Today’s blog post takes a dive into the six steps to wardrobe journalling. As you may know we are spending time exploring the idea of wardrobe journalling here at Working Frocks. Today’s post gives you the details on the order we use as part of the process. We hope it gives you a good insight into how you can get started on this wonderful journey.
If you haven’t read any of our blogs on wardrobe journalling, what it is and how to get started with it, then you can read these:
The value of wardrobe journalling – how it works
Wardrobe journalling is the act of writing your thoughts onto paper. Specifically your thoughts around what you wear and why you are wearing the clothes that you choose each day. It gets your thoughts about yourself, about your self esteem, self confidence and self image out of your brain. It gets behind your thoughts, those thoughts that your brain presents you with, and helps you observe them.
Where wardrobe journalling differs from general journalling is that wardrobe journalling uses the clothes we wear and our attitude to what we wear as the starting point for examining our thoughts. It takes every day actions that require some thought and examines them more closely. Every day that we get up and put clothes on we are making decisions. Often those decisions go on auto pilot because we repeat them so often. You may not remember putting on underwear, socks or tights, but you probably did. Auto pilot is great for the brain
From behind those thoughts, in what might feel like new territory, you can work out what you are really feeling. The way that you are able to do that is that while you are exploring this new territory you can observe the thoughts that are being presented to you by your brain from the standpoint of an interested, but uninvolved, bystander. You become the observer of your own thoughts. The six steps to wardrobe journalling is a way of ordering the steps that you will take as part of that process.
A rough guide to the six steps to wardrobe journalling
There is an order that I have identified which sums up the process that you go through when you are wardrobe journalling. This order has resulted in the six steps to wardrobe journalling. The order that I have identified goes like this:
- Stop floating on the surface
- What stumbling blocks are in the way?
- Spotting fear
- Diamonds in the rough
- The crunch point – Sifting – Who am I?
- What’s left is the gold
Let’s take each of those points in turn.
1. Stop floating on the surface
Written regularly, wardrobe journalling can free you up to see yourself from the outside and the inside. Wardrobe journalling will stop you from floating along on the surface of your life. A fulfilled life is one where we are in dialogue with our thoughts, where we can identify and examine our thoughts and make decisions from that examination. How wardrobe journalling differs from ordinary journalling is in the fact that we use our clothes, our method of visually portraying ourself to the world, as the basis on which we examine our life.
When you start to ask yourself questions like, “Why don’t I wear all the clothes in my wardrobe?”, or “Why do I always wear that dress and not the other dresses”, or “Why don’t I like my clothes?” and really want to know the answers to those questions, then you are embarking on an exciting journey of self discover and self realisation. You’re no longer operating from a childish pattern of throwing your toys out of the pram and stamping your foot when you feel upset or disastisfied. You are asking yourself why you feel that way.
2. What stumbling blocks are in my way?
Sometimes we put stumbling blocks in our way on purpose, to stop ourselves being fully who we are. Those stumbling blocks can be subtle, we can hardly perceive they are there. In fact we might not recognise them as a stumbling block. We might see them as an ally or as a friend would talk to us, whereas in fact they are saboteurs, out to sabotage any plans you might have for improving yourself or your life. When we perceive our stumbling blocks from the perspective of our clothes we can sometimes identify them more clearly.
If you would like some concrete examples, let me introduce you to a few that you might recognise:
I’d like to revamp my wardrobe and give myself a totally new look, but I don’t have time.
What! Wait up! You don’t have time to do something that you’d really like to do and which will have a positive impact on your life.
Definitely question thoughts like that.
I mean, you have time to do all the things you don’t want to do, why not make time for some things that you really want to do!
It will take time to change my wardrobe and lose weight. Why can’t I just look great now? [generally followed by…] Why does everyone else look great and I’m the only one who looks so awful.
(btw you do look great now, I’m just giving this as an example).
Welcome to brain feelings!
Welcome to some of your brain feelings: anxiety, impatience and buffering.
Anxiety: I don’t look like I want to look translated as ‘my life is awful it’s now how I want to live’. Who wants to think thoughts like that? No-one. Ever. Right? That’s why we run a mile from them. As soon as that anxiety hits, your brain wants to run a mile, no, a thousand miles away from that thought. Generally into a vat of ice cream or a credit card spree or a fridge raid.
Impatience: I’ve decided to change and I want to change now. Why can’t I change now, this is so awful I’ll never change [it’s only been 5 minutes]. Oh I’m never going to change. I’m always going to wear these awful clothes and live my awful life [and be dead for ten days, alone in my home, before the police find me].
Do you see what is happening? This is the process:
You want to change, make life better for yourself. You think some positive thoughts.
Your brain puts up stumbling blocks
How we deal with stumbling blocks
You don’t know how to deal with the stumbling blocks, you don’t know how to get over them, so you stop. You feel defeated, but you don’t know how to get out of this feeling of defeat. So you stay where you are but now things are slightly worse because you feel defeated and you don’t think there is any way out of this feeling.
You recognise the stumbling blocks. You commit to your wardrobe journalling. You find your path forward. It’s as simple as that.
Not only is it simple but it’s life changing.
It’s life changing because when you learn to spot stumbling blocks in the way of your wardrobe and personal styling, and you learn to overcome those stumbling blocks and realise that they are set up for you and not against you, then you’re learning a formula that you can roll out in all areas of your life.
Wardrobe journalling is not rocket science, but its results are stratospheric.
Change your life through the power of wardrobe journalling. Get started today, all you need is a notebook and a pencil!
Anyway, back to our list
3. How to spot fear
Oh my, I wish I’d learnt this ten years ago. But, at least I have learned this now and can use it every day. Fear is not your friend, ladies. But you need the nine heads of Hydra to spot it.
Fear will stop you in your tracks and stop you from the life you are designed to live, EVERY time. Without exception. Until you learn to deal with it. Fear is clever, but its predictable and once you spot the predictability in your own life you can take steps to eliminate it every time.
I once had a client who stayed in a low paying job that didn’t cover her bills. She wore leggings and a tee shirt to work every day. First we worked on her work outfit. Out went the leggings and baggy tee shirt. In came casual dresses, jeans and a smart shirt and stylish wraps and scarves. She started to think differently about going to work. She started to realise that she might be bigger than the job she was currently in.
How to go to work on yourself
Then we went to work on her mind, journalling and coaching.
Then she started applying for jobs.
And she stopped looking for financial officer roles and started looking for financial manager roles.
Her confidence grew.
Not because her fear left. No.
Because she recognised the pattern of what she was doing, keeping herself in poverty (which felt safe) rather than finding another job (which felt risky).
That’s all it takes.
Realising what is really going on. Finding a path that takes you out of where you are that you can follow even when you feel the fear.
This path is the six steps to wardrobe journalling.
Don’t ever underestimate the power of what you wear and why you wear it.
4. Diamonds in the rough – what I am wearing now
What do you think about the clothes you wear? I mean really think about them? This is where we take a deep dive and look at what you are really thinking about your clothes.
We call out lazy thinking.
We definitely call out no thinking at all. What!
You don’t need lots of clothes. You just need clothes that you think consciously about. And wear for all the right reasons.
What wardrobe journalling will do is show you what you might like to be wearing instead of what you are wearing.
It will give you a whole world of possibilities that you didn’t even realise you were thinking.
And that’s a great thing.
5. The crunch point – Sifting – Who am I?
The crunch point, argh, the pain! This section is brief my friends, but it is the meeting of all the thoughts you’ve had, all the thoughts you want to have and everything inbetween. It’s decision time, really. Conquer your mind or stay where you are? You get to choose. This is the choosing point.
6. What’s left is the gold – Putting it all together
Well, what can I say? It’s worth staying the course just to get to here! This is probably where your brain wanted to be back at number 1. But you put your brain back in its place and have trudged through the difficulty of examining your thoughts and the mental exhaustion or sorting your thoughts, filtering them and deciding what choices you want to make going forward.
When I first went through this sequence for myself, something funny happened even without me planning it. I put on a pair of tight trousers that my fiancé had been longing for me to wear but I felt too self conscious to wear them. I did my hair differently. I wore lipstick. I painted my nails and wore different ear-rings. I hadn’t even written number 6 at that stage, I was just examining my thoughts about myself, my life and what I wear. And there I was feeling amazing, and looking amazing too according to my fiancé who was delighted with my new look!
Summary – the six steps to wardrobe journalling
I hope you have found these 6 steps helpful. In coming weeks we will take you through each step in more depth which will help you when you try wardrobe journalling at home for yourself. If you want to be notified when those blogs are published, why not join the Working Frocks list?
Have a great day!