Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Pierre Bastien.
Do you feel like your closets are full, but you have nothing to wear?
If you live in a developed country, you most likely have enough clothes to wear. That is, you have a selection of clothes to keep you warm and comfortable. You might feel like you have nothing to wear, but of course in practice, you almost never leave the house naked.
If you feel like you don’t have anything to wear, it’s probably just a worry that your current clothes are inadequate in some way. Perhaps you feel your clothes are out of fashion. Perhaps some of your clothes are in fashion, but you wore them last week, and you want a change of pace. Perhaps you have a mish-mash of clothes but you don’t feel like they all gel together nicely.
How do we end up feeling our clothes are inadequate? I think it has to be cultural pressure. We see new fashions on TV, on billboards, in magazines, and in store windows. We see those lovely clothes and everyone’s all put-together and we think, now that’s good stuff. We look at our own clothes and think, meh. We look at other people around us and think, s/he looks good. We look at ourselves and think, meh.
No matter how many clothes you acquire, though, you can always want more. Just pick up any magazine and you’ll find something you want but haven’t got.
What we’re really limited by is our ability to feel secure and comfortable in our existing clothes. In other words, the clothes themselves aren’t inadequate. It’s our own minds that make them so. We’re doing this to ourselves. We imagine an alternate version of ourselves that’s impeccably dressed, envied far and wide for our style and grace. Then we look at our current wardrobe and think, meh.
So how can you feel comfortable in your existing clothes? For starters, stop thinking about some future point where you’re 100% happy with your wardrobe. If you’re always wanting something better in the future, then by definition you’ll never be happy with what you have. No matter how much stuff you accumulate, you’ll always be tempted to acquire something new.
I’m not saying you should stop buying new clothes. If you buy them, just make sure you spend a significant chunk of time enjoying them. If you don’t enjoy them, if you just immediately start thinking about what to buy next, then there’s no point buying clothes at all, because you’ll never be happy with them.
How do you wean yourself off of buying more clothes? Try to catch yourself anytime you start thinking your wardrobe is inadequate. Try to switch your mindset to enjoying the present moment. Look at the clothes you do have. Put them on slowly and pay attention to how they fit. Feel the textures on your body. Notice how they keep you warm. I’ve found if you focus on your senses like this, you can switch your mind off for a bit, freeing you to focus more on what you do have in the here and now.
Another way to practice this mindfulness is participating in Project 333. When you’re limited to a specific number of clothes, it frees you from the pressure of adding to your clothing portfolio. And by wearing the same clothes over and over, you come to appreciate more fully the clothes you already have.
Read more from Pierre at PierreBastien.net.
If simplicity is changing your life, imagine what it could do for your business.