We were also talking about how our great strengths can also be our Achilles’ heel. One of my friends spoke the plain truth to me, coming from a loving place, as he gently reminded me that this was the source of his words, his caring, his intention. He told me that my stubbornness to feel the need to do everything by myself, and not to ask for help when I need it is tantamount to being totally irresponsible. In some way, thinking that I must do everything on my own, to carry the whole burden of a situation, is coming from ego.
Whoa! He is totally right.
What he did was so unexpectedly yet intentionally reframing our brands by sharing this with me. First of all, I saw new depth in my friend that I hadn’t captured in him as a client – though I knew it to be there. It just wasn’t part of our dynamic. Usually, and for fun, he loves to spar with me about my positions about why he should wear this or that to help him achieve a particular outcome. But now, he was fighting for me, just as I fight for him.
The way that he was fighting for me, with very intentional language, strong eye contact, and engaging body language, I could feel how invested he is in me as a human being. With his wife equally engaged in the conversation, I could feel how much they want to see me reach my personal and professional life goals. And, what he said resonated so deeply that it produced a breakthrough moment for me.
I got something so clear about myself that I have struggled with for decades: my self-worthiness.
Have you struggled with your self-worth before? I sure have! Let me tell you…
Despite all that I have strived to overcome, and the areas in my life where I thrive, my self-worth struggles have taken a toll. I do believe that you can’t change anything about yourself that you don’t first accept. To that end, I truly accepted that I struggle with my self-worth. I’ve learned how to be stronger in other ways. But, I’ve never been able to overcome a 39 year-old problem.
I believe in the power of clothes to transform your mood and your persona. But, if you are feeling about as low as you can go about yourself, a perfectly fitted suit, or a sexy pair of jeans won’t make much difference. That’s why I don’t believe in the concept of “retail therapy.”
But, what my friend, who was first my client, and who I have helped to make whole by modernizing his look to match his visionary ideas, gave it all right back to me over orange beef at a Chinese restaurant. His words got me to know how to move ahead as more of a whole person. I saw how I was repeating a behavioral pattern that has been dogging me ever since I was a little boy when my personal power was ripped away.
This was a humbling, relieving, loving, and transforming moment – a paradigm shift.
This is rather personal to share. But I’m strong enough risk putting my vulnerability out there. The successes of my life are directly linked to all that I have overcome to become more of the very best version of me. It’s what I do and it’s who I am. In fact, I believe that this makes me uniquely qualified to help others through their own transformations.
Crazily, it took hearing from these clients, these very special friends, who have engaged me to help them in their own quest to be at their very best, to help me be at my own.
I dedicate this to them with a heart full of gratitude and love.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps successful Silicon Valley technology entrepreneurs and executives discover their personal brands and design their personal styles. Get Joseph’s free report that helps you know “6 Secrets to Success in Silicon Valley”. Need immediate and fast help? Learn about Joseph’s 1:1 intensive, and comprehensive 1-2 day VIP program designed to transform your personal brand and style in record time.