CwL Ep47: What Are You Waiting For?

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Your clothes should reflect how good you feel in life…

Hey, this episode isn’t about hiring a stylist as the answer to your wardrobe woes (though I do cover what happened that time I decided to get help from the lovely Nicole Vine). This is about asking you – where are you waiting for things to change? And what happens when you are done waiting and entertaining your BS stories!

So what is this episode REALLY about:

  • Being unsatisfied with an area of your life and doing something about it
  • How anything feels possible when you get to the point where you shift and create new stories
  • It can be simpler to move into action than you might think, if you avoid the head chatter that gets in the way!

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Prefer to read? Click here for the full transcript

Hey. Welcome to another episode. Super, super, super glad that you’re here. I am sitting here at my desk, looking outside at the leaves that are changing colour and are falling to the ground. And if we get a street sweeper coming past, do not be surprised. They are making regular rounds here where I live. I hope you are enjoying the change of seasons, if you’re getting one, no matter where you are in the world. I do love a change of season. Things just start to feel a little bit different. This morning, the chill was really in the air, and I loved it. I loved that I had to put my windscreen wipers on and get rid of the frost on the windscreen. I don’t know, maybe I’m the only one who gets excited about such things. After living closer to the tropics for five years, I’m still not over a Melbourne change of season. It excites me.

Anyway, let me get on to what we’re going to be talking about on the podcast today because I love that so much that happens has lessons. And I’ve been sharing stacks of lessons with you over the last while, but today I really wanted to start to drill into, and it sort of talks to this whole topic that we’ve been talking about, turning ourselves sort of back on again. I want to talk about how ridiculously simple it has been for me to start feeling good in a particular area of my life.

Here’s what happened. I got so sick of my story of being a bad dresser, being bad with fashion. And I had so much resistance to recording this podcast episode because I thought, “Oh, I don’t want to talk about something as superficial as clothes.” Clothes don’t matter. I’m not into fashion. I would never consider myself to be someone who is stylish or anything like that. So I’m like, “Who am I to be sharing this?”

But here’s what I can share with you and that I want you to take away from this episode: it’s simpler than you think to start feeling good in whatever area of your life you might be struggling with. Clothes always been kind of a thing for me. I just don’t have that ability to look at something and go, “Oh, I see exactly why that outfit makes sense, or what she’s doing there.” I can buy some lovely pieces of clothing for myself, but putting it together in an outfit? What? I don’t know. I don’t understand. And having lived in warm climates for 10 years, having babies or being pregnant … I was pregnant or breastfeeding nonstop for six years. A lot of that time was in Brisbane. Well, it was half Sydney, half Brisbane. I wasn’t wearing many clothes. I was wearing a lot of singlets and skirts or shorts. I was prioritising everybody else’s clothes. My kids were dressed beautifully. I just never went to the shops. I don’t enjoy shopping. It kind of makes me a little bit anxious.

And my story that was going on for me at that time was, it doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t matter what I’m wearing. Clothes are clothes. And I’d prefer to keep the kids with nice things. Because they’re growing all the time, it’s important for them. I used to say it was important for my husband to be wearing nice clothes. He was going out to an office. So, it was so easy to justify him looking and feeling good and my kids looking and feeling good than it was for myself.

And it’s funny because just the other day, my mum said to me, “Oh, darling, I was talking to your sister the other day, and I was saying, ‘Lisa’s got a lot of clothes now.'” And I don’t know what you call a lot of clothes. I mean, I don’t think I have stacks of clothes, but I’ve definitely increased my amount of clothing because coming down to Melbourne, obviously, moving back down here, you need summer outfits and winter outfits and everything in between, whereas living in Brisbane, it was just basically summer outfits.

But my sister said, “Mum, can you remember when she really didn’t have any? She’s just kind of building back up.” And I loved that Mum shared this with me. And she’s like, “I’m proud of you, darling. I’m proud of you for taking an interest.” Not making an effort, but well done, you, for buying yourself some clothes.

This isn’t something that I typically do all the time. People just got used to seeing me in the same things over and over again because I couldn’t justify it. It didn’t feel like it was important to me at the time. There was too much else going on in my life for me to really care too much. Buy stuff online, have no idea if it’s going to fit, looks good, anything like that. But it was like, well, it’s just clothes.

But something started to happen that I started to feel like the way I was dressing wasn’t kind of reflective of how I was feeling on the inside. And then I just kept telling myself that I’m not good at fashion. I’m not good at clothes. And so that story just perpetuated itself, so I’d just buy random things that I thought were quite nice, never know how to put them together, and they’d just sit in my wardrobe.

I hadn’t actually realised until recently exactly the impact of that, of the way I was presenting myself not feeling in alignment with who I feel like I am today. I’m not that woman on the floor, playing with my kids with a sweat moustache in Brisbane. I don’t feel like her. Sure, leisure wear is … I’m sitting here right now in my walking shoes, because I’m about to go collect the kids from school after recording this, and my active wear. But even that. I mean, I just used to wear the same trackies for however many years.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see I bought a new pair of sneakers for the first time in, I would say five years to go on walks with. I just wouldn’t prioritise those little things for myself, and yet I’d be buying the kids new shoes whenever they needed them or had run out. And I’d really started to feel uneasy about this. Like, “Lisa, what are you telling yourself? What stories are holding you back from actually feeling better about what you’re wearing?”

And so I did the craziest thing. I actually hired a stylist. The catalyst for that was a photo shoot that’s coming up for the business. And do you know, last time I had some photos taken … I mean, a lot of the photos I’m in a white T-shirt and a black singlet and some jeans, which is not bad, but it also just reflected I was trying to do this by myself. I really had no idea what I was doing or how to dress myself for something like this.

I remember when the photographer arrived at my house, and we left to go to the beach and take some photos. And I was like, “Fantastic. The package has arrived.” I ordered a few things from a store. They arrived. I was literally trying them on in her car, and I was meant to be having photos in them. And I just thought, “You know what, I’m going to take responsibility for not feeling frantic and worried about this. I’m actually going to get some help with it.”

Now, I could have looked up some blogs. I could’ve asked my very fashionable friends to go shopping with me. But sometimes when you invest in yourself, you show up very, very differently for it. I know this to be true. I see this all the time with women in my programmes. I mean, also for me. I can listen to someone’s podcast and take on all the bits and pieces. But as soon as I invest in their programme, I am there for the transformation. And I’m sure you have experienced the same thing.

So, I knew that this was something I needed to kind of invest in. I needed to put some skin in the game, and so I did. And the gorgeous Nicole Vine came over to my house, looked through my wardrobe, got a sense of my style or lack thereof. Was really encouraging. Took my measurements. Explained to me my particular body shape and what sorts of things work well. She started to work on my colours, so what colours suit me.

I mean, beforehand, I’d been really, really nervous. And I felt really good. Like, “Okay.” And she said something really interesting. She’s like, “Lisa, you started a blog about food because mixing together ingredients and knowing what goes with what and what consistency things should be before you put them in the oven and blah, blah, blah, that comes quite naturally to you. And it doesn’t for me. I’ve had to teach myself how to cook. I’ve had to learn how to cook. That was not a skill I possessed. I’ve had to work really hard at it.”

And she said, “Style is kind of the same. Most people don’t have a playbook for that kind of thing. They don’t have a knowledge or understanding about what suits them, how to put outfits together, different cuts together. Our bodies are always changing, so this is something that we often have to change over time. So, it’s okay. It’s okay that you don’t know how to do this.” And it was a big sigh of relief. I thought, “Of course. It seems so obvious now to hear that.”

But isn’t it funny? Isn’t it funny what we tell ourselves? And it literally holds us back from exploring something brand new for ourselves. I’m just not a fashionable person, this story coming from my subconscious. I look back on the dresses from my formals and all that sort of stuff. I was like, “Whoever told me that that was looking good?” I should not have been allowed to design my own dresses. I did not have a clue what I was doing. Oh, gee.

Anyway, it’s very funny. But this stuff, it becomes a part of who we are. And I didn’t realise how simple it might be to just get to the other side of that. And as I said, it doesn’t have to be getting a stylist. I could have easily popped on some free online tool to check my … taken a photo of myself and then had my colours checked. There’s blogs. I mean, there’s a million Instagram accounts teaching us these things. But I went for the high touch experience. I wanted someone to hold my hand as I did this, and I’m so glad that I did.

I’m so glad that I stopped waiting for myself to get over myself or to just think I am going to learn this all for free. At some point, I’m going to start to understand clothes. I’m glad I stopped waiting to feel good about what I wear because now I’m on the other side, and I have all of these clothes that … I mean, people are saying to me, “Oh, you look amazing. Oh, gee, that colour looks good on you.” Or, “Oh, wow.” And I’m not asking for those compliments. I’m glad other people appreciate what I look like, but it’s got nothing to do with that. It’s got everything to do with how this is making me feel inside.

Even just the idea that … because Nicole puts together outfits in this sort of lookbook thing, and so I don’t have to make decisions anymore about what to wear. I can just look at it and think, “Oh, that’s what goes with that. Cool. And with those shoes, easy, done out the door.” Instead of, “I’m just going to put on my jeans and whatever jumper’s available.” Nothing bad. There’s nothing wrong with doing that. It just started to not feel reflective of me anymore. I didn’t want to feel like that about my clothes.

And the thing that’s happened is this different level of confidence I now feel. My wardrobe was severely lacking in going out clothes. I’m pretty nailed with my casual wear because it’s what I live in all the time, but then as soon as there was an invitation to go out, I’d be like, “Oh, gosh, I’ve got nothing.” I quite genuinely, really didn’t have much. And also, there were some beautiful things that I had, but I didn’t know how to piece them all together. And I would honestly get really anxious. I can remember calling my bestie one day in tears on FaceTime like, “Can you just tell me, does this look good?”

Now, we don’t realise we’re often not looking for where we’ve got choice about changing things for ourselves. We just accept that it’s really stressful for me to get dressed before I go out because I’m bad with clothes. Hang on a minute. Really? If I’m being fully responsible for myself, how could I make this easier for myself, more fun for myself? What needs to happen to change this situation?

And now, I have a new type of confidence in my ability to feel good when I go out, whereas previously it was like, “Oh, just fingers crossed this works because I’ve really got no idea what this looks like.” I’m a 41-year-old woman, and I don’t know how to dress myself. How embarrassing. All of that sort of stuff, all those thoughts are gone because I have clothes that reflect how I feel and who I am today.

And this is the thing. Not only are some of these spillover effects that I’m not having to make decisions on the daily about what to wear and that anxiety about choosing what to wear has disappeared. Now there’s this upgrading that’s happened, and it’s now inviting me to look at that in all other areas of my life. And it doesn’t feel superficial. It doesn’t feel like a waste of time. It doesn’t feel indulgent. It just feels sort of grown up. It feels like, yeah, this is where we are now, Lisa. And you’re worthy of taking time out and … a dawning is the wrong word, but just kind of like investing some time and resources into this. It’s not superficial because it’s on the outside. It actually really feels amazing to be aligned in terms of the Lisa that steps out the door, as well as the Lisa who wakes up in the morning and puts on a meditation or self-hypnosis. It’s the same thing. It’s getting me into alignment in all areas of my life.

And this was one that I thought would elude me forever. I thought I would always just be someone awkward. And you know what? I might always be. The more I work with Nicole, the more I get to learn like, oh, when you cuff that sleeve up there, oh, my gosh. Why does that totally change how I look? I don’t understand, but I love it. And I’ll learn all these little hacks. And she’s always about wanting women to learn how to do it for themselves. Nice to have your hand held, but then I’ll become more discerning.

And so, my story for myself around clothes is changing because I stopped waiting for it to change. I stopped waiting to feel good about what I wore, and I just took some action. I just was like, okay, what are we going to do about this? Let’s do it. And there was a huge part of me that was, “Who am I to be getting a stylist? I mean, who even does that?” Well, it actually turns out a lot of people do it. It’s a total thing. You can go to your local shopping centre, and they’ve even got them there, where people will take you around and help you find things that suit you.

And for me, it feels like I’ve saved myself. While I’ve invested in her help, I’ve also saved myself a massive amount of money in the future because now I know all my colours, what suits me. I know what types of shapes work for me. I have more confidence. And I’m more able to say, “Not that, not that, not that, not that,” instead, “Oh, look, that brand that I like has a new jumper. I’m going to buy that new jumper because I like that brand and I like jumpers.” Instead, now it’s like, “Oh, I might wait till the next one because I don’t need a new jumper, and I’m going to get the one that I know the colours and shape really suit me.”

So, it’s just been the most phenomenal experience. And I want to ask you, where in your life are you waiting for something in order to feel good? And do you have to, or is there something that you can do about it today? I feel like so many of us, we just accept that there are things. And here’s the thing, I’ve accepted. It wasn’t about me suddenly turning into a fashionista. It was me working from exactly where I was, which was someone not feeling super confident but wanting a shift for herself. There are always options. I mean, the online world is just filled with so much resources. I mean, what can’t you YouTube these days, for real? So, stop waiting. What is there that you can do?

This was my experience, my story. And I hope that also, you can see that what stands in the way of us taking some action and actually really creating shifts for ourselves, because now I can’t go back from this, I can’t go back, it’s awesome, is really the stories that we tell ourselves. I’m just awkward with clothes. I don’t know how to dress myself. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And so we keep repeating that to ourselves. Why would we be looking for options?

But when we start to choose a different thought, like how good might it feel to love my clothes? How good might it feel to clear out the stuff that actually doesn’t suit me? How good might it feel to not have to make decisions every day about clothes? How good might it feel to have a wardrobe filled with things like that favourite skirt? That whenever I put it on, I feel sexy and feminine, and I don’t even know if it suits me, but it just makes me feel good. That’s how I want to feel all the time in my clothes.

And when we open up those questions, we ask ourselves a different set of questions instead of just the repeating negative stories. Well, a whole load of things opens up. And this stuff matters. We deserve to feel good in loads of different areas of our life, and sometimes it’s just about switching the story. What if it was possible to feel good? And it seems so silly to talk about clothes, but it’s actually not. It’s actually a perfect example of how what you want is waiting there for you.

Hope you enjoyed the episode. My friends, I am now going to walk in my active wear to collect my children from school in the new sneakers that I finally bought after many, many years. And you know what they feel? It feels like walking on cushions. Yes, it does. See you soon.

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About Lisa

"I’m here to help you break free from the stories holding you back, and create change that sticks"

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