|Dear Friend, |
Last weekend I attended the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference. About a year and a half ago I started formulating ideas for a book about finding The Real You. I've spent a lot of time writing beginnings of chapters and considering what I want the book to look like - but not much time actually learning how a book gets published.
Trying Something New
What I learned last weekend had as much to do with how to write a book proposal as it did with reminding me of my clients' mindset when they make the powerful choice to start looking for The Real You and updating their style. I felt like I was embarking on a completely foreign journey, all by myself.
I headed to the conference on Thursday to register and get my packet. What I noticed right away is that my stomach hurt. I was completely out of my comfort zone and I didn't even feel like I could fake it. In fact, it was an exhausting three days of learning something new every moment.
A Fresh View of My Clients' Feelings
As I was waiting to meet with my assigned agent, it dawned on me that they call it a writer's conference because the people who attend are actually writers. Not personal style consultants. I realized that this must be how many of my clients feel when dissecting their closet, trying on new pieces, and opening their minds to a new look. In other words, I was out of my element, and it made me nervous.
We All Have Our Own Comfort Zones
I spend a lot of time in people's closets, reading fashion magazines, looking at style websites, putting outfits together, and shopping. This is all part of a process in which I feel very comfortable. Throw me into a room full of clothes and I'm home. Throw me into a room full of writers and I'm as lost as they would be in my closet.
Go For It!
So here's what I learned. First, it's healthy to get outside your comfort zone. In that spirit, I encourage you to step out of your old look and try on something different. Getting beyond what feels comfortable actually pushes us in new directions.
But Don't Go It Alone
Second, make friends with people who can help you. I met a lot of people at the conference who had extremely useful advice. Get help with your look when you need it. Don't be afraid to not know the answer. Look around, have a critical eye in your closet, and while you're shopping, say "yes" when the salesperson asks if you'd like help.
Putting myself into a new situation last weekend was a great experience for many reasons. I suggest you put yourself into a new situation the next time you are out shopping by trying on just one item that pushes your comfort level. Who knows... maybe stepping into that new look could begin to change your life.