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Ep #84: Showing Up

One of the things I often talk to my students about when we’re discussing being professional coaches is how important it is to show up both mentally and physically. I encourage them to show up as the best version of themselves as if every day and every moment was a special occasion.

On this episode, we take a look into the importance of truly caring for ourselves in the way that makes us feel like we’re always being our best selves. Tune in as I share my best tips for making ourselves presentable every day and every moment as well as the effects it will have on your life. From figuring out your style to choosing the right shoes to wear, you’ll discover what you can be doing to show up as the best version of yourself, in your life and your business.

What You will discover

  • How we see ourselves when we’re fully dressed up and look presentable.
  • My tips for caring for yourself and always treating yourself with the highest regard.
  • How to figure out your style.
  • Tips on picking out clothes.
  • How to choose your shoes.
  • And much, much more!

Featured on the show

Get the Full Episode Transcript:

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Episode Transcript:

Welcome to the Life Coach School podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. Now, your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.

What's happening, my friends? I just moved in to a brand new office. I am thrilled. It's much bigger, moving up in the world. I have a view that's a little different. Some of you guys saw my last view. That was beautiful. This is a different view but it's actually a bigger view so I can actually see more things, which I like.

Today, I'm going to talk to you guys about showing up and it's one of the things that I talk to my students a lot when we're talking about being professional coaches and how important it is to show up and I mean that both mentally of course, and physically. What I'm going to talk to you guys about today is mostly how you show up physically. Of course, how you show up physically is going to be a reflection of how you're showing up mentally and vice versa. They will serve each other.

One of the things that I always like to encourage my students to do is to show up as the best version of themselves, as if everyday was a special occasion, as if every moment, they deserve to be dressed up for. I have found that with me personally, the more I believe this, the more I do this, the more it is true. I will talk a little bit about my transition from staying all day in my pajamas and not brushing my teeth to now getting up everyday getting fully dressed up, all makeup, all hair done, heels on everyday and what a difference it's made in my life and in the life of my husband, as he will tell you.

I guess it's not very attractive for my husband to see me in a baseball cap with unbrushed teeth and crazy hair everyday underneath the cap, and now I get dressed up everyday and he's always very excited and very appreciative and he's very cute. This is something I want to share with all of you because I think that it can make a difference in your life. It's like the idea of preparing a nice meal for yourself and instead of just eating out of the fridge, that kind of idea, but it's also for how you treat your body and how you show up for other people and what you think about yourself.

That's the first thing that we need to look at is how you think about yourself, when you think about how important you are and when you think about how important your day is, what are your thoughts about that? That's the first thing that I want you to really consider. I know for me, I always have believed in my work and always thought it was important and I didn't think it was very important for me to be dressed up or look fancy at all because I was on phone and no one could see me, except I could see me. What I recognized is that when I did dress up, when I was fully ready for my day, I didn't duck when someone came to the door. I didn't ask Chris to go pick up the kids because I wasn't dressed. Now I feel ready. I always feel ready for anything. Anyone can come to the door. I can run out for an errand. I can run and pick up the kids and I'm always going to feel proud of the way I look.

That is such a gift that I've given to myself that I hadn't realized. I thought that my comfort was more important than how I presented to myself. That's a huge issue for many of my weight loss clients. They are postponing looking nice until they can buy better clothes. They're postponing this, showing up in exchange for being comfortable, and that's comfortable in the food they eat and comfortable in the sweat pants they're wearing. I want to talk about that shift for me and how important it was to finally decide that it was more important to present for myself. One of my best friends, who I talk a lot about on the podcast and in the in-person training, is my girlfriend Jodie Humpf, and she's always dressed up. She's a size 12, 14, so sometimes she can't find the perfect clothes but she goes out and does her best to get clothes that look amazing on her and every time I see her, she is dressed up and she looks really beautiful and she's always talking about how she loves going to really nice restaurants, that she loves going to really nice places because everyone's dressed really nice and she really enjoys that.

Then, my other wonderful beloved friend, Tonya Leigh, you should check her out for sure. She's at French Kiss Life. She's always dressed up. We met her on a trip one time and she had, I swear to God, like a ball gown on. She looked so beautiful and so inviting and just wonderful. It was just wonderful to hang out with her because she just took such care at how she looked. I made this really big shift from just, and my other girlfriend, Ericka, one of my best friends from high school, every time I saw her, she had lashes on and it's just being the middle of the day and her day off and she would have lashes on and she'd just say, "I feel better and I think I look better when I put my lashes on."

I think a combination of all of those things influence me, because I've been a life coach for a long time. I've taught on the phone for a long time and I love walking my dogs and working out, so that was how I showed up everyday. It was just in my workout gear or just in my pajamas all day. When I started getting up, working out, walking the dogs and then getting ready, taking a shower, getting dressed, putting on makeup, doing my hair, putting on an outfit, that really changed everything for me. I want to give you guys some tips to implement this in your own life. If you really genuinely care about yourself, you want to treat yourself with the highest regard and it doesn't have to be expensive and it doesn't have to be too time consuming.

I'm going to give you some tips on how to go about doing this. The first thing is when it comes to your clothing. The one thing that has made my life so much better is constraint and episode 85 is going to be all about constraint, that concept and how I've applied it to my life and to my business and to everything that I've done this year and what a huge difference it's made. One of the things that I've applied it to is my clothes and many of you who know me know that I buy all my clothes from the White House Black Market and they have plenty of varieties and they carry everything, so it works out perfectly. I live in a small town and there's a boutique right in town that is very convenient for me. I know that's not for everyone, not everyone wants to be so limited that they buy their stuff at the same place all the time, but for me, it totally works.

I like the idea, and if you don't want to just pick one store, maybe pick three stores that you can constrain yourself to so your shopping is not so overwhelming. One of the things that I love about shopping at one store is they have the outfits put together and I can go on the catalog anytime and look at how they put different outfits together and then apply that to what I am wearing. I can literally look and see the shoes they've put with the shirt that they put with the pants and I can literally copy that entire outfit and wear it and I know that it will look good.
The other reason why I love White House Black Market is their sizing, whatever mannequin they use for a size 6, 8, is me. That is my body. I swear to God. Everything I put on fits me perfectly and I don't even have to try it on. I can just go in there, buy what I want and I tell them these clothes just fit my body for my height and for everything. It's not true for everyone. Some people need to get their stuff altered but for me, it's perfect. I've had people say I can tell you how the tailor, your clothes fit you so perfectly. For me, it's because I know the brand that works with my body.

The other one that works really well with my body is INC at Macy's. I can buy anything off the rack there and it fits perfectly. I don't know what it is but find your perfect place where you know that you won't have to have your clothes altered or find a good seamstress that can help you alter your clothes so they fit you really well. Having clothes that fit us is so important. If you put clothes on and they're pulling, if they're tight around your waist, if they're sagging, if they're too long, do not buy them just because they are the right size. Don't be afraid to go up or down a size than what you would normally wear and get something altered. Who cares what the size is? You want it to look really clean on your body. One of the things that I like to do is when I put on a pair of pants, I'll always put on the shoes that I'm planning on wearing with them, and I will sit down, stand up, and walk around. I want to make sure I'm extremely comfortable.

A lot of times when I sit down, if something cuts into my waist or it rides up too far on my legs, I won't buy them. I do not want to buy clothes that I have to negotiate with or pull or yank or smooth out. I recently got this gorgeous linen jacket from White House Black Market. It was fantastic, and I could wear it with anything, put it on over anything and it's just like professionalized it and made it look really executive and classy, but it wrinkled so easily that I couldn't handle it. I couldn't, every time I sat down in it, it would wrinkle. I couldn't clean it without it being really wrinkled and so I returned it and I just said this isn't going to work. As cute as it is, it's just not compatible with me and my lifestyle.

I have the same issue in my kitchen. If I can't put it in a dishwasher, I really don't want to own it, literally. When it comes to your clothes, first of all, constrain yourself down. Second of all, make sure it fits.
The third thing I want to offer is you need to know what your style is.
About, I would say it's been 5 years now, I read a book called the Style Statement by Danielle LaPorte. I'll put it in the show notes. It completely changed my life, because what it does is it helps you narrow down your style to two words, the most significant word and then an accent word. It takes you through a whole process in that book so you can figure out who you are. When I first did it, what I thought was my style statement, I can't remember what it was but it was something simple and passionate or something and I talked to my friends about it and they're like, "Absolutely not, that is not your style statement."

Getting some feedback from people and how they see you is really important too. I went through it and did it again and I came up with sophisticated as my main word and then edgy as my secondary word. I think that summarizes how I dress pretty solidly. I dress in a way that is pretty classic and pretty sophisticated but it has a little trendy edge to it usually, something that maybe it's with the shoe being a little extra high or the skirt having a little A-line cut to it or something that's just a little bit different than what you'd see on a pure classic conservative style. What that did for me is it helped me whenever I was buying something, know if it was for me. Let me explain that because a lot of times, you guys walk into a store like I used to and you'll see something that's beautiful, like oh my gosh, that's so beautiful. I love that outfit. That's very different than saying that is so me. That is my style.

I would buy things that I thought were beautiful but they were Bohemian. They weren't my style at all, so every time I wore them, I felt a little off. It was because I didn't have that style statement yet. Just because something's beautiful and you love looking at it doesn't mean it's for you. It's like a beautiful car that you would never drive it, that sort of thing. When you have your style statement then, it's very easy to pick up clothes because you know if they fit into your repertoire of what you're choosing for yourself. There are certain colors that I know do not look good on me. Gray is one of them, so I usually don't buy anything in gray although I love gray. What I try to do is use gray on the bottom half because it's not a good color against my skin. I use it on the bottom half of my body and then I can use different colors on the top half. Most of what I wear is black and white. Those are my two favorite colors. I'd throw in some pink here and there and I'd look good and there's a certain shade of blue that I really good in to.

If you've never had your colors done, I think that's super fun and being able to know what colors look good and making sure you hold them up to you to see if it's going to be good. Once you have your style statement and you know what colors look good on you, then when you try something on, you want to see if you recognize yourself in the clothes. Does it make you feel like a level up from where you are? I've had this experience where sometimes I'd gone in to try on clothes and the clothes that I'm trying on helped make me feel better than the clothes I came in with. One of the things that I've really started to practice doing is if I'm going to go shopping for clothes, I want to be dressed up when I go, and so everything else that I try on has to match that level of sophistication for me.

It was funny in my last training, one of the students said to me, "Oh my gosh, you guys are all so fancy and I don't want to have to be fancy and I can't believe you're wearing high heels." Let me talk a little bit about heels and shoes. My first rule when it comes to shoes is they have to be comfortable. If they rub or give me a blister or are hard to walk in or hurt my feet, I am not purchasing them and if I do in the first day, if I buy them and in the first day, they are doing that, I do not buy them. I usually buy my shoes half a size too big, especially if they're really high heels, because I don't want any toes being smushed. I don't want anything. I want to have plenty of room to move around in my shoes. I try the shoes on, I walk around in them and make sure they're very comfortable on my feet.

I do love wearing high heels, the higher the better and it is possible to find very high heels that are very comfortable. When I'm teaching a course in person, I'm on my feet for 8 hours that day and I wear, the heels the whole 8 hours and they feel great. They don't hurt my feet at all, and because of that is how I purchase them. Now one of the things I love when it comes to shoes is to find a unique style and not to just get the classic shoe. For me, that's pretty easy to do because at the White House Black Market, they usually are very creative with their shoes and they're not just same old same old.
The last thing I want to offer when it comes to clothes is I'm sure you guys have all heard the philosophy dress for the job you want, not for the job you have. I feel like that's such a wonderful way of looking at your career in terms of how you dress up for your career, and I always, when I worked at Hewlett-Packard, always dressed up when I went in to work, as if I was a manager, and so what happened was every time I went in there, people thought I was a manager, even though I was entry level and very young. Everyone thought I was a manager. When I go to Nordstrom, whenever I'm shopping with my girlfriends, people always asked me if I work there and if I can help them. That happens to me a lot actually in a lot of different venues where people think that I work there and people think that I'm in charge and they think that's the energy I bring but I also think it's the outfits that I wear. I dress up when I go out basically.

That's something that is really fun to do because then, when you're out and especially if you're trying to build your business, you have this sense of leadership and people are interested in that. They want to know who you are. Let me offer you some other tips. I personally am over 40 so I feel very strongly that women who are over 40 don't wear ripped jeans. My girl Susan Hyatt and I argue about this. She loves to wear ripped jeans and she shows me pictures of all of her friends over 40 that wear ripped jeans and of course look amazing in them. I do not think they are representative of anything professional when it comes to being a life coach. Now, if you want to wear them on your downtime or whatever, I actually had this conversation with my hairdresser, who's like a size 2, and she totally disagreed with me. She's like, "I think ripped jeans are cute and I really like my cutoff shorts." The next time she did my makeup, she showed up at this really nice hotel where I was doing my film shoot for Stopover Eating master class and she showed up there in ripped shorts.

I think she was trying to prove a point to me and she's such a beautiful amazing classy woman and it just, for me personally, and I told her, I said it just takes away so much from how you represent as a professional hairdresser and makeup artist when you wear something like that. That's just my opinion. You guys can jump on that with me or not, but I really feel like if you want to represent your business in a very classy way, ripped shorts, not so much. If in your style statement, that is rebellious is part of it and you're younger than I am, then we might be able to have a conversation where I could be convinced but mostly, I don't think ripped jeans and cutoff shorts are very attractive for professional women.

My second thing is mini skirts. I love a skirt with a nice heel. I think it's beautiful. I think a mini skirt is not appropriate and not necessary in any professional situation and if you're over 40 in any social situation, I don't think, even if you can get away with it, I just don't think it's appropriate. I feel like, I have a lot of guys that listen to the podcast who may feel that I'm not talking to you, but I think it's the concepts behind it. Are you wearing ripped jeans yourselves? Are you wearing a suit or are you wearing a muscle shirt? I love that quote. I think it's Susan Sarandon who says this. She goes, "A muscle shirt is for muscles." If you're working, unless you're a personal trainer, it's probably not an appropriate shirt to be wearing and men in short shorts, unless you're a personal trainer, probably not appropriate.

I feel pretty strongly about dressing your age in a really classy beautiful way and I think if you're trying to be sexy, I think that you can add a little strand of that to your professional work without overdoing it with being too revealing on the upper half or wearing a mini skirt on the lower half. I don't think you should be showing your bra straps or any part of your underwear that isn't done in a really classy way.

One of the things that I highly recommend that everyone do is have at least five classic outfits that you can re-wear. It doesn't have to be expensive. They all should be tailored so they fit you beautifully and you can wear on a regular basis. Let them be a little bit dressy. It's not going to hurt anything. If you're overdressed for something, so much better than being underdressed. I dress up, I put a beautiful dress and heels on when we go out in Tahoe. My mom's like, "What in the heck are you doing? This is Tahoe." I'm like, "We're going out to dinner for my birthday. I'm going to get all dressed up."

I think finding a classic black skirt, a classic black pair of pants, both really important, a crisp white shirt that fits you beautifully is really important, a nice trench coat or overcoat, seriously important, great pair of shoes and build your repertoire. You can repeat wearing clothes. It's not a problem. Look at yourself in the mirror. Do you feel like you're dressing for the person you want to be, the person you're growing into, the person you're evolving? I think you should overdress just a little bit more than yourself is how I feel about it.

If you have an attitude that's like, "I don't need to do that, it's not important to me." I want you to really explore that why you would feel that way and who do you dress up for and why. Having clothes that are really old and looking worn out and ill-fitting need to go into your goodwill pile. One of the things that I do with all of my weight loss clients that's really important is have them completely empty out their closet and only put back in what they love and what fits them now. I highly recommend you do that. Don't go through your closet and take stuff out. Go through and take everything out, clean your closet and then only put back in outfits that are new enough, fresh enough, fit you, that make you feel excited to put on. That's really, really important.

Now, I want to add one other thing that I think is important, your purse or your wallet if you're a dude. Listen, you should have a beautiful purse. It doesn't have to be expensive and a beautiful wallet to hold your valuables, your money. I find that - and it should be very organized. It should have what you need and love inside of it and it should be taken care of. If your purse is getting old and raggedy, it's time to buy a new one. Buy a brand new purse that doesn't have lipstick and gum wrappers in it, keep it really clean. It represents your money. It represents your valuables and how you take care of yourself. Go through your purse right now. You know if I'm talking to you, right? You're looking over at your purse and going, "Oh dear." It's a little raggedy, right? Buy a classic black purse. Buy a classic purse.

You can spend a little extra money on it because you can keep it the whole year. Go through and clean out everything in your purse but only what you need. You only need a few credit cards. Go through. I like to have those little wallets that just show me my cards, and have a beautiful place for your cash and make sure that you have your lipstick and everything you need but it's all in a very clean, well-organized space. That's true for you guys too that have wallets. Don't be having one of these super fat wallets. It's not necessary. Go through and only have the cards in there that you really need. Put the cash in there that you really need. Have your wallet be beautiful and classy when you pull it out to pay for something. That's my suggestion there.
Let's talk a little bit about makeup and hair. I think for me, I used to always feel like, "Oh my gosh, what a pain in the butt, I don't want to put make up on. I don't want to do my hair. I look fine", and not going anywhere special today. I got into the habit of putting makeup on everyday when my girlfriend Ericka taught me about the lashes, like always having the lashes on and she puts them on, sometimes with nothing else. She'd just put on some lashes and that's how she goes about her day and looks beautiful, but for me, when I sit down, I bought myself a beautiful little makeup table. I went to Pier One and bought a table with a mirror and I got one of those light up makeup mirrors and it takes me about 10 minutes. I sit down, I put my makeup on. I do my hair and I'm ready to go any day.

The other day, I was taking my son, I was dropping him off at his friend's house for homecoming and I had on a sun dress and I just went there and somebody said to me, "Oh my gosh, why are you so dressed up?" I thought, "I'm not dressed up because I just had this sun dress on but I had added jewelry to it and I had my makeup and my hair done." It gave them the impression that I was dressed up, which of course I loved, it was fine. I take that at as a compliment. They were meaning it like, "What are you doing? You're not going to a homecoming" it was okay because I felt like, I felt great. I felt nice. I felt like I was representing for my son. It's interesting, the other day, my son came up to me and was just telling me, "Gosh, you smell so good." I love it when people smell good too and so I think that self care too is really important. Even though it's just the middle of a Tuesday, I have taken the time to bathe, which I know there's some of you, because I used to be like that, that hadn't bathed all day, hadn't brushed my hair.

Here's what I noticed. When I do those things, when I take the time to do my hair and do my makeup, here's what I noticed. I show up differently for my clients even when they can't see me on the phone. I show up different for myself every time I see a mirror, like, "Look at you, little wink, how are you? Looking good. Glad you dressed up for me. So nice." It's like when you go meet someone for lunch and they've dressed up, for you it's fun. It's like, "I'm so glad you put on some really nice clothes and spent a little time to be presentable." I think it's important.

The last piece was the jewels. I don't think you have to spend a lot of money on jewels but I think having, and I don't buy fine jewelry, I buy accessory jewelry. I buy most of mine at White House Black Market. It's a little bit pricier there but I've bought some stuff at Target that I think is really cute too, and I like to add a little bit of that as that final touch to what I'm wearing for the day. It's made a huge difference for me in how I look at myself in my daily life and I really feel like I can be ready for anything.

The time that I noticed that significantly was there's two times. Once I noticed that I ran into the store to go. I had dropped Christian off at his tutoring appointment. He goes to a tutor to help him with his composition class, so I dropped him off there and then I was running to Sports Authority to grab him some football shoes. Have I told you guys, he's playing football? I don't know if I've told you this yet.

My son, who's played soccer his whole life, decided that he didn't want to play soccer anymore because he wanted to play golf, because he's such an exceptional golfer and was feeling like he wasn't being able to advance as much as he wanted to in soccer. He started golfing and he's exceptional and he's been going on all these tours and doing very well. He went to school. He started freshman year this year at Vista High School and he noticed that the kicker on the football team was struggling. Christian texted the coach and asked him if he could be the kicker on the team. The coach said yes, and so now he's a football player.

Holy cow, anyway, so I was walking into Sports Authority to get him some football shoes and I ran into one of my girlfriends. Her son was like, "Brooke, Brooke, Brooke.", and I'm like, "Hi." I was just wearing shorts and a nice shirt from White House Black Market but my hair, my makeup, everything was done and she hadn't put on any makeup, hadn't done her hair. I could tell she'd been running around with the kids all day and she was like, "What is going on with you? Why are you so", and I hadn't even really noticed it but then I looked at her and because she hadn't done her hair, because she hadn't done her makeup, she just looked tired, more tired than she probably was, just not as beautiful and representative as she is, not because she didn't have makeup on because she actually looks beautiful without makeup. She just didn't look put together.

It really, I don't know why in that moment, just reminded me that's how I would feel when I'd run into my girlfriend Jodie and she was totally dressed up. It was an interesting moment for me. Another time when I was on a call, it was a Skype call and they asked if I wanted to go on to video. I was like, "Sure, absolutely." I remember in the past, I've been like no, or not videoing, because I'm not prepared but because I get dressed everyday and was ready for it, it was not a problem. I actually talk to some of my students and colleagues and I'll be like, "Hey, let's Skype, let's video", and they'll be like, "No, no, no, no, no, I don't want to. I'm not prepared."

I think that there's something powerful about being prepared for any opportunity. If someone says to you, "Hey, do you want to teach this class? Do you want to coach this client? Do you want to lead this organization or whatever?" I like the idea that I can step in and do it, like I'm dressed for anything. I'm ready for anything. Let's do it. Even if you want me to play a little football, I'll take off my heels and I've got you. Let's do this. I'd much rather be overdressed than underdressed.

I think having that routine in the morning that you have planned out where you go through the process of getting ready and being ready for the day, I like to do it after I work out, but just today, I woke up, got dressed, have a pink dress on, put on all my jewels and everything, had a couple of meetings and then looked at my beautiful puppies who wanted to walk, took off all my clothes, put on my shorts and my t-shirt, took the dogs on a walk, came back, cleaned up and put the other outfit back on. It's just like if you want to work out during your lunch break. It's totally doable.

Taking care of yourself and your hygiene on a regular basis, scheduling haircuts and having your teeth cleaned and getting a manicure and getting a pedicure, it matters. Look at your clothes. Look at your shoes. Are they raggedy? Are your clothes raggedy? Are they old? Have you had that sweatshirt for years, that sort of thing. Really take care of the things that you put on your body, but then also take care of your body, healthy food that makes you feel energized and good. Take care of your nails. Take care of your toes. For the love of goodness gracious, men and women, please take care of your toes. You don't have to go and get a pedicure, but hey listen, if you can, do that because that's fantastic. Make sure your hair's cut and taken care of in a way that looks like you care about it. I think that's all very important when you're showing up for yourself and for other people.

I would love to hear what you guys think about this. I'd love to hear your comments and go over to the lifecoachschool.com/84. I'd like to hear how you represent yourself. Do you get up and get dressed everyday? Do you have clothes that fit you really well? Do you take care to be presentable? It matters a lot and I'd like to hear if you disagree with me, that it doesn't matter how you show up. It doesn't matter if you brush your teeth or your hair. All that matters is that your spirit is there. If you want to have an argument about it, I would love to do that too. Go over in the comments and let me know what you think and then I'll talk to you all next week when we're going to be talking about constraint. I can't wait. Talk to you then.

Thank you for listening to the Life Coach School podcast. It will be incredibly awesome if you would take a moment to write a quick review on iTunes. For any questions, comments or coaching issues you would like to hear on the show, please visit us at www.thelifecoachschool.com.

21 Comments

  1. Brooke,
    I totally agree with everything you said on this podcast. Dressing neatly when you go out is important- you never know who you are going to meet. And to me, it just makes me feel better. A nice pair of dark denim jeans (no rips), a cute top, some simple flats, and a little jewelry is perfect for most occasions. Add some boots or heels to dress it up more. Not that difficult. Thanks for encouraging e very one to Show Up. ?

    Jane

    1. Totally love the message of looking our best-showing up for ourselves! And-have to disagree with the “dress your age”-statements. Surprised to hear that from you, Brooke. I don’t think it matters how old you are-three or one hundred and three-dress your style, dress for you! Love your style, Brooke!💃

  2. For anyone concerned about the time it takes to be looking your best, it really doesn’t have to “take” much time at all if you use it as an opportunity to 1) practice Mindfulness, or 2) gather your thoughts for the day, or 3) listen to a mind expanding podcast…like Brooke!

  3. HI
    I really enjoyd this show! I discovered your podcasts only amonth or so ago, and have been trying to listen to them all, bookending an older episode with the most recent. I find your discussions to be extremely intelligent. In fact, in the past when I have begun to explore coaching, Ive been pretty turned off by a lot of the new aagey spirituality type stuff that one finds around the edges of the coaching community. So you are changing my view of this industry. There are so many episodes that I have wanted to comment on, but I thought why not just start now.

    Fist off, I also love WHBM,and it is in fact one of the three stores where I shop! Interestingly, I went there for the first time just over a year ago, after losing about 20 lbs. Its been fun wearing nice clothes that fit and show off my hard work. I also mean that in tems of where I am professionally and financially, and I feel quite grateful that I can invest in a wardrobe that is high quality and makes me look great. I also love the service in the store. Whenever I go in there, whether it is my local store or onesomewhere else, the sales associates are not only helpful and attentive, but they push me a little out of my confort zone and broaden my picture of myself.

    I really appreciate your words on the general topic of showing up and caring about appearance. I noticed this for myself about six years ago, when I made a career transition that required a wardrobe overhaul. I was a biologist for 20 years, whch meant woring very long hours with little boundaries between work and life, and that I dressed like a graduate student for six years of my PhD and many years after that. As a faculty member, I would dress a little more professionally when I was teaching, but just a little, and since I still spent most of my time in my lab, I was mostly in jeans. In the last years of my job as a faculty member, I had begun to take some more visible leadership roles at my university, and I always felt the need to look a little better than usual. The big move was into a full time administrative role, where professional dress is strongly encoursged. I have found that by putting more effort into cultivating a professional appearance, I command more respect, and I also feel more conscious (in a good way) that my words, body language, and behavior reinforce the statement that I wish to make with my wardrobe.

    I can tell you that having spent my adolescence and college years as a smart but nerdy girl with an aptitude for science, and then a reasonalby successful career as a biologist, I have had to make a huge congative adjustment in this area. Academic culture eschews focus on appearance, especially for women, and so many scientists tend question the seriousness of people, especially women, who appear to make any effort to look professional.

    A few words you said in the beginning of this episode brought to mind something that I would love to hear more of-perhaps you have covered it in an earlier show. I feel that so much of the self help and recovery literature, and culture, including therapy, is focused on acceptance (a good thing), but in a way that de-emphasizes or almost villifies the idea of improvement, and equates it with deprivation or with trying to adhere to an oppressive and unrealistic standard of female beauty. I spent years struggling with an undiagnosed binge eating disorder because I was not really overweight (a high level of activity kept my weight at the high end of “normal). Whenever I broached the subject with a physician or a therapist, I was alwasys told “You’re not fat” and that I should not let a societally imposed unrealistic standard convince me that there was something wrong with me. I should just accept myself as I was. It was not until recently, when I found a therapist who was willing to hear my concerns about my eating behavior, rather than focus on the numbers on the scale, that I was able to set goals for improvement, and put plans in place. I worked with a nutrition coach, and then on my own, and while I still struggle, I have seen real results. Giving myself permission to focus on improvement of my appearance (as well as my health!!), and to set goals for my body, has been an essential step toward the acceptance that was always supposed to be the goal.

    So it was very nice to hear an acknowledgement that appearance does matter, that the way we show up in the world reflects how we see ourselves, and that it is OK to want to be seen positively by others long before we have a chance for them to get to know who we are.

    I look forward to hearing more of these wonderful discussions.

    1. Hi Mary,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with us. So glad to hear this episode resonated with you.

      Carina | The Life Coach School

  4. I love this episode. This was really informative. I’m already deciding that my “constraint” for my closet will be Etsy stores so that I can finally allow myself to buy all the wonderful artisan and handcrafted clothing I have on my wish list. I’m thinking about creating a savings plan wherein I buy things only after saving that same amount in my bank account. Self-care financially, supporting artists, and then dressing for success. Thank you, Brooke, for the inspiration!

  5. Brooke,
    What an amazing episode! I work from home and it is hard to get “dressed” everyday! This episode spoke to me! I immediately started cleaning my closet and want to do a better job with self care! Can’t wait to hear the next episode on Constraint.
    Many thanks for this one!

  6. Love, love, love this episode and your podcast. I think everything you said is so important and so true. Thank you for the tips, I love the idea of narrowing down the stores you shop at, and your style, etc. I’ve been trying to put more effort ito my physical appearance instead of wearing workout clothes all day and it’s made a huge impact on my life. I love this topic. Thank you!

  7. Hi Brooke,
    I have been listening to your podcast since episode 1, every Thursday I grab my cup of coffee and start my work day from my office at home and look forward to the things that you have to say. This episode was one that I really needed to hear. I was listening in my glasses, pulled up hair, yoga pants, and t-shirt I wore to bed. There are plenty of times I don’t get ready because I start my day immediately, thinking it is okay because I don’t have other plans and want to exercise later. Often, I have turned down invitations for lunches with friends, football/soccer games, running to the store, or any last minute invitation because it would take me an hour to get fully ready. If I do happen to say “yes” to events, I am in an anxiety stricken state of mind to get myself ready to go at the last minute. I’ve not been ready for opportunities that arise, and I always feel guilty about it. My husband often comes home to a wife that is frantically finishing out her workday, and trying to balance dinner with our twins. I’ve always been ready going into the office, which I am going to apply the same ideas working from my home office. Thank YOU so much for posting this, and talking about it, going forward I will be applying this to my life. As for the ripped boyfriend style jeans, they are adorable with a pair of nude heels and fancy top; but I fully agree they are not welcome in a professional setting. -Megan

  8. Hi Brooke,
    This is my first time leaving a comment but I’ve been listening to your show since a couple weeks after you started airing it, yay! You have helped me gain so much insight and wisdom about life and myself. Thank you so much!
    Today I was inspired to leave a comment because I liked the concepts you shared about “showing up” by dressing up a little, etc. I often wear quite a casual wardrobe, but everything fits well and looks put-together, although rarely is it dressy. In fact some days I find myself wearing my workout clothes to run some errands, but they are all very cute and coordinated. You inspired me to maybe step it up a little and save the active wear for working out.
    I did, however, want to share this important and funny YouTube video with you that made me laugh out loud because it is SO ME, but also made me think about maybe changing my habits (but I was kinda relieved to know that so many other women tend to do this too).

    Enjoy!
    ~Renee

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYRENWT8lz8

    1. Hi Renee,

      Thank you for being a loyal listener of our podcast and for taking the time to comment here! And the video…too funny!

      Carina | The Life Coach School

  9. Hey Brooke,

    I really love this episode. I have a 3- year old and a 9- month old. Last weekend, I took them to a birthday party. I threw on a sweatshirt, jeans, and tennis shoes. I put my hair in a ponytail. I had on no make up. I felt really comfortable. My two boys looked very nice and clean. There were about 20 other mothers at the party. All of them had make up on, their hair done, and nice clothes on. I hadn’t realized how much I had let myself go. I am trying to make more time for myself.

  10. Hi Brooke!

    I’ve been listening to a lot of your podcasts episodes recently and have found them really helpful for my life, so I sincerely thank you for that. I’ve been loving the process of thinking about issues in a different way and I really appreciate the help you’ve provided to me, and so many others.

    However, I did feel differently about this podcast and I just wanted to share a few thoughts. I think that every person is different and has their own way of doing things, but I personally believe that it’s pretty easy to feel good when you’re dressed up and wearing makeup, but that the challenge lies in feeling good when you’re at your natural self. I used to wear makeup every day and any time I left the house, because I would feel self-conscious about how I looked if I didn’t. I know that people tend to look very different without makeup, but it’s a transformation that can take time to graduate into. Though it might not be for everyone, I now only wear makeup occasionally, or if I’m going out for a drink or special event. I do love wearing makeup and usually feel more confident when I do, but I don’t feel like that’s a healthy habit, to use it as a “crutch”. My mom and grandmother both grew up wearing makeup every day/whenever they were around people and dressing nicely, but that was definitely rooted more in a social construct for women to be objects of beauty and perfection. It took being around my good friends and boyfriend, actually, for me to start to feel comfortable without makeup. I’ve started to love the way I look naturally and I feel as though it’s bringing me closer to a deeper self-love, though I definitely appreciate a push to find your own personal style and what vibes with you. I have some friends that absolutely love dressing up and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I don’t think it should be mandatory. I generally prefer more casual wear and love doing things outdoors, so I would love to hear more suggestions on being healthy in ways of using natural products, keeping skin healthy, that sort of thing.

    With that being said, I totally agree that what you wear affects your mood and that I often feel poorly when I don’t like the clothes that I’m in. I love your suggestion of taking everything out of your closet before selecting what you love the most, because I have trouble hanging onto things. It’s so important to take care of yourself and feel comfortable and confident in how you’re presenting yourself, but I would argue that it shouldn’t *have* to be in a fancy way. Just my thoughts!

    Thanks again for all that you do 🙂
    -Becca

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