HOW I FOUND PURPOSE AND GROWTH IN THE 10X10 WARDROBE CHALLENGE

Fall has always been my favorite season. Ever since childhood, I’ve always been fond of cold weather. I love leaving behind a hot summer, feeling the temperatures drop and have always looked forward to the changing colors of the leaves as they fall to the ground making space for new life. This season for me, has always felt new and exciting and a chance for a rebirth.

When the temperatures begin to shift I head into my closet and bring out the next seasons clothes that I stashed away the year prior. When I went into my closet this year and pulled out the five large tupperware boxes of fall and winter clothes, I saw baggage. This year I felt different… with all of the change in my life over the past 12 months, I knew going into the holidays something very big was on the horizon.

Rebecca Minkoff US

I had a strong desire to take focus off my exterior and put it where it mattered most – inside. I came to the realization that for the majority of my life I have been dimming my inner light with materialism. Why? Buying clothes brings me a feeling of euphoria, and it has always allowed me to be in control of at least one area of my life, a life that so often never felt like I was in charge of.

I decided to do something different and I wanted to do more with less so I took on a challenge created by a popular style blogger, Lee Vosburgh from Style Bee.  I began the 10×10 challenge with the idea that I was going to complete it in the simplest of ways, i.e., collect 10 core items from my wardrobe, take pictures daily, post about them and explain how I paired the core items to make them different, feel new and exciting. I didn’t want my clothes to define me any longer and I hoped that this challenge would help me gain a fresh perspective in a season of change.

While the goal of the challenge is to utilize your current wardrobe in new and unique ways by using a minimalist approach, I found by day 6 I was less concerned about the outfits and began to notice how it changed my perspective around fashion and clothes in general. I stopped keeping track of the outfit combinations, stopped taking photos and instead began to take personal inventory. I shifted the focus from the clothes to my heart; I empowered myself for greater discovery. This is where I began to find growth.

Once I gave this challenge space and time, true revelations emerged. When I changed the focus to a position of personal growth, I realized that for years, I was filling voids with materialism. The void was lack of love for myself, feeling unloved by others and doubting myself at every turn. The more I connected myself with others, the more the void was filled with clear, purposeful and true love. Turns out the data speaks for itself.

According to an article published by Huff Post “The Psychology Of Materialism and Why It’s Making You Unhappy” Research from Ohio State University suggests that materialistic values are fueled by insecurity.  A 2002 study shared in the journal Psychology and Marketing found that those who chronically doubt themselves and their own self-worth, tend to be more materialistic.

By taking on this challenge I was embarking on the next step in my journey. During my yoga teacher training in July, my instructor Sid taught me that if I can’t love myself first, I’ll never be able to establish and maintain deep and meaningful relationships. I was able to remove the external factors and began to express myself without disguise. I found my confidence didn’t hinge on what I was wearing but instead came from my heart – my soul that I could now begin to see and feel.

MY WHY – At first I took on this challenge to shed layers. I wanted to rid myself of an external “cover” and look deep within. The 10 items I chose were staple pieces that were versatile. This gave me permission and purpose to be what I would’ve previously called “basic.”  Now at day 10, I realize being more practical in my everyday choices may not be such a bad thing.

When it comes to my blog, I’ve been approaching a crossroads due to several, big life-changing events on the horizon. I feel the need to let go of unnecessary baggage I’ve been carrying around with me for years. This leads me back to my why and on to my goal.

MY GOAL – Initially my intention was to simply complete the 10 days, log my outfits and write about why I chose to pair things the way I did. As it turns out, the outcome was so much more.  Now, having completed this challenge and upon reflection, I recognize all of this ties back to personal growth. The benefit of this growth is transformational for me in more ways than I could’ve imagined.

In 10 simple days, I further validated my clothes do not define me. Listen, I’m a fashion blogger – I love a good Chanel bag and Burberry trench just like the rest of you and having these items are not a bad thing and does not make us bad people. The reality is, taking that quality purchase and creating an experience is where it can be most rewarding. When you check yourself at checkout (literally), ask yourself: “will this purchase bring me joy and provide me with a positive memory?”  If your answer is “HELL YES!” then by all means – swipe that card! However, if making that choice is an impulsive decision adding to credit card debt or a “stress purchase” and has no valid meaning or purpose, then maybe give yourself space to reflect before checking out. Deeply and genuinely, I’m now asking myself: “where can I spend money on life-changing and enriching experiences rather than material items.”

Quite honestly, I’m still trying to figure out how this new feeling of “minimalism” is going to influence me, my brand and my future posts. I have begun to ask myself, how can I make a bigger impact? How can I change the way I write and express myself as it relates to fashion and drive change? What is my greater purpose in all of this?

First, I’m evolving and making a shift to be different than other fashion bloggers. While my appreciation for good style and unique fashion will always exist, I’m working on a way to change my approach by how I can use my platform for a greater purpose – by aligning my blog to my mission.

MY MISSION – Here I sit on day 10, the day before Thanksgiving, a day we all give thanks to those we love and cherish. In this moment I feel a new light glowing from within me. I’m vulnerable and showing the essence of who I really am without all the bells and whistles. Honestly, bells and whistles create noise. By eliminating the noise, I’ve found there’s no greater joy than listening to a quiet, peaceful heart. In completion of this challenge, I am aligning myself to my mission and over the next 30 days I will be doing something very difficult… I am going to audit my entire wardrobe and am committing to myself and now to you my readers, that I will significantly reduce the amount of clothes and shoes in my wardrobe and will only be leaving the items that I absolutely need. All the excess will be donated to local women’s shelters.

My hope is that by sharing my journey, I can encourage my readers to take on this challenge in a meaningful and intentional way that can provide personal growth and also foster positive change in the world — no matter how big or small it may be. By challenging and pushing myself to deeper levels, I feel my intuition is taking me into enlightenment and opening my mind to new change – for purpose.

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