Buzzzzzzzzz.....5:45 AM on a Tuesday morning and the alarm sounded. I was up and in the shower, dressed, and off to catch a flight for a full day of meetings. As I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I noticed a stiff suit, well-pressed blouse, matching gold jewelry, hair whisked back, and an executive-like briefcase on my shoulder to accompany the ensemble. Now, don't get me wrong, the outfit was nice and appropriate for the corporate meetings I was about to attend and run, but was it really encouraging me to bring the best me to the table? I would question it.
As I hopped in the car with my to-go breakfast in a cup and put the car in drive, I began to reflect. Why was it that I felt just "okay" but not great ? What was different about this day than the day prior when I also rose early, got dressed, and raced off to meetings yet felt energized and inspired? As I thought further, it came to me! Today I was missing out on the fun and authenticity that makes me tick. My "look" was drab and predictable, and while my attempt to fit into the rest of the corporate blue suit world was noble, I was starting to realize that this "me too" approach shared only a microscopic reflection of the true, most powerful, creative, innovative, free-spirited, and best me. It was merely a watered-down representation of how I best show up and it was sucking the energy out of me.
Now, I'm not suggesting that dressing overly casual or inappropriate for work events and meetings will earn you extra points or even gain you higher levels of performance or happiness. What I am suggesting is that when we are authentic, even when we make slight variations to our "look" within the framework of what's required at work, we may be actually going the extra mile to bring our best selves to the table.
Just the day prior I had added one of my favorite slouchy inspirational tees under my suit jacket, a BOHO scarf, my crossbody leather embossed handbag in exchange for my executive briefcase, and a multi-wrap leather bracelet to compliment a more traditional black suit. Just a few small changes to the every day monotonous picks and I was out the door with a spring in my step and a smile on my face.
It seems silly but I realized that a few minor modifications to my "ants marching" workplace attire had invigorated me and given me fresh energy. What may seem like a trivial shift in routine had inspired me and allowed me to apply my best me at work and throughout the course of the day.
The moral of the story is that it truly is important to pay attention to how wardrobe selections generate or deplete energy. Are you able to add some favorite accessories to an otherwise drab work ensemble in the spirit of driving a better, fresher, happier you in the workplace? If you take steps to consciously integrate your fun favorites, you may just find that these small changes can have a tremendous impact on how you feel and how you show up every day. As for me... I've made a "commitment" to dress for my best most authentic me...a professional business woman with a love for the beach, good vibes, inspiration, and the California Casual Beach BOHO style that's become a part of me.
What does your best authentic self look like and what might you incorporate in to your every day work wear to bring additional inspiration to your role and organization? What are you wearing to help you inspire fun, inspiration, and visual flavor? Find it, rock it, and bring back the happy!