One of the biggest push-backs I get as an image consultant comes from the fear of bing analyzed. It seems that many people assume that being told which style they are is like being put into a box. In truth, however, knowing which “box” you fit into breaks the walls that can hold you back from being true to yourself–like the Ugly Duckling that I blogged about last week.
Many of us are brought up in a culture that confines us to the definition of beauty that our influencers hold us to. It may be that your mom likes things done “properly” but you don’t notice details and feel as if you just didn’t meet the standard set before you.
Maybe you do care about details and love to make things beautiful, but your family does not. Perhaps they belittled you for your concerns and to this day you hold back from being a woman of excellence because you feel as if it is selfish or prideful?
When did the quest to find yourself begin? Did you know who you were as a little girl? Did you discover your true identity in High school? Did your passion, purpose and personality suddenly reveal itself, or was it a progressive unveiling?
Who am I?
Most of us question our identity throughout our lives. We begin by roleplaying with our Barbie dolls and continue testing and attempting various attitudes and approaches throughout adolescence. As we try various sports, arts, hobbies and studies. Slowly we discover our likes and dislikes.
As we mature, we learn to relate to others and begin to solidify our opinions and interests, but many of us continue to “play house” well into the season of managing one for real, because we still have not found peace with our true self. Continue reading Making Peace with your Style→
Autumn is officially upon us and once again we New Englanders find ourselves pulling out last year’s sweaters and boots and squeezing them into our closet full of summer clothing, which we are not yet ready to put away. (After all, this dreadful weather is going to calm and Sunday will be beautiful again!)
Crowded closets cause stress
When clothing is stuffed into small spaces, we are apt to complain that we can’t find anything to wear. For some reason we think that mean we don’t have enough, but in most situations, less would be more. Too many options can overwhelm us; it is far easier to choose from five outfits then from twenty. Continue reading 7 Ways to Save Money on Clothing→
Ambitious. Hard-working. Multi-tasking–these words describe most women in today’s culture. Dreamers, with great desires for ourselves and our families. We are strong and courageous and are willing to give up so that others can get.
Women are influential
As emotional and relational beings, our mood sets the atmosphere around us. When we are peaceful, others relax. When we are joyful, others enjoy themselves. We should not underestimate the power of our presence because, when we recognize our influence, we can make a difference in our world.
We have the ability to create a beautiful environment in our homes for our marriage to flourish and our children to blossom. We have it in us to become self-disciplined, and to discipline our children well and train them in the way they should go. When we build on our strengths and overcome our weaknesses, we increase our sphere of influence (as big or small as that may be) because women who are confident enough to bless others are women who people want to be around. Continue reading Are you Influential?→
In every conversation, every glance your way, each test you take or act you perform, there will always be the nagging questions about your identity, purpose, power and value:
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Am I enough? Am I too much?
Does my life even matter?
These questions about our significance may be subtle and somewhat silent or they may consume us with their torment. The intensity of their demands for answers may ebb and flow, within certain seasons of our lives. Without a doubt, they are strongest when we are suffering with low self-esteem, but even on days when we highly-esteem ourselves, our nature is to solicit confirmation of our worth. Continue reading Do You Accept Rejection?→
With Texas facing such unfathomable devastation, I find it hard to blog about beauty today, but since the media is so concerned with Melania’s choice in shoes right now, I suppose it’s not too inappropriate to discus the topic.
It’s true, what we wear on our feet shows how committed we are to the activity or occasion we are preparing for. If you say you are going to the beach, yet you are wearing boots, I might not take you seriously. If you are going to play backyard tennis, you may get away with wearing any sneakers, but if you are serious about playing, you will wear tennis shoes.
Don’t wear any kind of sneakers, however, if you are going to the courthouse or you may be condemned by the judge. There are certain times when formality is expected.
Typically, formality is expected every day for the FLOTUS, (or for a model for that matter!)
Except when it is not–then she may be condemned for dressing up, even if she planned to dress-down before arriving at the disaster area.
A lot of beautiful women face this problem of being judged harshly for dressing up–especially Dramatic & Classic women, who tend to be more formal in nature. Personally, this is one of my hot buttons. I hurt for the girls who are criticized and snubbed because (ironically) the “mean girls” think the pretty girls are snobs. Of course, it does go the other way as well, and pretty girls can be mean, but everyone sees the wrong then. Doesn’t anyone see that some women are simply more confident and comfortable in stilettos? Continue reading Are you More Confident in Stilettos or Sneakers?→
Glance at a flower and it will amaze you with its beauty. Take a deep look at the details of each pedal, the leaves and it’s stem and you may not be as impressed. I mean really, what is this?
Flowers wilt; they fall over or break, and very often they have many deformities. No flower is perfect, yet only a fool would dare to criticize the details of that which was presented to them for sheer pleasure. I’m not saying that no one rejects the bouquet of flowers given them (Actually, I’ve personally witnessed an ungrateful critique insult the generosity of their flower-giver’s heart.). I am saying that those who are critical of beauty are foolish. Continue reading Making Peace with your Image→
It’s inevitable, whenever I speak to young ladies about beauty, that someone asks me to address the topic of modesty. Personally, I prefer to use the term dignity, since the word “modesty” is often interpreted as stale, legalistic control that only spurs on rebellion in those who love fashion. In a recent discussion on the matter, a young man, who had overheard me talking with a group of girls, told his friend that we were discussing “confidential beauty.”
Immediately, I felt a blog coming on….
Modesty is not old and ugly; it is dignified and commands respect, like confidentiality.
I recently heard a recovering addict refer to herself as a dandelion: ugly and annoying to most but beautiful and useful to those who know her.
Her analogy has me thinking.
As the mother of an addict, I’m often baffled by the way my son returns to his drug of choice even though it makes his life so much more difficult in so many terrifying ways. I do not see him as ugly and annoying, but his behavior indicates that this is how he believes most see him. My new friend, however, recognizes that some people see her worth. She recognizes the stigma her past has put on her, but is beginning to shift her focus away from her shame and toward her worth.
Part of “recovering” from any ugly past is overcoming the stigma
As moms, we see our children as beautiful and useful–even when they mess up or become rebellious–because our hopes and dreams for them are strong. We believe in their potential. Unfortunately, it is hard to recognize your own beautiful potential when you are trapped in a lifestyle of ugly mistakes. The ramifications of bad choices make it hard to see what could be.
It’s hard to imagine a field full of beautiful flowers when at the time all it boasts is ugly and annoying weeds.
People are compelled by convictions.
When we mess up, we often allow our experience to form our opinion of ourselves. We experience a divorce and take the identity of a” divorcee” and a struggle with addiction names you an “addict.” I have a hard time with that, but really, when we get married we become a “wife”; when we restrict our diet we become a “vegetarian” (or such). I just hate this epidemic of people restricted by the stigmatism that their ugly mistakes have made.
What we experience does form our identity, and therefore we act according to who we are–in most cases it would be wrong not to. If you don’t act according to your marital status, its a moral issue. Your choice of diet, on the other hand, may or may not be a strong conviction, but each of us should BE true to who we believe we are.
Unless, of course, we are believing a lie.
A vegetarian who eats meat totally contradicts who she says she is. If she had no conviction about the matter, then her change in diet is not much of a concern. We might ask her what changed her mind, but it’s really not any of our business how someone else eats, right? If, however, she had strong beliefs on the matter and suddenly she was straying, I would try to encourage her to “remain true to herself,” wouldn’t you?
The only thing truly ugly and annoying about someones identity is hypocrisy.
It is upsetting to witness someone take on an identity that contradicts who they really are. I may never really understand why does my son keeps going back to drugs, but this one thing I am sure of: I still believe in him, but my convictions will never change his identity, only his will.
Dandelions have the potential to be beautiful or destructive.
As a little girl, my daughter loved to pick the bright yellow dandelions in our back yard. When their season of bright beauty past, and they turned to seed, she loved to blow the beautiful puff off into the wind. They started multiplying like crazy! When we told her that the flowers were actually weeds, I think we broke her heart, but once she understood the truth, she stopped the behavior that was causing an epidemic in our lawn.
Are you a dandelion?
Yes, the beautiful flowers are weeds, but they have worth. I hear you can even eat them! They are adaptable and able to grow even in cracks of pavement where their is very little soul. Try to pull them up and you will learn that they are extremely strong. Unless you succeed at pulling out the whole root, they will likely grow back. Most of all, dandelions are highly influential. They may go through an ugly season, but their beauty only multiplies as they fully recover and start all over. Why? Because they were designed with the potential to experience a Supreme MakeOver.
So were you.
Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. -Romans 6: 16 NLT
Do you see yourself as ugly and annoying or beautiful and useful? Recovering from an ugly past is a process, but it is a possibility. There is a Supreme Stylist–God, your Creator, who can make you completely new again if you simply ask. It is what He does. It’s what He loves to do.
Don’t let your mistakes–or the stigma they have caused–define you. BE who you were designed to be: Strong, adaptable, highly influential, beautiful and useful. After all, weeds may go through an ugly season, but they multiply a lot faster than other flowers do!
As an author and speaker, my passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, I love to use my profession, along with my experiences and training as a Biblical life-coach to help others struggling. If you want to make difference, too, would you become part of this movement and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads or consider having me speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.
It’s Memorial Day Weekend. A lot of preparations have been happening on Cape Cod to prepare for the start of our busy season. Many businesses have reopened, restaurants have restocked and summer homes have been completed.
Yet, as the tourists arrive, the excitement is clouded because the warm weather has not yet made it’s full transition. Our beach parties and backyard barbecues will likely need relocating out of the cold, wet wind.
Confidence and expectations
Life is full of delayed transitions. Consider the times you have worked hard to accomplish something but one thing after another interrupts the progression and stalls the grand goal. Maybe it was your graduation, certification, the permitting of your business or occupancy of your home. Some goals we only have partial control over, like training our children, healing relationships, or motivating change.
Some transitions will never come without our conscious effort. Others we have no influence over.
Like the weather.
I’m quickly approaching fifty and I have experienced Summer each year of my life, haven’t you?
We can find confidence in consistent transitions.
I feel bad for the people arriving “on Cape” right now. This may be their only weekend to visit our beautiful area of the world. Yet, in reality, the damp weather doesn’t change the beauty of our beaches.
Unrealistic expectations clouds our vision of beauty in the transition.
Those of us who are blessed enough to be here longer than the holiday weekend ought to find peace in knowing that this is not our only chance to enjoy Cape Cod’s scenic landscape.
Expecting beautiful days makes difficult ones easier to endure.
How you handle delayed transitions is a big indicator of your Img.ID, what do you do when you are disappointed?
C: Learn more, work harder
N: Stay steady, wait
D: Feel devastated... or more determined
I: Feel insulted and insecure
R: Shut down, feel discouraged
G: Take charge, make it happen
Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.
Confidence gives resilience in delayed transitions
As a new mom, I felt like a failure when my toddler took time to potty train. After my own mom reassured me that my boy would not be in diapers forever, I began to relax and enjoy the process.
As a wounded divorcee, I was anxious about dating my future husband, until he reassured me that if our relationship was God’s will today, it would still be God’s will tomorrow and we should take one day at a time.
When I was writing Confident Beauty, I was also running my business, being a bookkeeper for my husband’s business, leading a women’s ministry and raising three active children. I wasn’t sure if I would ever get an agent or a publisher; but if I didn’t expect it to, I wouldn’t have continued writing. It took me four years to complete my manuscript.
If you are you running hard after a goal and experiencing Confidence Conflicts because of delayed transition, I encourage you to find the strength to keep going. There will be dreadful downpours–they may even happen on the days you expected to celebrate–but if you don’t allow unrealistic expectations to cloud your vision, you will eventually see that every type of beauty finds its strength by persevering through the damp and dreary days.
And let us not grow weary while doing good,
for in due season we shall reap
if we do not lose heart. -Galatians 6:9
As an author and speaker, Catrina’s passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, Catrina now uses her profession, her own powerful stories and her training as a Biblical life-coach to reach the heart in a way that is relatable, encouraging and inspiring. Her message is balanced with both fashion and faith and is making a difference in the lives of women and girls all over! To be part of this movement, connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.