I had an online chat with a new client today, and she told me it had taken her nearly a year to book the consultation with me because she was embarrassed that she had no clue when it came to choosing clothes that flattered, and I just wanted to put my arms around her and say “It’s ok not to know what suits you”
Her comment really got me thinking about the times when I have felt like this, and I bet I am not alone.
Why do we find it so hard?
When I worked in advertising sales, I was out of the house at 6am and not home until nearly 9pm some days, so I got myself a cleaner. But I felt so embarrassed about the state of my house that I would spend the night rushing around all over the place tidying and shoving stuff in cupboards so that it didn’t look too bad before the cleaner came round the next day.
What is it about ourselves that we find it hard to ask for help when:
a) we don’t know something?
b) haven’t the time to do something?
c) we actually don’t want to do something that needs doing and we are happy to pay someone else to do it?
I think we are getting better at admitting we need the help, but then when it comes to getting that help from the expert that is when we can feel really self-conscious.
But here is the thing…
That person has become an expert in their field for a reason – because there are enough people out there needing the same help.
The experts had to learn too
Here’s an interesting fact for you – a huge proportion of said experts went into their industry because they once needed the exact same help themselves. I am one of those. I had such a profound reaction to having seen a personal stylist – that all I wanted to do was help as many women as possible feel as good about themselves as I did.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with not knowing something. Crikey, if we were all meant to know how to do everything we would spend so long learning all these wonderful gifts that we would never have the time to put them into practice.
Even the experts aren’t born with this knowledge, they have trained in it as a specialist subject and spent years honing their skills so they can help others.
The key is to find someone to help you who gets “you”. I don’t just mean who understands the problem you need a solution to, I mean who speaks “your” language. Someone who will laugh at the same things as you, relate to the way you phrase things, and generally put you at ease.
Dressed by your Mum
Going back to my client’s comment, my goodness it really is ok to not know what suits you. Why should you? You weren’t taught it at school, were you? And growing up you were dressed first of all by your Mum who probably dressed you in either her taste or hand-me-downs. Then, as you got older and started choosing your own clothes you were excited to be let loose and start developing your own taste.
You probably tried so many different styles when you were a teenager and then found something you either liked or were complimented in, so could well have stuck with that style for years.
It may be that you used to loved clothes and shopping, but as years have gone by you got stuck in a rut or simply stopped taking time for you, ending up with what I refer to as the “that’ll do” wardrobe of clothes.
Time passes and then out of nowhere you think “hang on – how did these clothes get in my wardrobe” or
“I used to know how to dress so nicely”
More often than not your own instinct plays a massive part, but also it can be something as simple as a comment from someone or an article you may have read that makes you start doubting yourself.
Knowing what suits you, for who you are today, and having the confidence to do so really does make such a difference to not just how you look, but how you think and feel too.
Next time you question whether it’s ok to not know what suits you, remember that every Personal Stylist out there had to learn it once too.
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