My blog is intended to inspire you.  I often turn to my journey in order to be transparent about who I am, and how I am just like you, searching to become my best self.  So much has been moving within and through me lately. It’s as if the journey of my latest and greatest transformation is happening at an accelerated pace.  I’m happy that it is.  Growing, evolving, bettering, transforming… It all ends up being great for us.  But, during the process, the challenges we meet along the way can be painful.  Lately, I have been taking stock of how important it is to look like you feel good about who you are.

I don’t think that it is vapid to look like you feel good about who you are.  In no way am I suggesting that you fake feeling good by looking good.  There are times when I am challenged by my self-image. This is how I see who I am, from deep within.  Can you relate to that?

Throughout most of my life, I have faced a lot of criticism.  Some of it has been harsh.  Even today, people still hurl criticisms at me.  Worse still, I am ignored, blown off, misunderstood, and even wrongly accused of things that are not at all true to who I am. The narratives that others have about me are not my story. In the face of such negativity, it’s so easy to feel down.  It can be very challenging to not let that show.  Sometimes that darkness wins out.  When it does, I retreat into my private space so no one can see me not looking like I feel good.

These episodes are fewer and fewer between because of the deep personal work that I have been doing to not take on everyone else’s story about me, the way a ship takes on water in stormy seas.

An unfortunate manifestation of the lifetime of criticisms is that I used to take on others negative narratives about me.  It’s bad branding, and I always knew better.  In other words, I used to believe other people’s stories about me, rather than knowing and believing my own.  It’s profoundly humbling that I have had this incredible struggle.

It is a big risk to be forthcoming about this struggle  But, owning it and the triumph of transformation is part of what makes storytelling my gift.  I am so clear today about who I am and what my story is.  It’s very easy for me to look like I feel good about who I am, because who I am on the inside feels as good as it’s ever felt for me.  When I look into the mirror, I am clear that I like the reflection, and without criticism – maybe for the first time in my whole life.

So, I do understand how the struggle to look like you feel good about who you are is real.

At times, as I mentioned, a challenge of the moment can get us to feel down.  But, we can use our sense of style to help pull us back into feeling good about who we know we are. Doing this gives us a chance to be reminded of who we are and what our potential is.  Looking into the mirror on a challenging day, and acknowledging that we love ourselves without fault or flaw provides the us freedom to snap out of whatever momentary setback we face.  It’s as if the work we do to put ourselves together is a visual manifestation of our intention to be at our best.

Lastly, I also deeply believe that it is possible to look like you feel good about who you are, even when you are not.  Sometimes, the way we feel inside is too hurt to keep working on the inside.  I have found this with myself, as well as several clients, that by shifting the focus of the work to the surface, it allows us to go back inside and with a fresh approach. It is so amazing to see this in action.  So, if you think that looks are just about the surface, think again. There is an amazing journey to be had that allows you to know yourself better than ever, and to be the teller of your own story. This is the real power of personal style.

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.” Get details about Joseph’s proven program that transforms your life through personal brand and style development.