Posts tagged “Self Confidence”

Travelling on the motorway at the weekend I observed hundreds of cars so fully loaded that you couldn’t see through the back window. I think it was students, leaving the nest and being driven to their new homes. 
Thirty-five years ago, I left my hometown of Leigh, Greater Manchester. A small place where everyone talked to each other at bus stops and most people worked in a factory or down a pit. I moved to the East Midlands. To Loughborough to be precise, to embark on a degree course in Textiles and Fashion Design. 
Me, mum, dad and boyfriend and all my worldly goods packed into the car on a Sunday afternoon. They helped me unpack and then I was left, on my own, in grotty halls of residence. Sharing a room with a complete stranger. It was exciting and a bit scary all at the same time. I was alone and the only way I could keep in touch with my loved ones was by queuing for the pay phone in the corridor outside my room, along with the 30 other girls who lived there. 
I’d worked hard to get this opportunity. I’d done an extra year of study to get to this point. I’d applied the year before and been unsuccessful at securing a place – it went on interview and your portfolio of work. My drawing had let me down. Rather than accept the place I was offered at my second choice uni I’d decided to have another go the following year. 
That year I drew and drew and painted and drew…I improved a lot. I also worked 2 jobs evenings and weekends in pubs alongside. I was determined, focused and getting that place on one of the most prestigious art colleges of the time was my absolute priority. My dad’s mantra had always been if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. 
Last Friday I stepped in at short notice to speak at a women’s event. I told a 15-minute version of my story which provides an insight to why I do what I do. I also described my journey to how I came about to be a colour and image specialist mentoring women to be the best version of themselves as I am today. 
Also, for the first time ever, I put myself forward for an award recently. It felt like the right time, and I shared my story as part of the entry criteria. Unfortunately, I found out on Monday that I hadn’t got through as a finalist. I was a bit disappointed, but at the same time very pleased for all the other amazing women who had got through, it’s just not my time yet. 
So, this week, in case you haven’t heard my story before, I’m sharing a version of it with you. If it resonates let me know. 
I gained 5 stone during pregnancy and just can’t seem to shift it. I’m firmly in the plus size category. I hate my body and never feel nice in my clothes. Despite dressing nice, doing my hair and make-up every day, I am miserable on the inside and I don’t really feel like me anymore. 
I wear a lot of slimming black. The little voices in my head never have anything good to say. Why are you even bothering? You don’t look nice any more… I am in a very negative relationship with myself. I don’t feel like I’m worth it. 
Then two things happened that turn my world upside down…I have a horrible, traumatic experience at work, which leads to me having a total mental breakdown and not long after this my husband, after 23 years, tells me he doesn’t want to be with me anymore. He left. 
You’d love to take good selfies and get a picture of yourself that you’re happy with. 
You just want to look nice but end up with three chins. You don’t want to appear vain, but it would be nice to have a flattering photo for once instead of avoiding the camera. 
Maybe it’s so bad and you dislike photos of yourself so much that always end up being the one taking the pictures of everyone else. 
Perhaps you would’ve loved to have joined in my 5 Day Shop Your Wardrobe Challenge this week and got as far as signing up but when you saw that it said “post selfies” it had you recoiling in horror because you just can’t face looking at pictures of yourself. 
For you to take good selfies and get those flattering pictures there are a few things that you can do to feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. You’re smiling, got the best angle to minimise those double chins, no dark circles or dodgy shadows that age you beyond your years and you look like the best version of yourself. 
The problem is you don’t know where to start. How come some of the women you see on Facebook and Instagram are so much more photogenic than you think you could ever be. 
If this sounds a bit like you then you then you’ll be pleased to know you’re in good company. I hear this kind of story often. 
Style Sisterhood Members Questions 
1. What type of thing(s) have you done with Lisa? 
Lots! I met Lisa when she first started her business and went to a couple of her mini workshops that she was running at home. They were an insight to colour and body shapes as I remember. One was a make up lesson. 
Then I had my colours done, and attended a 5 Steps Workshop. 
I joined in online with a 21 Day Style Challenge and have also enjoyed meeting the women online ‘in the flesh’ at 2 social events that Lisa arranged afterwards. 
I have done most of the 21 Day Style Challenges! Three or four that I can recall have been out of a suitcase while abroad!Following one of these, I did the Suss Your Style 5 week online challenge. 
I have volunteered and supported all but one of the Swish events that have been run.I attended the Glum to Glam workshop, and very recently I have had my WOW colours done. 
Opinions are like a***holes – we’ve all got one. 
Do you have a friend who has something to say about anything and everything? And who likes to share it with anyone and everyone. 
They like the sound of their own voice. 
I get invited onto local TV and radio occasionally to give my opinions on topics, sometimes it’s stuff in the news, other times it’s local interest stuff, sometimes they ask me to talk about what I do and the reasons and benefits behind certain things such as the 21 Day Style Challenge, Glum to Glam workshops, the charity Swish clothes swaps that I organise etc. 
For some of the light-hearted topics it’s easy to provide an opinion and chat easily about stuff. Other times when it’s a bit heavier I’m aware that I might sit on the fence slightly, hedging my bets, being diplomatic one might say. The other guest I was on with last week asked me if I was one of those controversial type guests. I’m not. But I have been on several times with that type. 
I find myself being a bit cautious about being controversial and alienating people – you never know who might be watching. 
Perhaps it’s a potential client who likes the cut of my jib and is thinking they might like to find out more about me and potentially visit my website – I don’t want to go off on one and come across as it’s my way or highway. This would be totally off brand for me. It’s important that I walk my walk and talk my talk at all times. 
Can your colours change? 
This is a question I get asked a lot by people who’ve had colour analysis (or as it’s more commonly referred to “having your colours done”) before. Sometimes they are asking because they’ve had it done more than once and been given different answers each time. Sometimes it’s because they’ve had it done a long time ago and wonder if what suits them will change as they are getting older. 
My answer is yes and no. 
Yes, the tints, tones and shades of colours that suited you when you were younger may change as we lose pigment in our colouring with age. So, for example, you could carry off a really vibrant red or orange when you were younger and your hair wasn’t grey, but now those hues are a bit overpowering as your colour has faded. In terms of your actual colour analysis, as long it’s been done properly, no – your season won’t change. 
Herein lies the problem… 
Quite often I get clients who’ve had their colours done before but weren’t feeling it when they were given their swatch.  
They never feel truly aligned to the group of colours that they were given, they go along with it for a while but because deep down they don’t feel right, pretty soon the swatch they were given never sees the light of day, they go back to wearing any old colours and their money is wasted. 
Self- Image Demons 
Do you talk to yourself (maybe out loud or in your head) sometimes but not in a nice way? Does your inner critic say nasty things to you as you get ready for a night out? You’re trying a new top on that you really liked in the shop, it’s a bit more colourful than you’re used to or maybe it’s a different style that you’ve not tried before…you aren’t 100% sure and need a bit of reassurance that you look nice. 
Then those little voices start in your head. The self -image demons can be proper nasty little buggers with viper tongues, making vile and vicious comments. They’re evil, they know too well about all the things we’re not sure about, they play on our insecurities and affect our self-confidence. 
Whiney, Nasty Bitch 
I recently asked in my online community, the Style Sisterhood group on Facebook, about the kind of things SID* (Self Image Demons) might say. Most of the responses would be deemed horrid and offensive if we ever actually said them to anyone else…we’d be seen as a whiney, nasty bitch on the attack. 
As with clothing styles some shapes and styles of swimwear will help you feel more confident if there are parts of your body that you would prefer to disguise. Certain cuts and styles are going to enhance your assets too.This content will be shown in the summary on the main blog page. 
If you are looking for swimwear, the shops are starting to get stock in for the summer, buy early as they tend to sell out quickly especially online, in my experience. Here are a few tips for you… 
• Invest in bra sized swimwear if you are well endowed 
• Solid colour side panels give the illusion of a smaller middle 
• Mix and match tops and bottoms to suit your body shape 
• Shorts styles can make your legs look shorter/wider 
• Strapless and bandeau styles are best for smaller boobs and shoulders 
• Wide straps will make your shoulders look smaller 
• Heavily patterned tankini tops disguise spare tyres 
• Swim dresses are good for creating balance if your shoulders are wide 
• Triangle bikini tops and halter necks are good for column shapes 
• Brief skirts (all in one) are good if you are conscious of your hips/thighs 
I love my specs, I think of them as an accessory. If you're a long term face furniture wearer or it's just that your arms aren't quite long enough any more you might want to read my tips for making sure that your chosen spectacles are making an impcat for all the right reasons  
It’s important, as a glasses wearer, that you are happy with your choice. Especially if you need to wear them all the time. They need to suit you, your colouring, face shape, features and personality all need to be taken into consideration. There are so many styles to choose from its difficult to know where to start. 
I often get asked about how to choose glasses so I thought I’d share a few tips to help you next time you need a new pair. It does really can make a massive difference to your image and say a lot about your personality. 
Here are a few things to consider… 
1) Colour – choose to suit your colouring. A good tip is to pick out the colour of your eyes. Choose silver frames or cool colours if your skin has cool undertones (pinkish hue). Gold, tortoiseshell or warm colours if you have warm undertones to your skin. Think about the type of clothes you like to wear, do you prefer bright or muted colours in your wardrobe? Your specs will look better if they are harmonious.  
Also, consider light or dark frames, when you try them on are you wearing them or is the frame wearing you? If you have delicate, pretty features and light hair a pair of Harry Hill style glasses would be far too overpowering. 
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