Dress for Success

Posted on 30th May 2015 | Category: CBT

The old adage says that the clothes maketh the man. Is this actually the case? Well according to an article on the Atlantic’s business pages, wearing a suit not only makes you appear in a different fashion to the world, but also alters your mind-set. Dress for success in a powerful business suit and giving yourself a big brush over will make you feel more professional and act in accordance with the image in your mind.

This article looks at research conducted by the psychology department at California state university and some of the results were quite unexpected. You’d be forgiven for thinking that wearing a suit makes people think in a disciplined and restrained manner, but actually dressing formally gives people the chance to reimagine themselves in a less orthodox manner.

Of course there is also an alternative side to this situation. When people put on certain kinds of clothing, such as high visibility work-wear or an official uniform then people will always respond to them in a different manner. This means that there is a degree of feedback at play here. If an individual is used to receiving a certain kind of response when dressed in a particular manner that in turn makes them feel helpful, powerful or officious, then is it any wonder that these feelings commence the moment they don this clothing?

Often when we wear formal clothes we act out a part that we feel they give us license to play. The more we rehearse these patterns the more they become embedded as part of our conscious psychological make-up. This is no different from the way that any other behavioural patterns become established, including those that encompass triggers that are negative and unwanted, such as smoking and excessive drinking or gambling.

In fact the same processes that allow you to take on a different role when you wear formal clothes are actually no different from many of the trance states we use in modern hypnotherapy, helping people imagine and experiment with their identity to form new personality traits and responses. We all chose to don various modes of behaviour in accordance with our environment and what we perceive as the social and cultural expectations. Sometimes these modes can be based in negative practices, such as drinking to lower inhibitions or acting aggressively in group situations for fear of not getting one’s voice heard.

If you would like to find out how hypnotherapy could help you develop new behavioural responses to old situations, then why not book a free consultation session? This will give us a chance to examine your approach to life and the difficulties you’re facing and develop new strategies that could enable you to lead a happier and more fulfilling life – without perhaps having to wear a suit and dress for success all the time.