Do you deserve it?

A dear buddy of mine from a debate-club-style mastermind group shared an article this week that came along just at the right time. It discussed how our spending on things like food and clothes is linked to our self-esteem. When high, there is a greater tendency to purchase more luxury items because we feel worthy. And it works in the opposite way too. Even on a tight budget, you may find yourself sacrificing some essentials to have the desired luxuries.

In recent months I have been working with a couple of clients who really appreciate my work and many others have seen my work from the outside and appreciate it too. My self-esteem and confidence have been growing – I feel I am making a worthy contribution that’s making a difference. The first time since leaving the military.

Winner – all good.

Then, over the past two years, it’s been all Zoom, Zoom, Zoom – calls and pace of life! And in reality, that means – trackies, slippers and hoodies.

SPOILER ALERT! For more important calls I chuck on a nice top for the call. As soon as it’s over, I reach for the comfort and safety of my trusty hoodie. And I have two Zoom tops that reside in my office on standby and rotate them from call to call.

But… this year there are in-person things looming, meeting new people, and (gulp) presentations!!!! I can feel the beads of sweat forming on my brow even as I type it out loud.

And what does all that mean?

Well, now is the time for the dreaded shopping drama to get new clothes. Not only have I not had to buy new clothes for almost 3 years since leaving the RN and even when I have bought clothes it was always for socials or casualwear, never for “work”. And I have piled on the covid-pounds and that wasn’t one of my wisest investments.

So, now that a more front of house role is on the way, it was time to revive the wardrobe and better align it with my efforts behind the scenes. And in doing this, I tend to agree with my friend’s article. I did feel less guilty about spending money on clothes and looking nice because my self-esteem is at an all-time high. And I opted to try for a high-quality brand that it will fit better and last longer.

And because I am in the mindset of finding excuses to keep the items, as opposed to finding the smallest fault, I have been more open to tolerating my fatness, prominent belly and a lump or two here and there.

For 15 years I had the safety and reputation of a uniform. Others understood the reputation that came with a rank slide. And we all went through weeks of basic training to earn the right to wear that uniform.

What’s the civvy street equivalent?

It is only now that I am understanding what that looks like for me in life after the military. And it has been a struggle. To find a style that works for me and conveys my capabilities and potential. Without being too ego-nurturing or trying to be something I am not.

Hard to do when you are still figuring out who you are.

And much easier when you decide you are worthy.

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