There is much debate about “work/life balance” and can we have it all. Here’s what I believe: we may not be able to have it all, but we can definitely have and do enough. One of the secrets is to choose how you use your energy, and then let others support you on all the other stuff.
Allowing someone to help you, especially in a place you usually struggle, gives you the much needed space to find your own path in life.
One area where I struggle is self-acceptance around body image, shape and size. I often don’t like what I see in the mirror, and having clothes that no longer fit or look their best does not help. I know it might seem a bit superficial, but we are visual and sensual people.
So after months of resisting, I recently did a bit of a wardrobe refresh: taking out the stuff that no longer fitted, looked good or I liked, and went for my annual shop to get the basics back in order. Nothing fancy: a couple of new jackets, some pants, skirts, shirts. It feels great now to know I have a few things that fit, work together, look smart enough for meeting clients and can be “worked back” with jeans for more casual events (see I have even learnt the lingo).
I am not a very girly girl, and being anywhere between size 10 and size 18 according to the clothing gods, find shopping a bit of a pain. (Seriously I can range that much in size in one brand!) So I have learnt from experience that the easiest, least painful, and in the end, most efficient way to do this is to take my friend Kerry with me, who so happens to be a professional shopper and stylist.
She asks what type of clothes I need, takes me to the shopping centre, scans the rails with super human speed and accuracy, and produces a pile of stuff. She gets the assistants to find my size, takes over a change room, comes up with a strategy for most efficient way to try everything on, sees what works with what, and then locks me in until we have a shortlist. Then she challenges each piece to see what works with the most so I am getting value for money. Then she lets me out to the cash register.
Then often or not there is a discount offer or something and dollars get knocked off, and I walk out with enough clothes to keep me going for months for so much less than I would have paid for had I done it myself. The other plus, is that having been with someone who sees you objectively I stop focusing on all the bits of my body I do not like that much, and see myself as a whole being.
And the really great thing about this system is that Kerry loves what she does. As she says: "We all go through these motions (even yours truly) of feeling drab from time to time, thankfully I have amazing clients that inspire me daily, to be the best I can be for me and for you/them each and every day."
Letting someone support you means letting them share their gifts with you. Instead of holding on control of all the bits of our life, letting someone in gives us space to see ourselves and our lives differently. It brings in new energy and new views. It lets us let go on having to be leaders in all areas, and shares the work around.
We cannot all be experts in every aspect of life: how boring would it be if we were. We each have our own gifts to contribute. Stepping back from trying to control everything in your life, asking for and getting support, may just be the opportunity to finding out what is truly yours to share.
PS - You can contact Kerry at Style Culture if you want a bit of a style update too.