It's an odd thing when you finally realize that you are in charge of taking care of yourself. I'm just starting to understand that one. Always learning, but seriously, it has been an interesting (equally liberating and frightening) realization.
When you realize you can save yourself, all of the excuses that were holding you back don't apply. The ball is in your court, and things can get a little uncomfortable when you realize you actually DO have the time, you're just not making it (and no one is going to make it for you). Or when you figure out you actually CAN do better than that place/person, you just choose to stay because it's easier (and no one is going to make the decision for you). Or when you realize you have everything you need to take the steps to finally upgrade your style and closet (because you bought my book), but no one will take those steps for you.
And this is where the shift comes in, the spark hits, or it doesn't (but let's say it does for the sake of today's moment of closet zen). When it does hit, things go from, 'ugh, so you're telling me I have the power to make all of this happen and I'm not?' to, 'whoa, so you're telling me I have the power to make this happen?! Ah-mazing.' Scary, but amazing.
You can be your own hero starting now. You don't need anyone else to get done what your heart truly desires you to do. Sure, we all need a support system and a little guidance doesn't hurt, but you have everything you need, right here, right now, to take one small step towards what you really want. And maybe that one step is just defining what you want. Small steps add up (I say it over and over in the book, and it's true), especially when you take a minute to recognize them.
It reminds me of the story I just heard Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) tell Oprah about a coffee can. I found the perfect recap on Joanne Guidoccio's blog below:
"While touring and speaking to women around the world, Elizabeth is often asked: “How can I go on my own quest?” She struggled with the answer until she heard the following story about an Irish Catholic woman who grew up in a restrictive home during the 1950s and 1960s:
At age 28, the woman’s husband walked out, leaving her with five children, aged two months to ten years of age. Alone and poor, the woman made a promise to herself that someday she would see the world. She took out a coffee can and started depositing $1 each. She continued for twenty years, not touching that money. After all her children left home, she bought a ticket and sailed the world."
Source: www.joanneguidoccio.com | @JoanneGuidoccio
Small steps add up.
Nine times out of ten, people don't realize how strong they are or what they're capable of. This applies to life outside of, and inside of your closet. Being a hero, or heroine, takes courage. Sure, it takes courage to act, but even before you take action, it takes courage to start to see yourself in a different light. The shift (in my humble opinion) is an internal one. And once it starts, once you see a piece of the puzzle you hadn't noticed before, the picture irreversibly changes.
After that you choose to walk towards feeling empowered or towards being fearful of the unknown. It's up to you and whatever you decide to do right now is what is right for you. No judgement.
So, what's the one thing you've been waiting for someone or something to swoop in and save you from (or do for you)?
In this scenario, what is your hero going to do for you to make it happen?
Let's just say the hero left his cape at the dry cleaners and won't be able to make it today. Oh, and he's taking an extended vacation for the next six months and after that, is putting all of his time into a new-found passion for wood-turning so he's going to be kinda busy.
So now what? Are you going to wait around for the next, who-knows how long, or, are you going to get resourceful, tie on your cape (ponchos are a trend this season), start looking at what could go right (as opposed to what could go wrong) and get to work? Give yourself a little credit...
Oh, and if you need an extra boost to power-up as you start saving the world, and transforming your own life, a good power suit can work wonders. Add a red lip into the equation and you're basically unstoppable. It all starts in the closet...But you knew that already.
I'LL END IT WITH THIS:
I'm going to invite you to try two things today:
1. Compliment yourself. I know, I know, looking in the mirror is not fun for us girls all the time. We pick out all of the flaws. Insecurities aside:
Go into your closet, pull out your look for the day (which should take no thought and 10 seconds if you're an Outfit Planner pro and past Week 3 in the Ultimate Closet Guide) and walk in-front of your mirror. Next, find one thing, ONE THING, you see that you love. It could be your eyelashes, your ear lobes, your hair, or dare I say something on your body? Find one thing in your reflection that you love, focus on that, and give yourself a compliment as if you were talking to your best friend. Just try it. No ego allowed, just warm fuzzies and appreciating what you're workin' with. Have fun with it...
2. Second, when you're in line for coffee, the bus/subway, carpool, checkout, whatever, keep an eye out for something you like/love on a person nearby. Women, when you tell another woman you love her shoes, you KNOW you're making her morning right? It's a 'thing.' It certainly doesn't have to be woman to woman, just be careful you don't cross any lines ladies (or hey, maybe you'll meet your soulmate). This exercise challenges you to look for the good in others, and in turn, you may notice that you start doing the same for yourself. Plus, let's be honest, it's about time women started complimenting each other. Pay it forward and make someone smile today.