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mindset Archives - Signature Five - A Personal Styling Service, Zurich

confidence

Confidence: It’s an Inside AND an Outside Job!

By | Body Confidence

One of my core beliefs is that true confidence can only be achieved when we work on the inside and the outside of ourselves. These two things are completely interconnected and finding confidence in one cannot be achieved without finding confidence in the other.

Now, while I definitely have a wealth of knowledge around finding confidence in our outer appearance, when it comes to the inner work, I want to introduce you to my friend Selina Man Karlsson. Selina is a previous client of mine and an expert when it comes to the world of inner confidence.

During our time working together I helped Selina elevate her outer confidence and style so it became beautifully aligned with the internal confidence shifts that she’d made in her life.

But I also have first-hand experience of Selina’s therapy work. She helped me make internal shifts at a time when I knew I was going to start speaking at events, but I was afraid of public speaking.

It’s my absolute pleasure to share this interview with you. Selina and I chatted about confidence and self-esteem, and you’ll be introduced to the transformational way she works with her clients using RTT.

This blog is a little longer than usual as there was so much juicy content shared, but I didn’t want to leave anything out, so grab yourself a drink, get comfy and let’s dive in…

I’d love to start by having you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into RTT and what RTT is?

Selina: I’m British born Chinese and I’ve been living in Switzerland for almost 20-years. I came over because of my work for a bank, which I worked for, for 13-years before setting up my own company called Curious Courses. I remember going to a conference that was given by a guy called Brian Weiss, who wrote this amazing book called ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’. After the 3-day conference I thought, “WOW, I really want to go deeper into this”. I felt a real urge to start looking and I found Marisa Peer’s Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) course.

RTT has been developed by Marisa who is spoken about as being the best therapists in England. She combined her 30-years of experience into RTT, and the basis is hypnotherapy. But she also combines quite a few other tools within it to support people. During RTT you’re guided into a very relaxed hypnotic state, and the idea is that if you’re facing an issue or challenge now, you go back to a previous experience where your subconscious mind has been told it wasn’t safe or that something was dangerous.

You’re guided to different points in your life, when you were 5, 10 or it could even be last week. It’s just little points in your life where your subconscious has believed that something was really a big deal at that time. Then by understanding that you’re no longer in that situation anymore you can start turning things around. Then we produce an audio recording that helps you change your belief, which you listen to for 21 days.

So that’s the essence I would say. But there’s quite a few other things depending on what comes up. We have different tools to handle different situations.

So, if I’m understanding this correctly, you go into people’s pasts, and look at what’s triggered them with creating their current thoughts, beliefs, and stories. So, in what way does that help your clients?

Selina: The best way I can describe it is that a belief that you had leads to a thought, which leads to a feeling, which leads to the actions you take, which leads to the results, which feeds back into the belief.

So, let’s use the belief that I’m no good at public speaking as an example. By changing the original belief and giving yourself more positive beliefs like, I look forward to public speaking. And I’m helping other people. Then the thought is, “Well actually I’m going to help other people. It’s not about me, it’s about others.” And the feeling is that you feel a bit calmer about it. The action is that you get up on stage and you’re able to do your thing because you know you’re actually helping other people, you’re not thinking about yourself. And the results are good because these people are happy with what you delivered, and that feeds back into, I’m helping others.

You can see how, by going to the route of the belief, and letting go of something that things change. Your subconscious is always trying to protect you, even if things don’t seem that way. Once you understand that it’s so much easier, because then you can communicate with your subconscious mind and make the changes that you want.

One of the reasons why I’ve been dying to interview you is because I see connections between the work you do and what I do. We’re both providing women with tools to make them feel good about themselves and be confident. I would love to know what advice you’d give someone who may lack confidence or have low self-esteem?

Selina: Well, there’s actually a lot you can do! Let me give you a couple of examples.

First, start identifying the negative voice. Generally, it’s telling you not to be stupid, don’t do that, who do you think you are, and all that kind of nonsense that goes on in your head. Some people call it ‘monkey chatter’, but it can just be a negative voice. The first step is to identify that voice, and then it’s almost like you can observe it. You can start to realise, oh it’s not necessarily me, it’s something else.

A very easy trick is to imagine one of those old radios and that you can turn down the volume dial – or even turn it off completely! Or you have a very positive voice that counteracts it, and you say, “Hold on! Shut up! It’s my turn to talk!”

So, you can either turn the volume off on the voice or you can start talking back. You can ask what the concern is, what’s the worst that can happen? And go to the point where you negotiate with your fear and say, “What if I try this? What if I do that? What will you feel then?” Then things will start changing.

Another thing you can do is journal about your fear. That’s similar to the process of speaking to it and just seeing what it has to say. It’s just a different way of doing it. So, either imagine yourself speaking with it or just writing it out. Then you can get a lot of insight into the situations that have caused you to feel this way.

You recently spoke to the ladies in my Style with Confidence online program and the common challenge that practically everyone shared was seeking validation from others. So, what are your thoughts on that?

Selina: I think it’s something that’s so ingrained in our systems. Even from childhood as a baby, you learn that if you gurgle and smile, you’re going to get a great reaction from your parents. And if you don’t, they’ll say, “What’s wrong with you?” Or make some negative comment. So, it’s really natural because as children we need to please our parents otherwise we might not get our basic needs met. It’s a survival mechanism.

If you think back to how we lived in tribes. The worst thing you could do was be ousted from a tribe because you wouldn’t survive. Nowadays you might survive but it won’t be great. Survival is inbuilt in us, so you can understand that we want to stay cool with our tribe so that we look after each other.

Just having that awareness can help. When you don’t have awareness and you’re doing it automatically then you’re just people pleasing. A lot of us are people pleasers – me included! But sometimes I have to ask myself the question, is this what I really want as well? Giving a little bit of a gap between saying yes to everything or doing something that you think someone would want rather than what you want, allows you to really evaluate and ask if this is what you really want as well.

Monika: For me that’s really important, because when I’m working with clients, often they say they can’t wear something because their husband likes them to look a certain way. This creates an inner conflict. I always say style doesn’t start with your wardrobe it starts with your mindset, goals, and vision – who is the woman that you want to be? How do you want to come across?

You talk about turning the volume down. But when it’s your partner, a friend or family member, what advice would you give someone if they’ve got conflicting dialogues going on?

Selina: Good question! I definitely agree with you – first of all it’s important to find out who this woman wants to be? She’s come for a reason. She’s obviously not happy with something and wants some sort of change. Ultimately, it’s not the other person’s life. It’s her life that she’s choosing, so the first place to start is to accept what she wants. Because it’s very easy to be influenced by others and do what they want.

I believe you won’t feel good until you decide on what you want no matter what anyone else says. Maybe people need to adjust to your new style, but if they really are truly a loved one, a partner, a friend, they will understand and take in your needs. You can’t try to change someone; the person must want to change from within. So, I totally agree with you, start with what the person wants for themself and go from there.

So, what types of challenges can RTT help with?

Selina: Well, there’s many benefits. So, I typically work with people who are procrastinating and are having trouble taking action and doing something they want to do. But I’ve also worked quite a lot with people who are having relationship issues. And they might not be partner relationship issues, it might be a mother/daughter or mother/son relationships and I’ve found that very rewarding too.

I also work a lot with people who see a pattern that they have trouble breaking, for example if they keep having the same pattern repeat itself in relationships. It’s amazing because it can really shift something so easily and quickly. It just works, by reprogramming the mind and putting the work in and being open to going into places to let go of things. Even for very traumatic things we’ve found that it really helps you let go of situations.

One of the things you’ve spoken about in my Style with Confidence program is body confidence. I find this is the number one thing that stops most women from dressing or turning up how they want. If someone came to you for help with body confidence, how would you help them and what would be the 3 tips that you would give?

Selina: I would discuss with them the situations they find themselves in where they’re not comfortable. And then I’d ask them for a wish list on how they would like to feel instead. That might look like: I would love to feel relaxed and comfortable wearing a bikini on the beach. Or I would love to feel confident and strong on stage. Then I would use RTT and then give them an audio of positive affirmations that they listen to for 21 days to really change their mindset.

It’s also important to experiment a bit and play with things. It’s about noticing how you feel doing everyday things. So, wearing a different colour or setting yourself up in a situation where you get to try something new.

It’s also about upgrading your life. I follow Denise Duffield Thomas who talks a lot about upgrading your life and this is the thing you also helped me with – totally upgrading my wardrobe. You came up with pieces that I would never have normally gone for myself. And I love that. I was really happy with the work we did together because it helped introduce me to different brands as well at a time when I felt like I was in a bit of a rut, buying from the same kind of shops. I really appreciated having your extra eyes on things.

I’d love to wrap things up with you sharing a personal story that relates to your own body confidence journey

Selina: I’m Chinese and I grew up in England and whenever I went for holidays as a child to Hong Kong, it was awful. The Chinese are very blunt and very direct, and they’ll tell you what they think! So basically, they would say to me that I was fat or that I’d put on weight. I don’t think they meant it in the harsh way it came out! Chinese people tend to be very slim, and all the sizes are pretty small. So, whenever I went it was just a nightmare.

First of all, I’d be preparing myself for these comments, and then whenever I bought clothes, they would be extra-large or extra extra large, but in England I was probably a medium or something like that. It was depressing! And I think I carried that with me for quite a while, because I’m not a slim Chinese woman. I’m medium and I’m average if I look at myself from an English perspective, so for me that was always a struggle.

It definitely left a bit of an impact on me. I always found myself not feeling comfortable with my body size and shape. But when I lost weight, my parents would say to me, “Oh you don’t look good!” They want weight because in the old Chinese days actually having some weight was good because it was safer, and you’d survive through famine and things like that.

So, for me it has been a lot of work. I’ve worked on weight issues. I’ve worked on feeling confident. I find that I do sometimes flip flop a bit. It’s really about being conscious of it and knowing that I do feel healthier, fitter and stronger when I eat well and do more exercise.

I think that’s more important to me actually than the weight now, and I think that reflects in my clothes and how I wear my clothes as well. I feel more confident in that respect. It does take time and it takes effort. But I have changed my diet a lot and I take supplements and I exercise, and that gives me confidence to feel good in clothes. Especially if I’m speaking on stage, it does help when I’m feeling confident.

So that’s a wrap! Selina and I hope you’ve enjoyed our chat and have taken away some golden nuggets to bring into your own life.

If you’re interested in connecting with Selina further, she regularly holds workshops. To find out when the next one will be, CLICK HERE to visit her website and under programs you’ll find all her upcoming events.

professional

The Power of a Professional

By | Body Confidence

The following is a blog post written by my client Ilana Jankowitz. Ilana shares from her heart about her experience of working with me and the positive impact it’s had on her life and her body confidence. I hope you enjoy it…

If you’ve ever read my story on my website, you’ll know that I grew up around a lot of scarcity.

My scarcity beliefs came with some deep routed traumas and growing up my fear around money felt very real. My childhood experience of spending came with extremes that swung wildly between lack and indulgence.

Not surprisingly, when I was finally old enough to control my own money, I found myself overcompensating and operating from a place of fear of not having enough.

Thank goodness I found money coaching!

Through my own coaching journey, I’ve dedicated a lot of time to working through the blocks and attachment I had to scarcity, and now have a different, healthier mindset. This is why I continue to do the work, because I believe we’re all constantly creating money stories.

I’m a completely different person now and see prosperity and abundance in every area of my life. The transformation has been nothing short of miraculous.

Which is why a recent experience completely knocked me sideways!

I needed help!

I’m currently having a beautiful new website made and a while back decided that I really wanted some new images. I don’t like having my photo taken at the best of times, but the idea of having professional images that would be out in the public domain started getting me into a bit of a spin.

I felt completely stressed out and my head was filled with all sorts of thoughts…

“I can’t wear that anymore!”

“I can’t wear black.”

“I feel fat – maybe I should wait until I lose some weight.”

“Shopping is so stressful, I hate it!”

Can you relate?

Eventually I decided enough was enough. I knew I needed professional help with my wardrobe dilemma, so I reached out to Monika Mueller from Signature Five.

Professionals are a godsend

Monika is now my fashion angel! She strikes a wonderful balance between being extremely professional but incredibly kind and approachable. Her softly spoken warmth and vast knowledge of fashion immediately puts me at ease. There’s something so calming about knowing you’re in the safe hands of someone who really knows their stuff.

On our first call I explained to Monika that I had a photoshoot coming up. We chatted about what I needed and wanted, but honestly, I had no idea about either! I didn’t have a clue about what colours I like, styles I like or what even suits me.

Not fazed by my lack of knowing, Monika took over and got to work creating mood boards and searching stores online for the perfect pieces to fit my needs. I cannot tell you the relief I felt – Monika made the entire experience so unbelievably easy and stress-free for me. She gave me back hours and hours of time that I could instead use focusing on my business.

Once Monika finished her selection, she sent me links to each item so I could go ahead and make my purchases. In the end I ordered two sizes of everything because I didn’t even know my size – no joke!

What on earth is happening to me!

That night, purchases made, I suddenly woke up at 3am in a complete panic!

“What have I done!”

“Why am I overindulging!”

“Why am I spending money on myself!”

“Why didn’t I just buy one item or do my photos for the website another time!”

And then the big one hit me…

“This is a luxury, and I DON’T DESERVE IT!”

I couldn’t believe the fear and flood of scarcity and lack that came up.

I’m sharing this because I don’t believe for one minute that I’m the only one that experiences feelings like this. Through my years as a money coach it’s something that comes up time and time again. But what really shocked me was that I thought I’d dealt with these feelings!

With knowledge comes calm

The next morning, with my head still in a spin, I took myself off for a walk in the forest to give myself a good talking too!

Dropping out of my head and the noise of my ego, I could finally hear all the things that I knew were true. That I’m okay. I have more than enough to do this. I’m worthy. I’m abundant. I’m deserving. I’m confident and want to show up and be seen.

All the money work I’ve done over the years allowed me to shift my mind from fear and panic into truth. And, knowing that I was in such safe and professional hands with Monika, calmed me and gave me security that the purchases I’d made were an investment in me and my business.

I want you to ask yourself right now…

  • Do you deprive yourself of living abundantly?
  • How often do you miss out on going to wonderful events because you believe you have nothing to wear?
  • Do you allow yourself to dress as the successful woman you are/are working to become?
  • Do you hate shopping like I did and want a fashion angel like Monika to support you?

Working with a professional like Monika has been lifechanging for me. Before this experience I would rather have gone to the dentist than shop, that’s how much I hated it!

But I’m so excited I made the decision to reach out for Monika’s help. The signature style we’re creating together feels perfect for me and my lifestyle. Monika’s inside-out approach to styling has helped elevate my confidence to new levels and I couldn’t be happier.

We all deserve to feel confident in our bodies and look our best. I’ve waited a lifetime for this experience – please don’t wait so long!

If, like Ilana, you’re ready to feel confident in your body, my ‘How to Dress for Your Body’ masterclass will be a perfect fit for you. CLICK HERE to register for the next one, which is happening on Saturday 19th June at 9:30am CET.

weight gain

How to Feel Confident After Weight Gain

By | Body Confidence

I’ve noticed that over the last year my weight keeps fluctuating, and every time it goes up my confidence takes a bit of a knock. It would be super easy to blame COVID lockdown or the lack of sleep I’ve been getting because I have two little ones. And, while those things are real, I recognise that if I’m honest with myself they’re also excuses.

And I know I’m not alone. We all look for all sorts of reasons outside of ourselves for why we feel the way we do.

I recently had a client who shared with me that she keeps wearing the same clothes over and over. She’s been stuck at home, has gained weight and it’s really knocked her confidence. So much so that she now tries to avoid going anywhere where she might need to dress up.

Lacking confidence because of weight gain is such a common scenario for women. And while, for sure, the pandemic hasn’t helped, we can’t hang our hats solely on that for the reason why.

I’ll let you in on a secret…

Confidence is an inside job! No pandemic, children, job, relationship or anything else can make us feel unconfident or, on the flip side, confident. While it might look like those things contribute to how we feel, the truth is they just don’t have that power over us!

How we feel begins and ends with the thoughts we have that we hold on to and then create an experience of. Holding on to a whole host of negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves can have a knock-on effect with so many different areas of our lives. This is exactly what was happening with my client that I mentioned. She avoided meeting family or friends because of what she thought about her body and clothes, which in turn impacted her confidence.

Be gentle

First and foremost, I want to really encourage you to be gentle with yourself and take care of you. We can often have the tendency to not love ourselves fully when we don’t look a particular way.

When we find ourselves in that place our internal dialogue can become critical and harsh. We start saying things to ourselves that we wouldn’t dream of saying to our kids or friends, so why do we think it’s ok to say them to ourselves?

It’s ok to acknowledge that some areas might need improving. But we need to remember that it’s a two-way relationship. We need to treat our bodies with love and kindness and gratitude. When you think about it, your body already does so much – criticising it will do nothing for your self-esteem or motivation.

Reality check!

For most people, having clothes in their wardrobe that no longer fit makes them feel worse.

So, first things first, you need to have a reality check and see what fits you.

Anything that doesn’t fit you at the moment, I want you to put those clothes aside. Or better still put them in a box or somewhere you can’t see them.

BUT…

If you’ve gained a lot of weight over a long period of time, then I urge you to start thinking about giving these clothes away.

Clothes that no longer serve you but are still hanging in your wardrobe don’t encourage you to feel good about yourself and are not good for your sanity. Seeing items every morning that don’t fit anymore is not the best way to start your day. In fact, it’s a sure-fire way to start beating yourself up before your day has even started.

So, they need to go!

Pack them up and either donate them to charity or give them to someone you know will get use out of them.

After you’ve cleared out the clothes that aren’t serving you right now, look at what’s left. Decide what you want to add that will help you feel good about your wardrobe and give you a few different options, so it won’t feel like you’re always wearing the same clothes.

Make a shopping list of possible items and then buy a few that, when you think about them, you feel good about your outer appearance.

I’ll do it when…

Something I often hear is women saying that they’ll join my program once they’ve lost weight.

While of course there are always exceptions to every rule, I can honestly say that in all my time as a personal stylist, rare is the woman who actually gets to her ideal weight while she’s waiting! Instead, a common pattern is that they get stuck in a cycle of not feeling good about themselves and wearing clothes that don’t lift them up either. This often causes overeating and doing less, which just perpetuates the cycle.

In my experience, when clients who are carrying extra weight invest time in their outer appearance and learn how to dress for the body they have right now, the weight actually comes off more quickly and easily.

Honestly – it’s like magic!

Because they’re feeling good about themselves and want to have more of that feel good factor, they’re naturally inspired to start taking better care of themselves.

Having clothes we actually like wearing and feel amazing in makes the world of difference to every woman. Looking and feeling great whatever the scales say, can’t help but raise our confidence and ignite our self-love.

If you’re someone whose shape has changed, it’s time to start exploring how to dress your body as it is right now. To find out how to do this, and start using your clothes to your advantage, join my ‘How to Dress for Your Body’ masterclass. CLICK HERE to register.

Coaching

The Power of Coaching

By | Expert Interview

So often people go into the coaching relationship with a whole load of expectations that the coach will do all of the work for them, and that they in turn will receive an almost instantaneous transformation. I will confess, I was this person 2-years ago while working with Mindful Money Coach, Ilana Jankowitz.

I thought Ilana would wave her magic wand and transform everything around me into gold. There were great expectations of money flowing easily into my bank account, and I really thought that by coaching with her my business would automatically shift up a gear. But when this didn’t happen, and I’d convinced myself that I hadn’t received any transformation at all, I was left feeling frustrated, annoyed and angry. It seemed to me like all we did was waste endless time doing exercises focused on my past. I didn’t want to look in that direction. I wanted to focus on the present and moving my business forward.

It didn’t help that at the time I was pregnant with my little girl Myla and I really suffered through the full 9-months. I was mentally exhausted, physically depleted through constant vomiting and sickness, and still working. 

But after I had Myla, and could finally take some time out, I had time to reflect on myself. I’ve been into coaching and personal development ever since I was a teenager. But sometimes when things don’t work out how I planned in my head, I’ve fallen back to old thinking, old patterns and old habits.

Since my time with Ilana I’ve done a lot more personal development and I saw the seeds that Ilana had quietly planted in me had begun to grow. Then a realisation hit me – that you don’t just change overnight, it’s a process and you have to be willing to change your old stories and patterns. 

Ilana helped me identify my stories through her exercises but her coaching wasn’t just about making money, it was so much more. It was really about learning about myself – how I am, how I am with other people and my limiting beliefs that stop me from moving forward. This is what I had to deal with but had been resisting.

I’m grateful to Ilana for her patience and persistence and for the seeds of change she sewed in me. I recognised as well similarities between my expectations of coaching with Ilana and those that people have when they work with a stylist. People come into the relationship with an expectation of a transformation like they show on TV. What I’ve seen (and especially with the ladies who took part in my recent ‘Style with Confidence’ program, which will be launching again soon), was that helping them to own and be confident with their style was just about sewing seeds, giving them the tools and making small tweaks that made a big difference.

As with my work with Ilana, the magic happens when we break our old habits. I was constantly doing my old habits, but once I broke through them using some of the tools Ilana gave me, that’s when the real magic happened. And that’s what I see my clients do too.

As women we have certain roadblocks. When it comes to style it can be telling yourself you don’t have enough money to have style. Or you’re not the perfect size, or you can’t have the wardrobe you want because you don’t look like XYZ! We all have these kinds of blocks that can stop us from being the best version of ourselves and reaching our full potential, or feeling confident about ourselves.

So that’s why I decided to catch up with Ilana, to let her tell you more about what she does and how she helps shift women’s road blocks, so they can heal their money mindset.

Over to you Ilana…

Q: Tell us a little bit about why you got into Money Coaching and how you help women transform their mindset?

Ilana: One of the women who really inspired me to get into Money Coaching was Lynne Twist. She’s a money coach and a philanthropist and I always had this vision that I wanted to help and empower women to be financially independent. I wanted to be able to help women across the globe – from the poorest to the wealthiest communities – because their money problems are often very similar or come from the same source. The work that I do is to help women understand where their behaviours, beliefs and patterns come from and understand that they are manifesting the life that they’ve got.

“I wanted to help and empower women to be financially independent”

I got into coaching because I needed it myself, and I’d put it off for quite a long time because I didn’t want to face it. Half my problem was that I was really set in my ways. I was the complete Tyrant archetype – controlling, manipulative, highly materialistic and I had all of those things around money because of my childhood. But in the end I went for it because it got to the stage where I knew I really had to fix it.

I remember at the time I was reading about Lynne Twist, and I listened to her being interviewed by Oprah, and I thought to myself, “I want to do that. I want to do coaching with girls from deprived communities, all the way to wealthy women, because as women we’ve all got the same struggles. That’s why I do what I do.”

Q: In your coaching work, what do you see as the number one obstacle for the women you work with? 

Ilana: Self-esteem, not believing in themselves, basically their self-worth has been knocked. This comes from childhood, it comes from our parents comparing us to our siblings. It comes from us feeling that we’re not enough because we’re trying to live up to our parent’s expectations. Even as adults we still try to live up to our parents approval, but we often feel like we’re falling short.

“Women don’t believe that they deserve the things they should be having in their lives”

When women are in business or trying to become financially empowered with their money situation, they often feel like they can’t do it, like they’re not strong enough. They don’t have the tools or believe enough in themselves, which is why I’ve started my “I AM” series. Women don’t believe that they deserve the things they should be having in their lives, and this is connected to their self-worth.

I find that’s a universal problem. It doesn’t matter if I work with women with a lot of money, or women who have got no money at all, across the board it’s self-worth.

Q: One of the obstacles I find a lot of my clients come up against, is guilt for investing in good quality clothes for themselves. What advice would you give to help them get over this hurdle? 

Ilana: I think clothing, especially for women in business, is your signature. You only have a few seconds to make a first impression and you get this opportunity only once, so a good investment in your outward appearance is vital. You don’t have to start your wardrobe from scratch every time, once you’ve made that initial investment, you’re then just adding to the basics. I think it’s very important to have a good wardrobe and especially a good one for work.

Look at it this way, investing in your wardrobe is investing back into your business. For instance in your business you invest in a new computer, new business cards, brochures or other equipment when you need them, and I believe clothing should also be on that list. It’s something that is actually really important because, as I said, you’ve only got a few seconds and one opportunity to make that first impression.

“Look at it this way, investing in your wardrobe is investing back into your business”

Women’s guilt with buying or investing in themselves is all wrapped up in the, ‘I don’t deserve’ mindset. That also comes from the way they feel about themselves and that they’re not good enough to spend money on themselves. For women who are in business, how you appear in your business is so important. You have to ask yourself if someone will want to work with you the way you look? If you’re going onto a call with a prospective client, they will see how you dress and remember you by it.

I often get that from people, they’ll refer to a video I did and say things like, “Oh that video you did in that grey top”, or something similar. People remember things about your appearance. Even if you don’t generally care that much about clothes, when it comes to work you have to.

Q: I meet so many women who find it hard to speak with their partner about money and will even hide new clothing purchases from them rather than face the conversation! How would you help them overcome this? 

Ilana: I always encourage my clients to talk about money, and that money is not a taboo subject, so to talk about it with their partners and even with their children. Believe it or not, you can actually talk with your partner about money, and it can be something that’s quite exciting, especially when you’re planning ahead for certain things like a holiday or putting away money for your pension, or for clothing.

“Believe it or not, you can actually talk with your partner about money”

I believe that clothing, as I said before, is part of your business (if you’re in business or going into businesses) and that it’s an investment in ensuring you have the right tools for the job. I think the more open you are and the more honest your conversations are with your partner this helps them to understand that it’s important for you to make that investment.

Q: The last 14-months have been strange and challenging in a way we’ve never experienced before. For a lot of people this confinement in their home and a lack of freedom has brought up a lot of old stories and beliefs, which has really impacted their mental wellbeing. What would you say to help people overcome this?

Ilana: Be creative and do things differently. It’s been a different year so do things differently. You still need to show up, you still need to be seen, you still need to get dressed! You still need to put yourself out there. A lot of people haven’t shopped but they’ve invested in their business instead – clothing is part of your business. I’ve been able to help a lot of clients in the last year because I’m more present online. And more people are of course doing a lot more things online. So, it’s really important that you wash your hair, get dressed and show up!

Get some coaching support to find your niche and your why for doing what you’re doing.

Q: As businesses start to open again, and people want to start shopping again they may also be feeling nervous about spending money. What are your top coaching tips for setting up and sticking to a clothing budget?

Ilana: People need to know how much money they’ve got to spend. In other words, it’s not on credit cards, it’s not getting into debt, it’s making sure you have the budget for it. Start slowly and invest in one item at a time if that’s all your budget allows. 

Also be sensible, know that there’s a long time between now and the next salary. Or, if they own their own business, where is the next money coming from? They need to watch their budget and look at why they’re spending. What emotions come up? Are you spending because you’re so happy to be out of the house now? Are you shopping out of boredom or just because you haven’t been able to shop for 4-months? Why are you shopping – what are you actually buying? Don’t let your emotions drive you to make a purchase. What drives a purchase should be a necessity – what you need.

“You need to think about your future and also the next generation if you’ve got kids”

Interestingly I was being interviewed earlier today about women turning 40 and how they haven’t saved before. We talked about getting their life on track when it comes to their money and getting them communicating and understanding their money. Being aware of their expenses and being aware of their savings and being aware of their future. And it was quite funny because one of the women said, “Yes but thinking about pensions makes us feel old!” The reality is it doesn’t mean you’re retiring now, but you are saving and planning and not waiting until you’re 65 and thinking, “Oh dear I should have done this in my 20s!”

I always say that you need to think about your future and also the next generation if you’ve got kids. What are you wanting to do, what’s your bigger picture? Is it just that you want to survive from month to month or do you want to be able to know that you can live the same lifestyle when you reach pension age? A lot of women don’t consider that, and a lot of them leave it up to their husbands. And unfortunately, for a lot of them, when their husbands reach a certain age they say, “Cheers” and then they’re off, which is what I learnt today from these women. Be prepared and be empowered with your money.

Q: I’m a big believer in morning routines and rituals. Do you have any morning routines or rituals that help you every day with your money mindset? 

Ilana: Yes definitely! I have a morning routine that I do daily without fail and have been doing it for a few years now. And I always encourage my coaching clients to do the same, and that is to keep a gratitude diary. I also meditate daily as well. Gratitude is very, very important so if you start your day off with gratitude, every day you’ll find more things to be grateful for. It’s important to remember that money is also energy, and it flows to you and, also, away from you, so it’s also a wonderful way to start the day with an attitude of gratitude towards your money and the money in your business.

“I’m eternally grateful that I have abundance in my life”

For me personally, when I do my gratitude obviously I include things that are important to me like my family and the positive energy that I have that I try to take into the day with me. I also have a strong prosperity and abundant focused mindset, and it’s one of the things that I say gratitude for every single day and even at night before I go to sleep. I’m eternally grateful that I have abundance in my life, so it’s definitely a morning routine that I practice. And, as I mentioned, I encourage ALL my coaching clients to practice this too. At the start some of them say they can’t find things to be grateful for, but the more they practice, you know, the more they go from being able to think of two to five to ten things, as they get into the rhythm of it.

Q: What coaching tips would you give to help women connect with their self-worth and know that they deserve to invest in themselves?

Ilana: Believing that they’re enough. Believing that they need to talk positively about their lives. If they keep saying things like, “I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve this”, all the negativity is exactly what the outcome is going to be. If they keep telling themselves, “I can’t afford this now. I can’t invest in myself or buy these things. I’m waiting until I’m ready, until I’ve lost weight”, they’ll never do it. They need to actually make peace with it and with themselves.

They also need to learn to understand what’s driving their behaviour to feel that they don’t deserve it. Where does it come from? Things don’t just change overnight, you need to actually know where these beliefs come from. Often it’s from your childhood, things like, “Your brother’s so good at maths, why didn’t you get 90% for maths?” Things that have along the way knocked your confidence; realise that those things have happened and you couldn’t control it, but now you can. You can talk to yourself and say, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. This is my time”. It’s about the words that you speak, the thoughts that you have, the mindset that you have over yourself.

Q: And finally, how can people connect for coaching with you?

Ilana: The Money Quiz on my website is a great place to start, and then I’ll be very happy to jump on a call with them. When they take my quiz they’ll be able to find out what’s driving their behaviour. Then we’ll have a chat about what I see in the quiz. It doesn’t only tell me what’s going on in their money story, it tells me what’s going on in their relationships, work, if they’re making money in their business. It will show me if they’re being an Innocent and giving the control over to someone else rather than to themselves. Or if they’re being a Victim and living in the past and not able to move forward. I’ll then be able to work through those issues with them.

So, that’s a wrap…I hope you enjoyed this interview with Ilana as much as I did and have taken away some nuggets of gold that you can apply in your life.

If you’re ready to take charge of your confidence and style, feel free to reach out to me at info@signature-five.com and we can chat through the ways we can make that happen for you.

wardrobe detox

Decluttering Your Wardrobe Isn’t The First Step

By | Mindset & Confidence, Wardrobe Detox

Many stylists (me included) often talk about a wardrobe detox being the first activity we do with our clients.

But it’s recently occurred to me that I actually need to do a little rewind on that. Because, in actual fact, before I start doing anything physical with my clients, the very first step we take is an internal one.

You see, to truly find a style that speaks to you on every level, the first thing you need to do is get clear on your vision. And having a true vision means understanding your mindset and the limiting beliefs you have about who you are, what “society” expects of you, how comfortable and accepting you are of your body, and so on.

When you can be really honest about these things, you bust your own BS around them, the excuses about why you can’t have the style you want stop, and you’re free to just go for it.

Encouraging and supporting my clients with this mindset work can feel as enjoyable to me as the styling itself. When the internal pieces slot into place, magic happens and it’s like seeing a woman reborn and ready to take on the world – it’s truly glorious!

So, before you fling open your wardrobe doors and go full throttle into a declutter, first let’s find out…

What’s going on in your head?

Your mindset is the thing that will have the greatest impact on how you dress.

From believing you’re worth investing in, to challenging the idea that some women are just more stylish than others, how you think about these things will determine the style choices you make.

The most common disconnect I see in women when it comes to mindset, is that they want to prioritise their personal style but come up with a million excuses that hold them back…

  • I don’t have the perfect body
  • I have kids
  • They don’t make nice clothes in plus sizes
  • I need lots of money to have a great wardrobe

Sound familiar?

It’s easy to look at super stylish women and think it’s a breeze for them, but that simply isn’t true. There’s no such thing as effortless style; it takes work and commitment and a desire to genuinely care about how you look.

What style vision are you holding?

When it comes to your style you need to have a vision that’s fully aligned with your goals. How do you want to be in the world? How do you want people to see you? When you align your inner vision with your outward appearance your whole demeanor changes. You hold yourself more confidently, you command attention in an authentic way and you allow yourself to fully show up.

A great example of this is going for a promotion at work. If the promotion requires you to step up and lead a team, create a clear vision of how your outward appearance can support this? Never underestimate how much dressing for the role you’re stepping into can help you embody the mindset and confidence you need. Your style really is that powerful!

Once you’re clear on your vision and goals, give yourself permission to have some fun browsing magazines or searching Pinterest. Resources like these are brilliant for sparking your creativity and helping you understand what styles speak to you. In the ‘Get Visual’ section of my recent blog “Oh My God You Can’t Wear That!” I share more about using Pinterest as a tool for this purpose.

Are you working with your body?

Knowing what suits your body shape, skin tone and features is an absolute game changer. But I want to be clear, I’m talking about owning your body shape as it is right now, not how you hope it will be one day!

You deserve to feel amazing in your clothes whatever shape and size you are! And, when you use your clothes to your advantage, they can really accentuate and elevate your assets and minimize any less than desirable aspects.

Knowledge about which styles work best for your shape will help you create a more cohesive and streamlined wardrobe, which makes putting outfits together a dream.

Does your wardrobe reflect your time?

If you find yourself saying you have nothing to wear, it’s because your wardrobe is not entirely matching your lifestyle. Your clothes need to be aligned with how you spend most of your time.

When you have a few minutes spare, record how your week is broken down. Are you 60% at work, 20% doing sports and 20% socialising? Look at how this breaks down. Then look at your wardrobe and see if it represents how your time is split.

When your wardrobe is aligned with your lifestyle you’ll find it’s more cohesive and easier to dress every morning.

Once you have clarity on all of these elements, it’s finally time to throw open the doors to your wardrobe and let the decluttering begin! And I can guarantee you’ll do it with a far greater feeling of purpose and ease.

If you’re ready to commit to finding your style and would like support with piecing your your vision together, get in touch – it would be my pleasure to help you.

inner critic

Oh My God You Can’t Wear That!

By | Mindset & Confidence, Style Tips

“No seriously, you cannot wear that! I mean, who do you think you are? You look ridiculous. You’re way too young/ old/ fat/ thin/ short/ tall…” Blah, blah, blah! Let’s be honest, most of us have an inner critic that can easily pop a word (or ten) onto the end of a statement like that!

The inner critic

As a stylist, I often find myself coming up against my client’s inner critics. I can see the moment when this internal dialogue kicks in. Insecurity and doubt surface, which holds them back from making decisions about what to buy or wear.

I recently worked with a client whose inner critic kicked in whenever she went to buy clothes. The insecurity she felt about her choices and whether items would suit her or not, stopped her from buying anything at all.

In almost every area of her life she was extremely successful and capable. But when it came to her personal style and shopping for clothes, she found herself constantly going back and forth about whether she should buy something or not, or whether something was her style. She kept having a constant inner dialogue with herself. So much so that by the time she’d made the decision to go for it, more often than not the item she was considering would be sold out!

Sound familiar?

If, like my client, you also find yourself feeling insecure about buying clothes because you don’t know if it’s the right piece to invest in. Or you don’t know if something is going to suit you. Or you don’t know how to wear it. I’m here to let you know there are solutions.

The solutions

The first place I always start with my clients is with their intentions and desires for their style. As with most things in life, if you don’t have a clear image in your mind of what you want, it’s so easy to get hijacked and thrown off by your inner critic. Start with how do you want to turn up in the world? How would you like to dress?

Then review your wardrobe. It’s important to see what you already have and to decide what you do and don’t like and, just as importantly, how each piece of clothing makes you feel. It’s amazing how many of us have wardrobes filled with clothes that are completely out of alignment with our lifestyles and the woman that we are right now and/or are working towards becoming.

Instead, we allow all sorts of other things to dictate our style. The expectations and habits of the person you used to be. The image that family, friends or your profession have of you. The “appropriateness” that society puts on you. All of these things create a disconnect between you and your true style personality.

Get visual

One of the most powerful and fun ways I help women connect with their style is by creating a mood board of images. Pinterest is hands down my favourite resource for doing this. You can start a board and then have a wonderful time exploring the incredible array of images available on the platform. What you’re looking for are images that light you up and speak to the woman inside you. You might pin complete head to toe looks or individual items, colours, textures, or even images that simply portray a vibe and energy and feeling you’re looking for.

Having this kind of visual representation of your style is so helpful for putting looks together. Initially you might copy a complete look, which is fine, or you might immediately find that the images spark your own inspiration for how you want to put pieces together and create looks that are unique to you.

And remember, you can always get a tailor to alter your clothes, so they fit you perfectly. So, don’t let your inner critic keep you sitting on the fence because an item you love doesn’t fit quite right. If you love it take the plunge and get it altered.

If you’re letting your inner critic hold you back from having the style you want, please get in touch. Together we can kick your critic to the curb, so you can sashay into your future owning a style that’s truly yours.

style and confidence

The Style & Confidence Connection

By | Mindset & Confidence

There’s no getting away from the fact that style and confidence go hand in hand.

I’ve always thought that an interesting test of how confident you’re feeling about your self-image, is when you go into the dreaded shop dressing rooms! Don’t even get me started on why so many of them have the most god-awful lighting and mirrors in this crucial decision-making area!

But I digress…

You see, style is external, confidence is internal. This means that your style is an outward reflection of how you feel about yourself. If you look in the dressing room mirror and pick holes in everything you see, then there’s some work to be done!

Confidence is an inside game

When we’re struggling internally it’s really easy to adopt a, “I don’t give a s**t what I wear, I just need to get x, y, z done” mindset. We slip into the rut of putting any old combination of clothes on without thought or care. This unconsciously feeds our negative mindset and makes us feel even worse about ourselves.

But here’s the beautiful thing. You can totally transform how you feel about yourself and your life with style and confidence. Now I know you’re probably thinking that’s a big statement but hear me out.

You see, all of your experiences of life are happening from the inside-out not the outside in. When you understand that you’re the one in the driving seat, you can change how you feel and how you see yourself.

So, if you find yourself thinking…

  • But I’m not the ‘right’ dress size
  • I’m not the ‘right’ weight
  • I don’t have someone special to look good for
  • I don’t have enough money to have style

Please STOP!!

You’re just putting big old excuses in your way. True confidence never comes from an external source or someone waving a magic wand. All the confidence you’ll ever need is already inside you – all you need to do is turn the dial up a few notches!

Style is an external manifestation of you

One of the easiest ways to turn up your confidence dial is through the clothes you wear.

Look at it this way – you have to get dressed every morning anyway, right? So why not go all in and choose clothes that help you feel confident and really good about yourself.

My advice is to think about what your clothes are saying about you. If you don’t like what they’re saying and they don’t make you feel good, it’s time to make some changes. You’ve got one shot at this magical thing called life, so why not sashay through it wearing clothes that make you feel incredible!

One of the things I adore the most about being a stylist is seeing women’s confidence skyrocket when they look in the mirror and just know they’ve found their Signature Style. If you’re ready to have this experience too and would love my help, book a Refresh Your Style and Colour call – I can’t wait to hear from you!

Signature Style

How do You Create a Signature Style?

By | Style Tips

Do you know why the likes of Amal Clooney, Meghan Markle and Katie Holmes all look amazing? Ok yes, they might have a brilliant stylist, but if you look carefully you’ll see they all have a signature style.

Every time you see them photographed there’s always a synergy with what they’re wearing, and they look extremely well put together.

These ladies know what they like and have a style personality that’s the perfect match with their lifestyles. They don’t necessarily follow trends, but when they do, it’s a trend that works for them and suits their physical appearance.

Take Amal Clooney for example. You’ll instantly see that she always looks well-polished and put together. She definitely dresses to impress whether she’s going to a courtroom or hanging out with her kids and gorgeous hubby. There’s a synergy with what she wears that oozes sophisticated chic – clean, feminine tailored silhouettes, minimalistic jewellery (often earrings rather than necklaces) and a bold lipstick to accentuate her pouty lips. Head to toe she always looks a million dollars.

What is a signature style?

Many might describe signature style as a uniform, but I beg to differ. Uniforms remind me of what I wore to school in the UK; polyester shirt with a navy and green striped tie, navy pleated skirt and a cheap navy V-neck sweater with the school emblem. We all looked like clones!

The way I look at signature style is that it’s an outward translation of who you are on the inside. Our clothing is our second skin that shows the world who we are. It needs to complement our first skin and our lives, and not dominate or become the only focal point.

“Our clothes should make us feel like our best version of ourselves and create a memorable and authentic image.” 

Something I believe and share with my clients are the five key components to creating your signature style. Some will be obvious and others less so.

Let’s take a look at each of them…

Component 1: Mindset

Quite frankly I think this is the most important of the five components, and something you may not have even considered when it comes to your style. However, your mindset is the thing that will have the greatest impact on how you dress.

From believing you’re worth investing in, to challenging the idea that some women are just more stylish than others, how you think about these things will determine the style choices you make. Of course, it also depends whether your personal style is a priority to you (if it’s not that’s absolutely fine). But if it is something you prioritise, you’ll be far more willing to invest the time, money and effort aligning your style to who you are.

The most common disconnect I see in women when it comes to mindset, is that they want to prioritise their personal style but come up with a million excuses that hold them back, such as…

  1. I can’t dress like her because I don’t have the perfect body
  2. I can’t dress how I want because I have kids
  3. They don’t make nice clothes in plus sizes
  4. To have a great wardrobe I need lots of money

I could go on and on!

It’s easy to look at super stylish women and think it’s a breeze for them because they have great figures, they have more money or they have more time, and if I had all of that it would be easy for me too.

But that simply isn’t true. There’s no such thing as effortless style; it takes work and commitment.

Style comes when you care

Style doesn’t come when you have all your ducks in a row. It comes when you care about how you look and decide to make it a priority. And if style isn’t your priority at the moment, there’s no shame in that.

But you can’t say your style is a priority for you and then not put any effort in – that’s where the disconnect lies. Your actions need to match your mindset.

Recently after giving birth I kept feeling crap about the way I looked and blamed it on all the baby weight I’d put on (chocolate bar regret felt very real!!). I kept thinking, “I need to lose weight before I can dress how I want”. I was giving myself a hard time, but in reality there was a disconnect because I wasn’t actually making much effort with looking my best – I was lucky if I had time to wash my hair!

As soon I came to terms with the fact that my appearance wasn’t my priority at that time, I freed myself up to focusing on what really mattered, which was adapting to life with a new member in our family and being a family of 4.

Now I’m back at work my priority has shifted again. My body isn’t quite back to how it was pre-pregnancy, but I’m not hung up on it, because I’m doing something about it. I’m putting in the time, money and investment and wearing clothes that flatter me best.

How do you feel getting dressed?

To find out how you really feel about your style, think about how you feel getting dressed every morning. Do you just see it as a chore, or do you see it as part of your self-care and self-expression? How do you feel about the clothes you put on every morning? These feelings are important as they set the tone for your day.

How highly do you prioritise your self-image?

Granted self-image won’t always be a top priority for everyone, and that’s absolutely fine. But if it is something you’re not happy with, do you believe you can learn about and stretch your style muscles? Are you willing to put the effort and time in and not make excuses?

Once you’ve given yourself permission to make your self-image a priority, you can then consider the next components.

Component 2: Personality

Like anything you do, you need to have a vision of how you want to look and what message you want to convey.

Think about it this way. If you were decorating a home, you wouldn’t just start randomly buying every piece of furniture you like. First you’d think about what kind of space you want to create and the mood – are you going for antique or shabby chic, or a cleaner minimalistic look? Then you’d buy furniture that’s to your taste and adds a finesse that makes you feel good about the room.

It’s the same with your style. Your style should translate who you are on the inside to how you look on the outside. (I’ll be exploring this in more detail in my upcoming blog, ‘How to Look Effortlessly Stylish’.) 

Component 3: Lifestyle

Do you often hear yourself saying you have nothing to wear? Well, this is because your wardrobe is not entirely matching your lifestyle. Your clothes need to be functional for your everyday activities, but more often than not we end up with a wardrobe that sways more to one aspect of our lives than the others.

Next time you have a few minutes spare, record how your week is broken down. For example, are you 60% at work, 20% doing sports and 20% socialising. Then look at your wardrobe; does it represent how your time is split? When your wardrobe is aligned with your lifestyle you’ll find it’s more cohesive and easier to dress every morning.

Component 4: Physical Characteristics 

Quite simply, this is knowing what suits your body shape, skin tone and features. Be true to yourself and don’t look at how you hope to dress if you were a few sizes smaller or bigger. Dress for the body and skin you have now because believe me, it’s the one you’ll be wishing you had in 10-years’ time!

Use clothes to your advantage as they can really accentuate and elevate your assets and minimize any less than desirable aspects.

Learning how to dress for your body and knowing what colours to wear is a long-term investment that can be a big game changer.

Component 5: Essential Pieces for a Signature Style

This goes hand in hand with lifestyle. Every woman needs to have staple pieces in her wardrobe that she can dress up or down, and that truly reflect her personality and lifestyle.

From my experience, one reason women struggle with building multiple outfits is because they lack good basics. Avoid trends unless it’s one that you can pull off and will last many seasons in your wardrobe.

If you look at the women who dress with style and ease and look comfortable in their skin, you’ll see how they use the right essential pieces that become part of their staple look.

Another point to remember is that your essential pieces don’t need to break the bank! Always remember to buy the best quality and mix high and low prices. For example, I spend around 30CHF on white t-shirts because I know they’ll wear out quickly. I’ll buy a few of them as they’re part of my signature style, but I also wear a lot of blazers and these will vary in price range. I have high priced ones as well as a couple from Zara that are timeless.

“The key to making a signature look work year after year, is to be consistent but not fall entirely into a rut” – stylist Kate Young

Once you’ve done all the hard work with establishing and building your signature style, you need to ensure you keep it current.

I’m not a believer of constantly shopping, but sometimes some styles do get outdated or look worn out. Just keep this in mind and always be on the lookout for a replacement.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes from Anne Klein…

“Clothes aren’t going to change the world. The women who wear them will.”

If you’re ready to create a signature style and would like to discuss these component parts in more detail, I’m here to help! Book yourself in for a style consultation and we can talk things through together.