Who are you wearing today?

3 Jul

This article is part of a series “31 blogs in 31 days” during July 2017 on howtofab.com

Life throws many challenges at us. Situations that make us uncomfortable, where we can’t access our usual portfolio of skills, knowledge and behaviour. Where other people make us feel small or where our own nerves get the better of us.

A really useful trick I discovered many years ago and that I have since used on many occasions has been to use rolemodels. Via the power of my imagination I slip into them or put them on like a dress and access parts of their identity. Sounds perhaps a bit strange but it’s really quite an easy little hack that has saved me from drowning in some difficult situations.

I usually have an “army” of 5-6 such virtual rolemodels, bodyguards, angels who live in a closet in my mind and who I call upon when I need them. They are a mix of real people in my life or otherwise on my radar, or completely made-up personas. For example I have a female friend who is about 5 years older than me and who is the perfect embodiment of female strength, grace and beauty. I have known her for years and seen her in various private and work situations. In our early years I was gobsmacked by just how perfectly she navigates herself and others through the most challenging and annoying situations, how she remains calm and composed and exudes trust and stability. I always thought that I wanted to be like her and one day, I can’t remember the details of the actual situation, I found myself pushing my own boundaries in a meeting with my nerves and blood pressure going through the roof. I thought “aaargh, I wish I had xxx with me” and just by thinking of her, I suddenly sat up straight (she has fantastic posture), turned my frown into a smile (yep, copy) and I instantly became much calmer. I could literally feel her shine through me and I was able to get through the meeting successfully. Over time I had perfected my little exercise and now it literally takes me just a few seconds to “put her on” like a dress whenever I need her. She has been a life saver on many occasions and I strongly believe that when others were impressed by my composure and calmness in certain situations they saw a twinkle of her in my eyes.

Another friend of mine has a temperament that would be more than enough for 5 people. She is very emotional and impulsive, something I am to some extent, but in comparison with her, not at all. I never really shout, I don’t even get really angry – at least not in the moment, it sometimes takes me weeks or months to get angry at somebody, but then it’s usually too late for a meaningful confrontation. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, but a few years ago, I found myself in a situation where I knew that the moment to get angry, to show my absolutely justified frustration was there and then – in six months time, nobody would care. I stood still, closed my eyes and pictured her in the same situation. I made her look me straight in the eye and my word, I started to feel the rage. All the rage. I took one deep breath and then hell broke lose. For the first time since I was a child, I yelled and screamed and my goodness, it feel great! The inner drama queen I had nurtured for many years finally got her debut. I walked away chuckling and thankful to my friend for having facilitated this emotional thunderstorm.

I can strongly recommend this little hack – it’s super useful and a lot of fun. We don’t always feel our best, our strongest, our most attractive or our most patient. And we don’t always need superheroes to come and rescue us. We definitely all have enough super powers in us to rescue ourselves when things get tough. We just need to activate them in the right moment.

Picture: Gratisography via Pexels / CC0.

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2 Responses to “Who are you wearing today?”

  1. lyndsay.anderson81@gmail.com July 3, 2017 at 4:28 pm #

    Neat post!

    When I was watching the Good Wife, I used to go into meetings the next day and try and embody Diane Lockharts fabulousness!

    Catch up this week? Xx

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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