Editor’s note: I’m a big The Walking Dead fan, and if you are too and still have trouble expanding your comfort zone when it comes to upping your style game, hopefully you can relate to this.
The following is a guest article from Robert Van Tongeren of Restart Your Style.
You have an awesome look in mind.
A look you’d love to have, but just can’t pull off.
You sometimes spot clothes that could help you create this look, but you never buy them. You may take them off the rack, examine them, or even try them on, but you always hang them back.
You’d love to create this look for yourself, but you’re just more of a T-shirt-and-jeans guy. The look is just not you.
The look is you. It’s the real you. It’s just not you now.
Right now, you’re a T-shirt-and-jeans guy, because you’re afraid of leaving your comfort zone. You’ve grown so accustomed to this look, dressing differently feel awkward. So you’ve convinced yourself it’s just who you are.
But it’s camouflage.
You’re just trying to go unnoticed. Because if you leave your comfort zone and change your style, everyone’s eyes will be on you. The idea alone makes you cringe.
So you hide.
You hide the look you truly want safe inside you mind, where nobody can see. You hide your true self, for fear of being noticed. You hide inside your comfort zone, because every time you try to leave, zombies try to bite you.
Yeah, that’ll make more sense in a minute.
Leaving your comfort zone is hard, but you can ease the process. Let me show you how.
You have two ways to change your look
Imagine a world plagued by a zombie infestation.
Humanity has lost, and the zombies (or “awkwards”, as survivors have started calling them) have overrun the world, but you and a small group of other survivors have managed to secure a small part of the city. You’ve put up a huge fence around the area and made it safe to live.
You’ve called your new home “The Comfort Zone”.
You’re safe inside The Comfort Zone, but you’re not completely satisfied.
You’re okay now, but how long will it last? You need more food, medicine and ammunition.
You need to hit the supermarket, hospital and armory for supplies, but they’re located deep inside the awkward zone — where the zombies are.
So you have two choices:
- You go on supply runs. You arm yourself to the teeth, break through the fence and fight your way through the awkwards.
- You slowly expand The Comfort Zone. You secure surrounding areas one at a time until you reach your destination.
No option is better than the other. The first will see quicker results, but you need a lot of guts to pull it off. The second will be slower, but is more likely to keep you in one piece.
Changing your look is similar to this situation
You also have to venture deep into the awkward zone to reach the look you want and you also have two choices.
1. Do it Quickly
You bite the bullet. You get the clothes you need, and tomorrow you’re going to walk out the door looking like a new man.
You’ll have to fight your way through a whole bunch of awkwards if you choose this option. It takes some guts.
You will feel like everybody’s looking at you, and you will feel awkward for a while before you fully get used to looking a bit different.
You should really consider whether this is the right option for you.
Because the reason most guys never change their style, is they imagine themselves doing it quickly — and they can’t even imagine it without feeling awkward. So make sure you’re up to it.
You’ll need a lot of confidence not to break under the pressure and go back into hiding.
So if you’re not such a confident dresser yet, you should try the next option.
2. Take it Slowly
You don’t have to build your new look in a day. You can travel a less awkward road by expanding your comfort zone piece by piece.
Let me give you some examples:
- Uncomfortable wearing colors? Start with muted tones and work your way up to bold ones. Start wearing just one at a time, before you start matching them together.
- Uncomfortable wearing bold patterns? Start with a subtle, barely-noticeable pinstripe and slowly increase the boldness. Again, begin with one at a time, before you start combining them.
- Uncomfortable wearing dressy clothes? Start gradually inserting them in your everyday outfits.
Just start small, and work yourself up. You’ll slowly build your comfort levels and your confidence.
In time, you will reach your destination, and you will feel completely at ease strutting your new look.
Time to dress like the REAL you
You have an awesome look in mind for yourself.
A look you’d love to have — and you can pull it off.
You just have to stop hiding.
If you’re afraid of being noticed, just take it slowly. Take it one step at a time. But you have to take steps.
So next time your inside voice tells you something isn’t you, simply respond that it isn’t you yet.
Because it will be you. You’re going to make it you.
The awesome look you have in mind will be yours.
You will own it.
You just have to go after it.