Time after time, both clients and non-clients tell me that it’s almost too much of an effort to look their very best. But why is looking like the best you so hard to do?
Let’s review a few key things that come up for a lot of people who have been brave and vulnerable to share their reasons with me.
“Looking my best takes work.”
It’s true that putting energy into your personal appearance and style does take effort. When you’re busy working, running your household, have an active social life how do you find the time to come up for air and give yourself some attention? Except for totally bald men [and women with certain health issues], everyone needs to tend to their hair. So why is it so difficult to make time for that?
Compare this to the idea of maintaining a properly manicured lawn. I’ll bet that your lawn and landscaping is regularly maintained because of your own pride of ownership and for maintaining curb appeal for neighbors and passersby. It may even enhance the overall value of your real estate property.
What if you were to think of your body as the most important real estate you could ever own? Maybe you’ll consider that looking like the best you is worth the time, effort, and the investment.
“I’ve got some childhood issues that seem to keep me from looking my best.”
If you grew up in modest circumstances, it’s possible that you developed a value system that placed greatest importance on hard work and developing credentials. Now that it’s paid off and you’re finding success in your life and work, you may be having a hard time evolving your thinking and behavior to include something you’ve always considered to be superficial.
Still, chances are that you have been in a work or social position to consider someone not quite up to par, at least in part because of a lapse in their personal appearance.
Maybe you’ve been compared to a sibling who was more attractive than you are. Whoever made that distinction – whether it was a parent, your sibling, or yourself – look at how that thought has influenced your behavior. Don’t you feel that you can have both brains and beauty? If you think your siblings got the good looks, wouldn’t you wish him or her the gift of intelligence, too? If you’ve got that kind of love in your heart for your family, think of how you can turn that love inward so that you give yourself what you think has always been missing in your life?
“I’d rather just ‘fit in’ than actually look my very best.”
Your workplace, industry, and your social circle are made up of certain kinds of cultures. Unless there’s a particular dress code at your company, these cultures all have unwritten rules. The “rules” seem to favor conformity over individuality.
In today’s day and age, when formal codes exist in a very few work or social settings – seemingly meant to foster individuality and personal expression – these unwritten rules actually create more tribal-like behavior. But, what if you feel trapped by those unwritten rules? And if you’re one of the few who is still made to enforce a formal dress code, do you feel trapped, unable to experience looking like the best you?
It’s true that some companies do adhere to time-honored appearance standards. If you are required to wear a suit, there is still room for you to decide which styles, colors and attitudes you prefer. This latitude allows you make decisions that help you to look like the best you.
Many country clubs understand that our overall social culture is far more laid back than ever. But most will go only so far, disallowing members and guests alike from entering the dining room in denim jeans. Even with that restriction, there are still plenty of style choices you have left to consider that make looking like the best you entirely possible.
Why do you think that owning at least one fine suit for business or social occasions is blocking you from looking like the best you? Conversely, how does being forbidden from wearing jeans in certain circumstances make it impossible to look your best?
“I don’t want to look overdone when everyone’s lifestyle is so casual, including my own.”
Looking like the best you requires a fearless approach that is based on your desire to do it just for you. Can you imagine being concerned that if you happen to stand out, people will think that you must think highly of yourself? You should think highly of yourself! If you don’t, who else will? I promise you that anyone who thinks less of you because you put energy into looking like the best you is actually having their own problems. And if you’re preventing yourself from having fun looking your best, then that’s a huge problem because you’re giving up control of your self-expression just to fit in.
So how do you work through these issues and others like them? First, you need to make a personal commitment to change these thoughts and behaviors. Make appointments with professionals who can help you with your hair, nails, and cosmetics. Freshen up your look with updated eyewear and accessories. If you need recommendations and you live along the Peninsula or in the South Bay, I’m happy to offer them to you privately.
Finally, if you’re that stuck in these kinds of issues, I can help you overcome these challenges either at my “Turbocharge Your Personal Style” Bootcamps, or working with me privately. Many highly successful and brilliant individuals have been the happy recipients of my expertise, guidance, care, and friendly personalized attention. You can create change in your life so that looking like the best you becomes a reality. And you don’t have to do it alone.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs transform their self-confidence by improving their personal style. Get Joseph’s free report that helps you know “7 Ways to Transform Your Personal Style”.