Step AWAY from the yoga pants!
Lately, I’ve noticed a trend toward extreme casualness in our society, and believe it actually hurts how we feel about ourselves – and each other.
We’ve all heard the phrase “dress for success” or “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” And it’s true! Science says so. Study after study proves people who present themselves in a professional, attractive and appealing way:
- Are perceived as authoritative, smart and capable
- Fare better in high-stakes negotiations, than those dressed more casually
- Actually experience increased abstract thinking and creative abilities
Basically, look better, feel better, perform better.
And you might be thinking, “That’s all well and good, Dani, but I’m a stay-at-home mom” or “I work in a dirty job” or “I work from home” or “my workplace is casual.”
You are not exempt, my friend. I don’t care if you’re just running to the grocery store for milk, your look is actually a “presentation.” Every day, everywhere, you represent your own personal brand.
You either present yourself as a careless slob, or someone with self-discipline and a high self-image. The choice is yours. But, if you DO want to put your best foot forward, let me share a few “DOs and DON’Ts” in dressing for success!
DO Put Effort Into Your Appearance
As humans, we do judge books by their cover. It’s just reality. And you’re foolish, if you think the way you dress and present yourself does not factor into landing jobs, getting promotions and making more money.
When you don’t put any effort into how you look, you send a message to everyone around you about your self-image. The way you choose to package yourself, communicates how you want others to view you.
If your hair is a greasy mess and you wear the same baggy sweats for the third day in a row, what are you communicating? And honestly, how do you feel?
Now, think about how you feel when you get all dressed-up for a date night. You slipped into that new dress, your makeup is flawless and you spent time washing and drying your hair.
You feel hot! You feel confident! You walk a little taller! And the same goes for guys… a jacket tailored to a perfect fit, a fresh shave and haircut, all can make you feel like a new man!
Your self-image MATTERS. It dictates how you feel, and how you feel dictates what you say, and what you say dictates where you go.
By the way, I worked 20 hours a week, but my full-time job was as a homeschooling mom and wife. I got up everyday, put on a nice outfit, did my makeup and my hair. And when people ask me why, I’m like, “My husband is coming home!”
He worked hard all day! That man has been slaying dragons at work all day long. He deserves to walk in to a clean home, a pretty face kissing him on the lips and a delicious meal cooking.
Not only that, my kids watch me. They need to see mom taking care of herself. They need to see mom respecting herself. They don’t need to see mom being lazy every single day.
DON’T Use Your Outward Appearance As A Disguise
Now listen, I’m not saying put hours and hours into getting ready every day. I have a busy life. You have a busy life. We don’t have time for that nonsense.
Your outward appearance should be an EXPRESSION of what’s inside you. If you have inner confidence, your appearance – and the way you present yourself – naturally reflect that.
However, that same outward appearance should not try to mask insecurities or portray false confidence. People spend hours and hours in front of the mirror, blow money on expensive clothes, get their nails done every week. But they have no self-confidence. They’re just trying to cover their emptiness.
When you focus on the INSIDE, the way you present yourself on the OUTSIDE will follow. You are an original creation by the Ultimate Designer! He has a purpose and a destiny for your life, and He loves you – from the tip of your toes to every single hair on your head.
When you live the way He intended – full of love, hope and joy; clothed in sincerity and good works – you will present yourself as His daughter or son. You will present yourself to others as you would present yourself to your Father in heaven, Himself.
DO Take Care Of Your Body
Part of that presentation involves treating your body as temple of the Holy Spirit. And you’re the caretaker of that sacred temple!
In the Bible, God’s people are not of the world. But they are in the world… and they win! They claim victory! You are a champion – so treat your body like a champion.
That means clothing your body in complementary garments. That means getting adequate sleep. That means drinking plenty of water. That means eating food that provides nourishment, not junk. That means exercising and keeping your body strong and healthy. That means thinking correctly.
If your temple is weak – meaning your heart, your mind and your body – it hurts you. It leads to a poor self-image and leaves you open to:
- Fear of failure
- Fear of making mistakes
- Lack of belief
- Distrust in yourself and others
- Poor choices
Not too long ago, I had some fibrous tumors that caused my belly to swell, and I gained a little bit of weight. And I went, “You know what, I’m almost 50. I’ve been a size six my whole life. If I go to a size eight, who cares?!”
I let go of my self control and my self-discipline, and got some of that cottage cheese stuff in places I’ve never had it before. I consumed junk I NEVER eat. I went on midnight Taco Bell runs. I ate huge concrete mixers from Culver’s.
Then, I started losing the desire to fix myself up. That led to losing motivation in other areas of my life. Low self-discipline in your physical body, shows up in your housekeeping, your work life, your parenting, your marriage.
to succeed, you have to maintain self-discipline in EVERY area of your life. Self-discipline is a fruit of the spirit. It’s a vital skill – and exercising that skill in your physical body plays a HUGE role in shaping your self image.
I lost 12 pounds, and suddenly I started feeling better. I started dressing better. Something shifted in how I carried myself and presented myself to the world.
DON’T Feel Trapped By Society’s Beauty Standards
Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not about your physical size. I don’t care what size you are. God made us all in different shapes and sizes. Healthy for one person, looks different than healthy for another person.
You don’t have to be a 24-year-old size two, to be attractive. But if you ARE heavier than you want to be, change it! Eat right. Work hard in the gym. You are a champion!
You are a child of the most high God, and you care for yourself because He cares for you, not because a Photoshop model in some magazine tells you to look a certain way.
You present yourself in a pleasant, attractive and becoming way, because you represent Him. Not because society shoves a commercialized version of beauty down your throat.
Don’t look at celebrities, trying to imitate their lifestyle. That takes us right back to using your appearance as a mask – remember, you are not JLo. You do not have JLo’s makeup artist. Or her stylist. Or her bank account.
Don’t compare yourself to other women (or men!) and allow that to dictate your self-image.
DO Use Your Appearance To Express Who You Are
Look at women and men who have what you want, and follow their example. But be sure to embrace your own unique self.
Your sense of style is deeply connected to your heart and character. The way you present yourself should edify who you are and how you are made!
A friend of mine, Linda Potgieter, started a business after coming through our training seminar, First Steps To Success. Her story is amazing. Then she took our “GEMS®“ personality training, and uses it as a styling profile. She helps men and women to discover their sense of style, then gives them a practical application. (Check out her website, LindaPaige.com)
Style is not something you are “born with.” It’s a skill you can learn. I, myself, am not really a creative person. Usually other people dress me – especially for speaking events. But when someone else goes into my closet and starts putting things together, it sparks creativity in me. It’s fun! It’s energizing! It builds confidence!
Dress to reflect who YOU are. (P.S. This FREE Personality Cheatsheet can help you figure out who that may be!)
DON’T Use This As An Excuse To Go On A Shopping Spree
Listen, the fashion and beauty industry WILL try to sell you on industry fads, to make money. As a community who has declared war on debt, we are not about that.
Don’t drop hundreds (or thousands) of dollars and tell your spouse: “Dani said I have to dress myself like royalty!” Hey, in my first 10 years, when I made millions of dollars, I lived a silly, foolish, lavish life. My husband and I lived like kings – and had a king-sized mountain of debt and pressure.
You can use your time and money wisely, to invest in yourself. In our “War On Debt” program, you learn how to create a guilt-free “fun” budget. Linda’s website can help you with this, too. Her passion is helping men and women to discover their personal style and use fashion, time and money to look and feel good. She’s all about dressing up and building up.
Now, did this inspire you to FINALLY change out of those yoga pants?! If so, I have a challenge for you today: head over to our Facebook page and post a picture of yourself, with a short paragraph describing your personal style. We can’t wait to see how YOU dress for success!