De-Centering Appearance

 
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A lot of times when I talk about not focusing on appearance what women hear is that they're not going to look good.

I've asked clients to describe to me what they see when they think this and I get these vivid descriptions of a person who hasn't brushed their hair in ages wearing oversized clothes covered in food and sweat stains and who has aged decades or whose body has changed shape and size dramatically in an instant.

The change they describe is extreme and dramatic and nonsensical if you think about it logically. I work with extraordinary women who understand this even as they're saying it.

Yet what I'm asking still feels that intense.

You see, it's not that anyone believes that their appearance will change that dramatically. Rather, they fear that people will start treating them as if their appearance changed that dramatically. They fear rejection and judgment and being seen as less than because of their appearance.

And in a world that's appearance obsessed, that feels pretty scary, unappealing, and something to avoid.

I get the hesitation.

But continuing to focus on your appearance because you're afraid of how others will see and treat you only further reinforces and deepens the beliefs that are holding you back and making you feel bad.

It's a vicious cycle.

You can't get out of it by buying the right clothes, getting blemish free skin, fixing some part of your body. Trust me, I've tried. My clients have tried. There's billion dollar industries counting on the fact that we'll keep trying without success.

You get out of it by de-centering appearance. Making it less important. It's not about not caring ... it's about caring about other things more.

Jessica Jo Fisher