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March 5, 2019

Your Style Reflects Your Truth

For this post, we linked up with relationship coach Galen Erickson to talk about how your style reflects your truth. Hope you are inspired by what he has to say!

As a relationship coach for men, it's my job to understand what helps men live with passion, and what can get in the way.  I can tell you that style is a crucial piece and I'll share some of my own story to illustrate.

In my mid-twenties I was hanging out with three of my friends when I noticed a stark contrast in the colors we were wearing: Me and my buddy Rob were both dressed in mostly black and grey, while Chris and Mike where dressed in light pastel colors.  This observation struck me because both Chris and Mike had just started relationships with the respective woman of their dreams, while Rob and I had just broken up with our girlfriends at the time (and were both really depressed).

When I had dressed myself that morning, I had not decided to wear gloomy clothing, nor had Rob.  I doubt the others had made that kind of choice either.  But still, it happened so obviously. Our clothing was a representation of our hearts and minds.

Since then I have made a point to look at what my clothes said about me, how my moods impacted what I wore, and how what I wore impacted my moods.  

If I caught myself putting on drab clothing I might ask myself if there was something that was bothering me that I wasn't dealing with.  Likewise, when I was feeling down, sometimes I would make a point to dress nicer than usual as an effort to will-myself towards positivity.

As I opened my business as a men's relationship coach, I began to examine my wardrobe even deeper.  I had nice clothes but it was all somewhat 'safe'.  My girlfriend who loves wearing bright colors pointed this out and encouraged me to wear more colorful and expressive things.  

I definitely wanted to, but I was uncomfortable with it.  She asked why.  I wasn't quite sure.  

But after some honest reflection I realized that I was uncomfortable because I feared ridicule.  The memories of being picked on when I was younger were lurking in my subconscious.  There was a shadowy whisper that told me that if I wore bright colors, I would face ridicule and violence. 

I realized that the same was reflected in my somewhat conservative haircut. 

Realizing that I was being driven by my fears rather than my passions and intentions, I had to find a way to wear bright colors.  I asked myself, "How can I coach men to face their fears if I can't even face mine?" 

So I began changing my wardrobe and growing out my hair.  I found some purple pants, and bright colored shirts.  I shaved the sides of my head and bleached the long hair on the top.  I began wearing a white fur coat that a friend gave me after he went to burning man.

I told myself, "I'm going to dress however the fuck I want and deal with the consequences."

I would really pump myself up before going out so that I felt like I had the courage to face whatever I was going to face.

The consequences were not what I expected.  More than anything, I have received praise, and more than anything, from my straight guy friends.  They are like "Dude that jacket is DOPE!" 

I also receive more curious looks of interest from women and men.  But everyone is super respectful.  More than anything else, it seems like people treat me as though I’m some celebrity that they have not heard about yet.

Since I made the shift, I feel a lot better about my style.  More importantly, I'm living with just a little less fear and a little more swagger.

What does your style say about you?  What would it look like for you to face your fears and express yourself just a little bit more?

About the Author
Galen is your number one wing-man, the proverbial Merlin for your King Arthur. He is the guy committed to seeing the good in you and making sure you see it too. He is devoted to helping men live with passion and integrity. He supports the creation of a more equitable world where everyone can thrive. He's been leading men's groups for 10 years and coaching professionally since 2016.  Based in Seattle, he's been on KIRO radio and King5 news. He has spoken at Seattle Town Hall and has written some pretty dope Facebook posts. He is an innovator and entrepreneur but most importantly, he's got your back. Check out his website at www.galenerickson.com!