I will never forget a conversation I had with a woman after one of my speaking engagements. She came up to me afterwards, thanked me for sharing and then proceeded to tell me about how conservative the dress code was at her company, how she didn't like it and how it's impacted how she feels at work.
She went on to ask me a golden question...what should she do about it?
Well, in my mind, I thought, you really only have 2 options:
1. Confidently challenge the standards to honor your alignment
2. Settle for comfort
My answer surprised her because it wasn't a laundry list of what to wear.
But, I knew what she was really saying to me was, I don't fully agree with the dress code because it doesn't align with my values or my style & I don't know what to do about it.
Here's the truth, clothes aren't just clothes. Clothes help us own our message, express who we are and share our values. When you feel restricted of that, you fall out of alignment.
I shared with her two options of what to do if she decided to challenge the standards:
1. Push the boundaries...on what you decide to wear to work (I'm not saying go full rebel but do find ways to be more expressive) Keep in mind that consequences may or may not arise with this option, which is okay, just be prepared in knowing your level of compromise. There is power in knowing which boundaries you want to push.
2. Find a work environment...that is in more alignment with your values especially when it comes to visual representation.
The key here is that the implied dress code should not define YOUR message. Just as you don't blindly do what someone else is doing, apply that to your wardrobe too. Take back the control and intention with how you decide to show up for your life everyday.
This is for my lady entrepreneurs, too. If you are stuck in the humdrum of dressing in the comfort of your old life, it's time to break that habit. Find a new wave of confidence in showing up as your best self, whatever that may be for you.
I know comfort feels cozy but it's time to anchor in your confidence instead. Find the style that works for you, that makes you feel good & excited to go out to make your money!
So, my question to you is: have you settled for comfort?