When you read the headline to this blog did you gasp, raise your eyebrows, and think, “How could she say such a terrible thing!”
Well, keep reading and I’ll explain…
In the early years of having kids, they are endlessly fascinating. You find yourself happily watching them all day. And anything they do (even their bowel movements!) makes it into your news of the day.
“The reality is that all a small child really thinks about is itself”
Last week, I was watching Myla play in the playground. It’s funny how at this small age they really don’t interact much with other kids. They’re quite content playing on their own and just going about their business, looking after their own needs.
When they’re hungry they come to you. If they’ve fallen, they cry to let you know. When a nappy needs changing…well, if they’re anything like Myla they run as fast as their little feet can take them, in the opposite direction to avoid the dreaded diaper change! When they’re tired, they let you know by being cranky. The reality is that all a small child really thinks about is itself.
This got me wondering – when does this dynamic change?
When do we stop being a priority?
When do we stop putting ourselves first, and start prioritising everything and everyone else instead?
I hear this so often from women I work with. They stop thinking about themselves first and instead prioritise their family and/or their work. Even mid-shop they stop shopping for themselves and start looking for things for their partner and kids instead!
Maybe because we feel it’s our “duty”. Maybe we feel we need to be spinning many plates all at the same time. But what happens when one plate (the main plate) stops spinning? Yep, every one of those plates comes crashing down.
A case in point
I recently had a client, a mother of two and a professional with a lovely husband who gifted her my full Signature package. He wanted her to take the time and invest in herself rather than always prioritising everyone else. And most of all he wanted her to feel good about her image.
Mandy didn’t really enjoy shopping and avoided it at all costs. If she really had to do it, she would impulse buy or rely on a friend. However, she did always take the time to shop for her kids, do the food shopping and make sure everything was organised at home, all while holding down a highly demanding full-time job.
Shopping in this way meant that her wardrobe was full of pieces she bought on impulse but were never worn, and instead she continued relying on 10% of her wardrobe. The items she bought with her friend were exciting purchases, but they somehow never saw the light of day and just lingered in her closet fully intact with the tags still on.
“Even if our clothes aren’t making us feel great, we carry on wearing them because we convince ourselves that it’s not a priority”
The items that took up most of her wardrobe were home clothes. You know, the ones that are too tired, tatty, or embarrassing because they have snoopy or some other childlike character on the front. The clothes that you think no one is ever going to see you in until the doorbell rings!
Even though Mandy knew that for her job she needed to portray a certain image, she’d lost her style because she was busy prioritising her whole family rather than taking some time for herself.
I see this a lot.
Even if our clothes aren’t making us feel great, we often carry on wearing them because we convince ourselves that it’s not a priority. It doesn’t matter. Especially right now when we’re still working from home on Zoom and are only seen from the waist up. The attitude is that as long as our top half looks ok, we’re good to go. Believe me, I know the thought process.
Your style is non-negotiable
I want you to stop for a second and think of all the things that are non-negotiable every morning. For example, brushing your teeth, having a shower and yes, putting clothes on.
Getting dressed is something we must do whether we like it or not. So why do we think it doesn’t matter? If we don’t brush our teeth every day, sooner or later we’ll start having bad breath, eventually our teeth will rot and it will be difficult to reverse the damage. More than likely you’d start losing your confidence to smile.
This is exactly the same with the clothes we put on.
If you stop paying attention to what you wear, how does that make you feel? If you stop wearing clothes you like, what image are you portraying and what narrative are you telling yourself?
How many times have you procrastinated about getting yourself something because it’s too overwhelming or you can’t bear going online or to the stores? Or you’ve bought something but not worn it?
You must put yourself first
I recently flew back from London, and I was alone with both of my kids for the first time ever, and woohoo I survived! But that’s by the by. The point of me mentioning this is because of the reminder you always get every time you fly – in case of an emergency, PUT YOUR OWN OXYGEN MASK ON FIRST!! Then and only then do you put the masks on your little ones.
There’s so much wisdom in that, not just for the sake of staying alive on a plane, but for life in general. You see, in order to be better at your job, be a better mum, or be a better wife, it’s vital to put yourself first.
Being unhappy with the way you look on the outside can send unconscious messages to your brain. These messages then translate into a lack of confidence, lowering your self-esteem and your self-worth. Research has also shown that in some cases women who stop prioritising themselves also end up gaining weight.
Small steps create big change
Sometimes we think changing our style is such a mammoth job and we become paralysed not knowing where to start. But as with anything new, the best way is always to take small but consistent baby steps.
“Start prioritising yourself and taking time out for you”
You might think you need a whole new wardrobe, lots of money, to lose weight, or you need more time to get the style you want. But what if I told you those things just aren’t true, and you can take your first baby step for change right now!
And here it is, step one – start prioritising yourself and taking time out for you.
I know that sounds so cliche but honestly, even if you take 30-minutes for yourself doing nothing, I bet it will make a difference. I’ll also put my money on it that if you wore something nice from your wardrobe, it would make a big change to how you go about your day and how you feel about yourself.
So, are you willing to take up the challenge and put yourself first?
If you know that when it comes to your style you can’t or don’t want to go it alone, then I have the perfect next step for you. In December I’ll be releasing my free 3-part online workshop called ‘Be, Wear, Shine’ where I’ll show you how you can change your style. This workshop is the perfect way to get you really thinking about the style you want, so you can move forward into 2022 putting yourself first and feeling amazing in your clothes. If you’re serious about taking the next steps, then please sign up by CLICKING HERE and filling in the google form. Then we’ll send you details in due course.