Be More YOU
As I shared with you in previous blog post: 3 Ways to Deal with Disappointment in Sobriety, I was recently excited to visit Queensland after falling in love with a colleague’s branding photos.
Dom and I had been working hard behind-the-scenes on a fun new project that required some new snaps, and since my colleague’s talented photographer had a style that matched so perfectly, I jumped at the chance to book our shoot too.
What I failed to mention previously is that my colleague has a very different style to me. While she’s Australian and loves the beach (like me), she’s blonde, with much fairer skin, and loves a much more relaxed, boho style, complete with bare feet, white denim, and kaftans.
It’s a style that suits her perfectly, and she looked so beautiful in her photos that naturally, I wanted that too!
A week or so before we were due to fly, I had a Zoom meeting with our Queensland photographer.
“It’s best to bring three outfits per hour of shooting,” she advised.
“Okay,” I said, mentally doing the sums in my head. Our shoot was planned to run for four hours, so that meant… twelve outfits. Yikes!
Before we go any further into this story, I should point out that, just like so many other people on the planet, I was not immune to the pandemic pounds. I’d gained so many extra curves, in fact, that my pre-2020 outfits no longer fit me. Which meant I’d need twelve entirely new outfits.
This sounds like it should be fun, right? I mean, I love clothes as much as the next woman. But between my new, rather unfamiliar lumps and bumps, a limited clothing budget, and the clock ticking down to our departure flight, I grew increasingly stressed with each passing day.
One day, in amidst this chaos, I was having lunch with Dom at a mall when he suggested: “Why don’t we go back and get that green dress?”
I pulled a face. “Because it needs to be a light colour, remember?”
The photographer had wisely reminded me that pale, pastel or muted tones worked best for creating a classic, timeless look, and when I viewed her portfolio, I had to agree. It was a palette she truly excelled in: light, airy and dreamy whites, beiges and pastels.
On the flip side, on the rare occasions her clients wore a bold colour, the colour tended to completely swallow the image.
The thing is… as much as I love pale colours in theory, the truth is, I don’t always love to wear them. Of course I love clothes that look classy and timeless. I know subtle tones are a lot more… well, subtle.
But the thing I love even more? Colour! Bright, bold, fun, vibrant colour.
Dom sighed in a way that made me feel like he was about to deliver a truth bomb, and I braced myself.
Giving me the look, he said: “I feel like there’s a lot of ‘making yourself smaller’ for this photoshoot.”
And there it was. The woman who had literally written the book on inner confidence and embracing who you truly are, in Chameleon, had all but forgotten her own advice:
Be more YOU.
My colleague’s photos were so beautiful and special, precisely because they captured more of who SHE is. They highlighted the best in her and showed off her gorgeous light.
They couldn’t necessarily do the same for me because, for one thing, I’m not her. I’m ME. Dark haired, olive skinned, colour-loving me.
Since I couldn’t quite bring myself to pull the pin on a trip I’d already worked so hard on, The Universe took matters into its own hands. Dom caught Omicron, then passed it onto me, and all of our travel dreams went up in isolation smoke (for the third time! ugh!).
When the dust settled and we finally started to feel better, I began to form a new idea of what these photos could be. Not based on my colleague’s look and business, but my very own vision.
With nervous excitement, I began to research photographers in my home city – and wouldn’t you know it… somehow stumbled across a photographer just as talented.
Her portfolio was beautiful, and filled with a vast palette of colour, and when we jumped on a Zoom call together, it felt like it was always meant to be.
At last, I’m ready to let my freak flag fly and embrace outfits that really speak to my soul. I’m ready to create a vision that feels 100% authentic. I feel safe to be more me.
I’ll leave you with this quote from Chameleon:
Forget what everyone else is doing. This lane – this life – is for you. It’s yours. You’re far too unique to be compared to anyone else.
You are YOU and that is your superpower. Give yourself the time, space, and energy to really get to know yourself again. Grant yourself that gift.
You are worthy of everything you dream of, and everything you want to try and experience in this life.
You are enough, exactly as you are.
Read more about the importance of self-care in Chameleon – a book about the danger of giving our power away to others, the magic of finding our way back to ourselves, and how each of us can begin to build a deep and unshakeable confidence.
Chameleon is available from online bookstores and retailers worldwide, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Target US, Book Depository (with free worldwide shipping!), and independents.
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