Dress yourself up!

Dress for where you want to be!

This is a concept I definitely forgot and lost sight of. I am a clear cut champion for women’s equality – I love to hear of women making a difference, love to hear them being successful or being able to do something they love. I am a firm believer in not apologising for chasing who we want to be.

There is still such a long way to go in many areas – pay equality is still a very real issue for many, gaining access to flexible working conditions to balance family and certainly something very close to my heart the eliminating violence against women. There is still such a long way to go with this process. The statistics on partner violence is just staggering and it will take a woman trying to leave 7 times before she actually leaves for good.

What is wrong with our system where the stats say that a woman who leaves domestic violence is most at risk after she leaves?

Mmmm I think we have missed something in our system here!

But despite these major societal things that need more development, I think as women we need to be kinder to ourselves, take some time to think about where we want to be. That doesn’t have to be 10 years time, it might be a mindset shift you hope to make. See the things that we have to push ourselves to do are often the things we need to do most.

For me, meditation is key to bringing down or breaking an anxiety cycle yet more often than not I need to force myself to engage in as I’m ‘too tired and just want to vege’ or ‘I’m too busy and need to be doing some chore’ thus feeding my highly anxious state.

See many years ago before I became a mother and knee deep in shitty nappies, I dressed for work each day in my nicest corporate wear, wore a different pair of shoes, hair done and had my head head high. I was young in my work environments and wanted to prove my worth and work hard to show I was capable and studied my butt off.

Fast forward a few years and a bitter divorce, I dressed the way I felt. I was sleep deprived, drained by the courts, sad, lost, broken and angry. I walked around in leggings and hoodies. I have no issue with this attire, it is still very much part of my week of outfits, but it wasn’t my real self, wasn’t my happy best self or where I ultimately wanted to be.

I see a strong connection between the way we dress, present ourselves and view ourselves with our mental health. If we are low and sad these are usually the first things we drop. What I am talking about is not just aesthetics of what we wear but what is our inner self talk when we stand in the mirror each day. Do you dress yourself down? I am bloody brilliant at it – like Oscar winning – you are fat, you look tired, you suck as a mum, you don’t do crafts with the kids, don’t dream big as you won’t ever make it and will fail, you are a selfish person, go clean your house for God’s sake etc etc. we dress ourselves down instead of dressing ourselves each day for where we want to be and dressing up!

I have really learnt that no one is going to sing your praises better than yourself, people are quick to shoot you down or question you but ultimately we need to each be capable of backing ourselves.

I have a girlfriend who rain, hail or shine puts her makeup on, another who only buys clothes from shops with sustainable production lines, one who makes active wear look glam and then my partner who makes no apologies for his trackies and Kathmandu jacket despite my significant protests.

So where do you want to be, is that successful in work, happy, get into exercise, be more hands on and messy with your kids, be a soccer mum – next time you feel lost or unsure think about where you want to be and dress for it. If that means wearing your swimmers while you make dinner as you want to be on a beach sipping cocktails by all means fill your boots!

While I am a believer and buyer of the concept of mindfulness I think we get so caught in where we are now or what things should have been that we forget to look where we want to go or what we want to achieve. As women, we are capable of being whatever we want – we just forget to look in the mirror sometimes and dress our fabulous selves both mentally and physically to point in that direction.

Part of the reason I say this and I won’t flesh it out in full detail in this blog, but there is a significant link between violence against women, the cycle of staying and their self worth. It’s soooo important that we as women, build a strong sense of self worth and instill this in our daughters.

Mastering your mind is one of the hardest things to you can do – it’s so unbelievably powerful and one thing that can help is using physical prompts to help it along.

It’s a habit I am trying to get back into, I have a 5 year plan, some goals and I am trying to wake up each day and dress for where I want to be – not where I was, not where I am but where I am going.

It seems silly but try it – I bet you feel bit lighter in your step, hold your head a little higher or feel a bit more empowered. Dress yourself up and for where you want to be!

Much love,

MM

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