Here’s a riddle for 3rdi readers currently on holiday with plenty of time to ponder – what comes first, the ambition or the achievement? Many may assume that we must have the ambition to do before we can achieve anything but others will consider this with a “chicken or egg?” attitude. Do we have to achieve something before we believe that we can achieve more and develop the courage to identify an ambition?
In my work with women who are looking to feel more confident in the clothes that they wear I often find that my clients don’t believe that they will be able to make a difference to their appearance. Very often they have been wearing similar colours and styles for a long time and can’t envisage themselves looking any other way. They don’t have an ambition to change because they haven’t achieved an appearance that they have enjoyed in the (recent) past. Our exterior appearance often reflects our interior thoughts, “I’m not so important – the people I work for, the people I care for, the people who look better are the ones that are important.” Changing how we look can be a catalyst for changing how we perceive ourselves. And this is where perhaps the unsaid ambition lies with many of my clients, they don’t understand how it will happen but by booking an appointment they are showing a desire, an ambition, to make a change.
By working together we identify what each person needs from her wardrobe for her specific lifestyle and what style of clothes she will enjoy wearing. We then go to the shops and find the clothes that suit our requirements. There is always a light bulb moment when a client tries on a garment that changes how she sees herself, when a smile hits her face and her shoulders pull back. She has achieved something that she perhaps hadn’t even acknowledged she was looking for – a new way of seeing herself and allowing others to see her. After achieving that initial change clients can continue to change not only the clothes that they wear but the jobs that they do, the people that they share their lives with and more.
So what comes first, the ambition or the achievement? I believe that it’s only through achieving that we are propelled to go on and achieve more, it’s making achievements that gives us the courage to have ambitions to do even greater things. But there has to be a flicker of ambition in the first instance, not necessarily to change the world, but to do one small thing and by being successful in the small things we recognise that actually we can do so much more!