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Visualize your success by dressing the part - Introduction

By Tessa Ivascu | Section(s): GET... , | Add Your comment

Self-growth coaches advise you to "dress for success" in order to make it happen. Usually, this means dressing up to the standards of the dream job or activity supposed to buy you an one-way ticket to Success-City. But dressing for the trip to Success is not the same thing as dressing like a resident of Success : one who has nothing to prove ; who doesn’t need to wear a successful uniform to be labeled as successful ; who doesn’t bother to have the most suitable, fashionable, show-off wardrobe around.

Why ?

Because instead, the resident of Success-City has "it" : ELEGANCE.

I worked for years as contributor, project manager or editor in chief of women’s magazines filled with content on fashion. One thing I know is that "it" is something you don’t achieve by visualizing yourself as the standard achiever. But by visualizing yourself (your unique self) AT YOUR BEST. And isn’t becoming your best self the true measure of success ?

The "fake it till you make it" mantra can be very efficient when your life is stuck. You are in a career slump ; or you have to deal with a difficult family situation ; you feel disheartened, exhausted, anxious… But you don’t give up : you want to make your Second Act an act of success. Dressing the part is a powerful tool when you want to achieve a goal leading to a major life change.

But dressing what part ? I stumbled upon numerous self-growth articles saying : if you want to make it in the corporate world, dress like executives do ; if you want your boss’s job, dress like your boss ; If you are trying to be a dancer in a theatre company... dress the part. I even read that if your dream job entails wearing protective clothes, you should start wearing them now !
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE BY INGRES
By wearing the typical uniform of your dream job you will attract that job, they say...
Portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte as First Consul, by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.

Right ! You are told by these experts of the "law of attraction" theory that your brain (or part of it) doesn’t know the difference between reality and fiction, between manifestation and intention. So by putting on the typical uniform of your dream job you will attract that job. Ok. Now imagine yourself morning after morning, wearing your tutu or your splash suit, ready for a Swan Lake rehearsal or for an intense workday in your cell biology laboratory. I bet your brain (or the other part of it) will reply : "Who do you think you’re fooling" ?

No, don’t try to fool your brain with this kind of masquerade. While it is important to visualize yourself in your dream job, you don’t need to dress the part when you spend your days working (or looking for work) at home. Of course, the concept "thoughts become things" is not totally absurd ; desire and autosuggestion do have an energetic pull. But not an infallible pull.

When it comes to successful clothing, the only infallible approach is elegance. This is what you need to learn, much more than the ability to choose the wardrobe, color combinations and accessories commonly perceived as status symbols. Elegance is NOT about wearing expensive "costumes". It is about finding your charisma (that personality trait which sets you apart and draws people’s attention and admiration), then expressing it through timeless harmony among clothes, accessories, hair-style.

Think of all the famous people labelled as "charismatic". What do they have in common ? An unique "silhouette". What is an unique "silhouette" ? It is the expression of an unique personality.

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