Last Business Suit Standing
Truth be told, I’ve always hated business suits.
They feel like straight jackets to me. And every time I wore one, that’s how I felt- trapped, suffocated, tight and uncomfortable.
I used to wear suits all the time because that’s what you’re ‘supposed’ to wear in the business world. I purchased my first suit at Casual Corner in 1998 and went on to spend thousands of dollars on the outfit from hell up until 3 years ago.
The first step was I started to buy funky suits- colors, styles, cuts- anything and everything to break from the traditional blue, black and pinstripe male mimicking ensemble.
Toss in some funky jewelry and you’re starting to bust out of the mold a bit.
Then I had my first major event where I wanted to wear a dress and all hell broke loose, but I stood my ground. The dress prevailed and I survived my first major speaking engagement outside the confines of a jacket and skirt combo.
As time went on, I would buy less and less suits and more dresses. I was starting to appreciate the feeling and flow of a dress on my post-Mom figure and the way I still felt professional, yet feminine, in a great dress.
The right cut, a good pair of spanx and really great accessories did the trick to make me feel like I owned the meeting I was running and the woman that I was.
The interesting observation here was that as I dug deeper into the dreams that I had, and back to the person that I truly was, the more I changed the way I dressed.
It was almost as if I was losing the costume of the suits for the persona and job that I thought I wanted and was slowly becoming the woman that I was meant to be.
When we left our lives to chase our dreams, I moved all of those suits with me ‘just in case’ I went back into the career path that I had been on.
I hung them up in my walk-in closet and dust started to collect on their perfectly sculpted shoulder pads.
A year ago I did a major closet clean out and donated over 15 suits. Wool, lime green, pinstriped, grey and everything in between.
Yet I held on to one.
A grey suit that I had given speeches and ran countless meetings in.
I held on to it ‘just in case’.
Just in case I needed to get a job back in ‘that world’.
Just in case I gave up on my dreams and needed to conform into the mold of the woman I had been, not the woman that I am.
Just in case I forgot who I was again.
Just in case my dream didn’t work out.
As my business and life has started to gain momentum, I have found ways to wear clothes that make me feel like the woman that I am- colorful, at ease, comfortable and a tad bit funky.
On a recent weekend I was doing my yearly clean out of the closet and there it was- the last suit standing.
As I pulled it off the rack I realized that by holding on to the last suit I was still holding myself- and my dreams- back.
By holding on to that last suit ‘just in case’ there was a small part of me that still believed that I would head back to that world because my dreams and work ‘wouldn’t work out’.
I was selling myself short.
I was facing doubt each and every day without knowing it.
I was letting fear win.
And I was doubting all o f the work that I had done to get me to this very moment.
I hung it on my closet door and took this picture so that I would never forget the last suit that I gave up.
And then I promptly placed it in the bag to donate.
Chapter closed. Fear be damned. Marching onward.
We all hold on to things based on beliefs, fears and the possibility of what we’re ‘supposed’ to be doing.
What would happen if you released those things?
What revolutionary act would occur if you walked away from every single thing that you’re ‘supposed’ to do or be and actually put time and effort into the things that align with who you truly are?
It truly is a revolutionary act to be who we truly are in a world that’s busy telling us who we’re supposed to be.
As I placed that suit in the donate bag I felt a sense of relief and freedom.
What will you experience when you let go?