Have you ever worn something because a salesperson at the store picked it out for you but you just didn’t quite feel “right” in it?
Have you ever LOVED a style in a magazine only to try and rock it yourself and in the end, feel UNCOMFORTABLE because it might be too bright, bold or revealing?
The cycle that usually perpetuates thereafter is either one of two things (1) we find the “go-to” clothes: the all black outfit, the same style pant or blazer in 3 different colors, the ongoing leggings with various tops – OR – (2) we embrace imposter syndrome and end up wearing clothes that are PRETTY but that leave us feeling like we’re wearing a costume.
All the above and my personal experience with it was the catalyst for this thing I like to call LEADERSHIP STYLE POWER. Allow me to explain.
This first image is my first headshot for Ustyled.
While I have always gotten a lot of compliments on it, I never felt like it was me.
It was too much makeup, too perfect of hair, too many ruffles. (My hair is naturally curly/wavy, I prefer my makeup more natural and I have more of a classic personal style.)
In fact, last week I spoke at the Modern Femme conference on Redefining Dress for Success (aka Leadership Style Power) and when I shared this picture as a part of my own evolution in Leadership Style Power, no one recognized it as me. They were actually amusingly surprised that it was/is me!
Which actually makes a lot of sense. It never resonated because this was before I owned myself and how I wanted to show up. I was still finding myself and my style, even if I was naturally good at understanding my clients’ style.
This image is more about what I thought I should look like. (Perfect)
This second picture is closer to me.
It was taken about 6 months post a big break-up in early 2013. I had felt like I came into my own.
I lost literal and figurative heaviness with that breakup. (15+ pounds, to be exact!)
My business started growing.
Yet, I still had a LONG way to go on my own journey to totally owning my power and presence.
Of course, I didn’t quite know it. At this point, I hadn’t started speaking. I was just starting to get more visibility and getting more comfortable being seen.
With each event, I stepped up. Each new item, conscious of the woman who I was growing into.
This third picture is my current business image.
It’s actually a couple years old now, but it still feels like me.
Notice the power heels, the full body shot and the bolder necklace.
These all say, “Look at me.”
And my essence is now able to match back with, “I am not nervous with these eyes on me. I have a message to share and I’m here to share it.”
In fact, this last picture is someone I’ve been stepping into in the last couple of years. So, now when people meet me, they DO feel my power and presence. It feels natural because it is.
I want you to know that YOU can cultivate it, too.
And that’s what Leadership Style Power is all about. How you FEEL in your presence and power.
Because for my work with Ustyled and our clients, clothes are about confidence.
They’re an opportunity to communicate WHO you are, WHAT you have to say and WHY you have to say it. They give you an opportunity to connect with your audience with your message.
This is why I’m hosting a FREE webinar this coming Friday, May 12th at 1 pm ET.
(To get your Q’s answered Show up LIVE or email them in, but the call will be recorded and sent out)
What you’ll learn in this webinar:
>> The Principles of Leadership Style Power (and what they mean for YOU)
>> The results of Leadership Style Power
>> The first steps in HOW to create your Leadership Style Power (aka Clarity)
>> More of my own story of evolving my style, confidence and success
While I may have always had an interest in style and clothes as a form of expression and communication (and sometimes a coat of arms in really uncomfortable situations), I have not always been this confident in myself.
Statistics show that CONFIDENCE is a key reason why women don’t get more promotions, raises or opportunities for advancing. (The Atlantic)
And I still have plenty of moments where I still use my clothes and presence to help me move through challenging situations. (Like, just last weekend when I needed a mood boost before a #WHCD event.)
I share this because while it’s been an exciting few months for me with Ustyled and it’s easy to look at the opportunities that are showing up and think that must be easy …
It’s actually been a 3+ year process to get to this point of speaking and it’s been an 8+ year journey of owning my confidence and power as a leader.
So, I’ve walked the talk. And I’m still walking it. I’m still evolving and growing. As is my style and HOW I want to show up.
ALL of this comes down to confidence. I could have definitely gotten to this point a lot more quickly, but I had to move through my fears, my playing small and my doubt to be able to finally own how I can impact others when I share my work and my message.
I want YOU to get there a lot more quickly.
It’s kind of like how I felt/feel when I give advice to my brothers: I’m really not trying to be a know-it-all//bossy-big-sister. PLEASE learn from my mistakes so you don’t make them!
I hope to see you on the webinar! I hope this post inspires you to reflect back on your OWN evolution of style.