Too often we can’t see beyond the image in the mirror. Sure that’s all we can be. No matter how hard we work, no matter what we do, nothing will change- our weight, looks, confidence, health, chronic pain, or relationships.
Too often that perception of who we are keeps us from becoming who we can be. Sometimes even a small change can alter that perspective. Sometimes we just need to shake things up. If we see ourselves differently we may feel different. That could lead to options we never imagined were possible.
As the old saying goes, “Fake it ‘till you make it.”
Confidence, excitement, anticipation, and joy all combine to lift us up, sometimes just high enough to move forward.
It doesn’t take much.
We’ve all experienced how a small, unexpected compliment can send us soaring. Stamping a smile on our face. But it doesn’t seem to last. Not compared to a hurtful remark that can wound and fester throughout the day.
Ever wonder why it’s so much easier to believe the bad and not the good about ourselves?
So try this:
Stand in front of a mirror or a blank piece of paper.
Close your eyes and see what you’d like to change.
Make it small and doable.
Style your hair differently. Maybe add color or highlights. Remove or accent the gray. Change your style- make it more youthful, classy, fun, exotic, sexy, retro.
For those who don’t wear makeup, start now. For those who do, change it up. Accent your large, penetrating eyes or sensual, pouty lips. Use foundation to give yourself a flawless canvas.
Add color to your wardrobe. Always wear black? Add a pop of red. Make it a scarf, purse, pair of shoes, belt, socks, hat, tie… to start. They can make a wonderful statement without too much commitment.
Let your nails make a statement. Bold colors or wild patterns can share your mood. A little too bashful for vivid red fingernail? Go for the toes and show them off when comfortable.
Not prepared to show off a new look? Change it up just for you. Switch out old undergarments for something sexy and new. A lace bra and panty no one else sees can make all the difference in your attitude.
Guys, add some facial hair. I’m always amazed how that changes your entire face.
Or, like me, add a wig. Instantly change your look with minimal effort. I was shocked how it significantly changed who I saw in the mirror. I was suddenly transformed into a person I didn’t recognize. Not good, not bad, just different. I felt liberated. I could be playful, silly, crazy all because I’d allowed those moods to be expressed. It was hard to take myself too seriously when I sported a head of pink hair! That little adjustment opened up a world I hadn’t experienced in decades. I wasn’t the physician trained to be professional at all times. Making sure I presented the appropriate picture in and out of work. I was just me showing a different side.
Try all of the above.
Let the time and place and mood set the tone.
Mix it up. You don’t have to stay the same everyday. You can look anyway you want.
Just be appropriate to the place and occasion. I’m not advocating ripped jeans to work or an evening gown to lunch.
Change it yourself or let a friend give you a make over. But I’d recommend starting slow with items that can be reversed. Ready to try something new, I asked a friend to style my hair and ended up with a short spiky cut I had to live with for a decade before it grew back! All it took was one quick snip to irreversibly change my look.
Have a clothes party- bring your old and unused clothes and let everyone mix and match. It’s a hoot. Seeing people in outfits you never thought could possibly look good and the incredible transformation it brings out. One woman never showed her figure, convinced her size was downplayed and minimized when covered up. In reality her boxy, lifeless dresses just accentuated it. Once she put on clothes that appropriately framed her gorgeous, womanly body, and accented her height, curves and long legs her reaction was priceless. She never dreamed she could be so stunning, sexy and stylish. It just took a little encouragement and a lot of courage to take that first step. The response was so overwhelmingly positive she never returned to the wallflower look again.
It doesn’t have to cost a dime. Just a fun night with people you feel safe with, who want the same thing-
To change it up.
Envision who you want to be or let others guide the way, then go for it.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Take it one day at a time. Put that pair of pants that is just a twinge too tight on the door to the bedroom and look at it every time you want to binge or stop your exercise program. Then think of where you’ll wear them when they fit.
Force yourself to say positive. We can accomplish so much more when empowered, not denigrated.
We all want to feel more alive, more confident, more engaged, especially now, surrounded by so much heartache and strife. Sheltered at home, cut off from friends and family or covered in masks, we all fight the urge to give up on any attempt to enhance our looks . Who will see? Who will care?
Whether it’s for a zoom meeting on the job or with far away relatives, that little picture in the corner defines us.
Sometimes just a little tweak can make a huge difference. Talking to a face that reflects care and respect in how it’s presented will encourage respect in return. A minor change in perspective can open up unforeseen paths.
And the good news? If the results aren’t as hoped, you can always go back and start again.
What do you want people to see today?