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Are You Wearing the Right "Clothes?" Empowering Self-Development Tips

A messy rack of clothing

When I lead people in their life journey on self-development programs, the number one thing they cry out for is to feel free. They express wanting peace in their life, to live full of joy and happiness. They want to let go of past challenges—especially those that hurt deeply, leaving them devastated.


They share their frustration that they can’t seem to get what they truly want in life, desperately trying to cover up the fact they’re still holding on to the times they messed up, fell short, or failed, and have cloaked themselves in shame and defeat. 


It’s like they put on clothes with the designer labels “Loser,” “Liar,” or “Cheater,” not realizing they’re trying to wear things that are too small, worn out, and outdated: a fashion statement in desperate need of an update.

A Man in Need of New "Clothes"

There was a man in one of my self-development programs that I will never forget…


He stared down at me from atop the trust fall platform—team members below, waiting to catch him—and I asked, “What do you feel is holding you back from stepping forward into your magnificence and into what you truly want in life?”


It was as if a floodgate had burst open; bent over, clutching his stomach, he sobbed as he regurgitated everything he had done wrong his entire life—every little thing that hadn’t worked out in his favor.


I guess to some, what he revealed would have been juicy stuff. But to me, it was just life. I stood back from the group, looking at him intently, listening to every tearful word. I caught group members sneaking peeks at me—looking for my reaction and waiting for me to say something profound.


About the time I thought he was finished, he stood up, taking a silent moment as everyone below looked up at him, and said sadly, “I cheated on my wife.”


Now the entire group whipped their heads around to me, wide-eyed with shock, waiting for some “classic Terilynn” wrath-filled wisdom to come blurting out of my mouth. But I just stood there, silently staring at him. Finally, I responded, “Well that was f—ed up. Don’t do that again.”

And I walked away. 


The group was floored, not understanding why I didn’t “let him have it!” The truth is, this man had been letting himself have it most of his life, and he was still wearing the same worn-out, dirty clothes of a cheater. He had decided that no one would ever trust him again—he was beyond forgiveness.


The next participant was a beautiful woman with tears already streaming down her face as she stepped up onto the platform. I asked her to put some words to her emotion, and she said she was “sad for him.” I asked, “Him who?” and she pointed down to the man who went before her. 


When I asked why that made her so sad, she responded, “Because that's my husband.”

My response? “Okay then. Now this is getting juicy.”


She adamantly stated she had forgiven him years ago, but he just wouldn’t receive her forgiveness, and how every day, she witnessed him living unworthy of his greatness.


I asked her to look at him and describe the incredible man she had once married. Listening to her words, it was like they were once again at the altar, gazing into each other’s eyes saying, “I do." Then I asked her to tell him what she wanted from him. Without hesitation, she asked him to forgive himself—to live life fully and be the courageous man she knows he is—and he gave her his word. (As you might imagine, there wasn’t a single dry eye in the group.)


After the Trust Fall

During these self-development programs, I get to give the participants some type of “homework.”


This husband and wife had crystal clear homework that needed doing:

  1. Purchasing him new clothes that represented his greatness.

  2. Taking her to an extravagant, romantic dinner ending with them holding one another close as they dance to their wedding song. (Side note: I love my job!!)

Empowering Your Self-Development

So I ask you, are you wearing the right “clothes?” Are you living into your magnificence—your greatness? Do you have one foot in the past, anchoring you down and keeping you from what you truly want? Here's some homework for you:


Step One

Stand with one foot in front of you, and the other foot behind you like you are straddling a line. Your front foot represents what it is you truly want, and your back foot represents what you must let go of to have it. 

Important tip!

  • Avoid saying things like, "I don’t want another bad relationship," or, "I don’t want to be financially unstable.”

  • Instead, speak from a place of, I want a healthy, loving relationship,” or I’m committed to forgiving myself,” etc.

  • The “I don’t…” statements belong to your back foot because they focus on the past and what has been anchoring you down. We want to make “I want/I will/I am committed to...” statements because they focus on the future.

When you are ready and committed to having what you truly dream of in life, bring the back foot up to the front foot. Take a moment, breathe in your greatness, then take a step forward. You are on your way.


Step Two

Go to your closet and examine your wardrobe. Get rid of the clothes that don’t fit or don’t make you feel magnificent. I now grant you permission to go out and splurge on yourself. Buy the most amazing wardrobe ever—you deserve it!

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