Want to know one of the fastest ways to raise your self-image? It's to raise your standards. Specifically, your style standards. And that's what we're talking about in this episode, so let's dive in.
Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here's your hostess, master life coach, Tonya Leigh.
Good morning my friends. This is my favorite time of the day. I'm recording this at 6:54 AM, and it's quiet, there's no one in the house, and I'm enjoying a cup of coffee. I just turned the jazz down that was playing in the background so I could record this. And to me, this is pleasure. This is luxury. It really is the simple things. Give me a quiet morning where I can ease into my day and a good game of pickleball and all is well in the world.
After I finish my coffee, I'm going to go get dressed, and when I'm getting dressed there are a few things that guide my choice in what I put on. One is I think about what is on my agenda for the day. So a great example is yesterday I was going to go look at apartments with my daughter, and I wanted to get my mile in, and I had a meeting. So three very different vibes. One more active, one professional, and then one just personal running errands, doing things.
And so I had to keep all of that into account when I was deciding what I was going to wear. I needed a multipurpose outfit. The other thing that I keep in mind is how do I want to feel? And I'm not talking about physical feelings in terms of comfort. I want us always to be comfortable in our clothing. But I'm talking about emotionally. How do I want to feel today? Because we can co-create feelings with the material world. We can use our style and our environment to help us create new feelings.
Which is why I'm an advocate of changing our environments. I'm an advocate of changing our style. I'm an advocate of taking action to shake things up, because it gives you new perspectives, it allows you to access new thoughts, and it's a quick and easy way to shift energy in the moment.
And finally, I think about my style standards, which is what we are talking about in today's episode. I want you to think about your standards for how you show up. Do you have standards? Do you have a set of operating principles that you live by that make it easy to make decisions in terms of how you dress yourself, how you carry yourself, how you communicate? These sets of operating principles also help you to see yourself in a way that serves you. They help you to elevate your self-image.
Now, when it comes to style standards, they're very personal. What my standard is may not be your standard. And that's the point of style, style is to be original, it's to figure out who you want to be and to express that on purpose. And having style standards is a way for you to consistently do that.
Let's talk about consistency for a moment, shall we? Because what you consistently do is consistently revealing the story that you have about yourself. Years ago I read Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. Such a good book, have you all read it? It's, like, a trilogy of books.
However, and I'm paraphrasing here, so this is not going to be verbatim, I remember reading a passage in that book that explained so much to me and why I had struggled for so long, because in the book basically he writes that the reason why you feel stuck or the reason why you can never get traction and momentum is because of your "I am" statements always changing. So remember, "I am" are the two most powerful words you will ever speak, because they are shaping your identity and you always going to seek to live within your identity.
And so for example, if you are practicing "I am peaceful, I am peaceful" and then something comes along and you start practicing "I am overwhelmed, I am overwhelmed" you are canceling "I am peaceful" with "I am overwhelmed". And so when your "I am" statements are always changing and in opposition of each other, you can't get momentum. Because again, you're always going to act to prove yourself true.
So what does this have to do with style? Well, everything. Because when you start to become consistent in your style and how you're showing up, it's a powerful force to reflect back to you how you see yourself. So you can do this in a way that is unconscious, you can have a style standard where you don't have any standards and you're just reinforcing stories about yourself that don't serve you, or you can have purposeful style standards. A standard of how you will show up that is consistent, that will consistently offer you a new story and change your self-image.
Let me give you an example. When I first started my business and I was a baby coach, I quickly realized that I had the luxury of working from home. And back in those days, no one would see you because we didn't have Zoom, we weren't doing video calls, it was in the good old days where you had telephone, like tele-seminars. So I was on the phone with my clients all day. And so I got into this rut of not getting dressed. I was just wearing my PJs all day.
And at first I thought, "Oh wow, this is the secret, this is the answer to everything." And then quickly I realized, "Tonya, I don't like how you're showing up." And so I set a new standard for myself, and it was a simple standard. Each day you are going to get up and get dressed as if you are going to the office. And that one style standard elevated my self-image.
It caused me to show up intentionally, it elevated my energy, I felt better about myself, I felt more confident, and I felt like a pro. I felt like someone who was saying to herself, "Your business matters, your clients matter, and you matter. So stop being lazy, stop looking like a bum and let's get up and get dressed, and put our best self out to the world, but more importantly put your best self out there for you."
Now, I can't prove this, but deep down I know the answer. I don't need to prove it because I know it for myself and I know it for my clients. But that one style standard helped me to create a successful business.
One of my coaching tools that I teach within the School of Self-Image is about raising your standards. In fact, if you're in the membership, there is an entire class just on this topic. I've watched thousands of members at this point change their lives by changing their standards. Getting very clear on what they expect from themselves. Because life doesn't give you want, life gives you what you expect.
And when you raise what you expect from yourself, life will meet you there. Life will meet you at a level of your standards. And your style is a part of that. And style is important, my friends. That's why I'm doing a whole five-month coaching experience just on this topic alone. When a woman raises her style standards, the standards of how she shows up in the world, what she wears, how she communicates, how she carries herself, all of which are a part of her style, it changes not only her perception of herself, her self-image, but it also impacts and influences how other people see her.
And people will treat you the way you expect them to. And clothing is one way for you to tell people, "Here's how I expect to be treated." I mean, when I'm wearing my pickleball outfit, you all, people expect me to go out on that court and play. When I'm wearing a power suit, people expect certain behaviors. They expect a certain mentality. And they often will give you respect that's not even earned, because you're just meeting someone for the first time, but when you show up in a beautiful suit it tells them that you see yourself in a powerful, self-respecting way, and so they're more likely to treat you the way that you're presenting yourself.
Listen, I remember a time in my life where people didn't respect me. People would ignore me. Have you ever had that happen to you, like you're in a group of people and you finally muster up the courage to say something, to express an opinion or to be a part of the conversation, and you speak and it's as if you said nothing. People just keep talking over you. That used to happen to me all of the time. It never happens now.
And I know that a big part of that is because of how I dress. Because back then, I dressed in a way that said, "I don't respect myself. I'm trying to hide. I don't really want to be seen." And so it shouldn't have been so shocking when people didn't see me. When they talked literally right over me. And that's why style is so important, you all.
One outfit, one pair of shoes, one statement necklace, one bold red lip, one haircut, one pantsuit, one pair of jeans, one jacket literally can change your life. Style standards are something that I want every single one of you to consider for yourself, and if you are in The Style Experience, which is my newest program that I'm obsessed with. I cannot get enough of this program. I feel like a kid again, it's so much fun. We opened up The Style Lounge, which is our private group where we are already posting and sharing and celebrating, and I'm giving feedback. If you're in that experience, we're going to be elevating your standards for how you show up. Because that's why you're there. And if you want to join us, you can go to schoolofselfimage.com/style.
I haven't pushed this program a lot because I intentionally want to keep it smaller, but if you knew how amazing it is you'd want to be in there. But I've only mentioned it on the podcast a couple of times and we've sent out a few emails because I'm excited to work with a smaller group of women on their style and elevating their style and really getting all up in their style. But style standards are something that we're going to be talking about a lot, but it's something that you also can do. And it really comes down to, what is the minimum standard that I'm going to set for myself in terms of how I show up every day? And you can have some exceptions. For me, my exception is if it's the day I start my period or I'm sick, like really sick. Those two days are my days to just literally stay in my PJs all day if I want to.
But other than that, game on. Life, I'm coming for you. I'm going to show up like you are my greatest lover. We are going to dance, we're going to cry, we are going to do all the things that one does with their lover. But that's how I want to treat my life. And so I want to dress for it. I want to dress for the time of my life.
But I also know that it's life and life gets busy, and I don't want to spend hours being consumed with what to wear and how to wear my hair and makeup. So I've just perfected my minimum baseline of what I expect for myself every single day. And the way you can get clear on yours is to think about, "I am a woman who..." And when you think about the version of you who is where you want to be, what is something that she just no longer does in terms of her style, and what is something that she does every single day come rain or shine? I'm a woman who gets dressed every single day. I'm a woman who washes my face every morning and every evening. I'm a woman who doesn't wear hoodies. My team laughs, I'm like, "I don't wear a hoodie that's got, like, writing on it." I also don't do T-shirts with writing.
But that's my style. There's nothing wrong with that. You can rock out a hoodie and I love helping women find their hoodies if that's their style because I think they're fun, it's just not my style. So I know that's part of my standard, I just don't wear hoodies. I don't wear things that I would be embarrassed to be seen in. And that could be a minimum baseline for some of you. Like I'm just not going to wear anything that I would be embarrassed to be caught in. And that might be where you start.
But then you begin to add in new standards. I'm a woman who, at minimum every day, washes my face, puts on a little bit of lip gloss, maybe a little mascara, and a brow. Like, you can have minimum standards for your makeup, minimum standards for your grooming, and minimum standards for your dress. But what is the minimum of what you expect of yourself every day? And what if you just practiced living that out?
"I am a woman who..." fill in the blank. And every day that becomes your practice for your style standards. And don't forget the purpose of why we are doing this. The purpose is to transform and to elevate your self-image, because your self-image is creating your entire life. So raise your standards, raise your self-image.
If you want to dive into elevating your style, raising your style standards, go to schoolofselfimage.com/style, and check out my latest creation, The Style Experience. Have a beautiful week, everyone, and I will see you on the next episode.
Hey, have you grabbed your free copy of The School of Self-Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Head over to schoolofselfimage.com/manifesto and get a copy that teaches you how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.