Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Dressing the Part

(This blog was originally posted on December 28, 2014)

Photo by Rick Hustead

         Whenever I have to get something done, I dress the part. When I was working as a magazine editor, I wore a suit to work just about every day. I don’t know why I started doing that. Perhaps it was because, having just returned from England after living abroad for seven years, I was used to seeing professional people looking like they had somewhere important to go. Monday through Friday, on the London Underground, at bus stations and walking around the city, everyone looked so chic. (Of course, people dressed the part in Los Angeles, too; but since most people drove cars out here it was hard to know how they really looked from outside the vehicle.) But I also discovered that it was easier for me to get and maintain that mind-set for my work throughout the day.

My days as a magazine editor are long over, but I continue to dress for whatever part or role I am playing on a given day. If am going to give a presentation about hypnotherapy or work with my hypnotherapy clients, I wear business attire. If I am going out to the barn to ride my horse or just hang out with him and do chores around the barn, I put on my “horse clothes”: i.e., britches, shirt or sweater, half-chaps, Mountain Horse Jod boots. Right before I get on Galahad, I am also wearing gloves and my Troxel riding helmet. If I am competing in a horse show, I wear specific riding gear for that: white britches, white blouse and stock tie, black dressage coat and my tall dressage boots—plus white leather gloves, hair-net and stock pin. If I am going out for the evening, I wear appropriate attire for whatever the activity or event I am attending.

Finally, dressing the part helps to increase my self-confidence in my ability to do whatever task is at hand. When I was dressed like an editor—or what I thought an editor should wear—I also looked and acted like an editor. As a hypnotherapist, it is important to me that I can convey a sense of confidence, experience, calm and support to my clients. Sometimes, I also wear a name badge to reinforce this image when I work with someone for the first time. When I’m at the barn, I feel more confident and secure about my activities knowing that I am wearing protective gear that is specifically designed to prevent serious injury if I fall off a horse or get kicked or stepped on.

Guess what? I even put on something that tells me (and my subconscious mind) it’s time to relax and unwind from the stresses of the day when I am just planning to hang out at home reading or watching television. I know that my SCM should “know” how to relax as instinctively as it knows how to do most of the activities I mentioned above. However, sometimes I even have to remind myself that it’s okay to just do one thing (or nothing) at a time. In a way, the clothing functions like the critical area of my subconscious mind, as Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder John Kappas, Ph.D., described in his Theory of Mind. This is the area of the mind that rejects any unknown or unfamiliar (painful) information for the SCM. So, to put this model into effect, when I am at work seeing a client, my official attire reminds my mind rejects distracting message units about the time I will spend with Galahad later in the day. And when I am with my horse, my riding garments remind me to focus on him.

Especially the boots: they have a reinforced steel toe to protect my feet in case I start thinking about something other than my boy, who likes to remind me where my attention should be focused should it drift away from him.

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.
© 2017