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How Should I Dress Up?

Feb 01, 2024

One of the doctors in our coaching small group asked how she should show up for her coaching clients. She mentioned that she was not the kind of person to dress up or wear makeup. She had the concept that she should dress up a certain way and appear a certain way.

The better question is how she wants to dress up.

In the past, I used to have the same question. When I was asking how I should appear, I was actually asking how I would dress to gain others’ approval. I was more concerned to please other people than to go with my desires. Forget about my desires – I was trying to bury and ignore them.

In the not-so-distant past, I put the same standard to being a physician. I had this “ideal image” of a physician – someone who dresses nicely with a suit, or a nice top and slacks. Someone who looks mature. That image goes beyond just the physical appearance. My idea of a good physician was someone who worked long hours because to me, that was a sign of hardworking. I also thought that a good physician was supposed to say yes to whatever was asked. Be it an extra hour of work, an extra shift, a favor, etc.

Through coaching, I learned to change my perspectives. It is okay not to constantly seek others’ approval. Sure, I value what other people’s opinions are and I value more to be who I am.

It is okay to be you. You do not live by what other people label you as or how they think of you. What others think are not in our control. Even the most famous stars have many fans and many haters.

The even better question is how you want yourself to show up.

If you do not focus on what others are going to think of you, how would you dress? I am not saying to completely ignore opinions from others. There is a balance between what your desires are and what others think of you. The priority is to set who you are first.

I am a person who prefers to keep things simple. Simple and comfortable clothing, no makeup. I think I look professional even when I am wearing scrubs underneath the white coat because of my attitude.

It takes courage to be you, to be the real you. It is okay not to aim to please everyone. It is actually impossible to do that. Doctor the way that is you. Not every patient will like you. Some patients will seek a second opinion and not return, and that is alright. Your people will want to be with you.

When you make a decision to do something, ask yourself if that is in alignment with your values. Know your boundaries and stay firm.

Some of you may be operating according to other people’s desires for so long that you forget what you truly want. It may be helpful to take some time, sit in a quiet place to reflect who you are and what you truly want. What brings you joy? What does your ideal day look like? What activities do you enjoy doing? What do you like about your work? With that clarity, it will be clearcut as to when to say no.

Embrace who you are. It is okay not to conform to what you think others are expected of you. Your people want to work with you because of who you truly are.

Are you ready to stop feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Are you ready to have more time to do what you want?


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