Wouldn't it be nice if we always felt as happy about our purchases as we did when we carried them triumphantly from the change room to the checkout?
That's not always the case, obviously. One close friend confessed to me that she can't even bring herself to wear some of the clothes she buys.
“I put the bags in my closet and leave them there, sometimes for months. If I’ve ordered something online, I might not even open the box. I think I feel guilty about shopping and that’s my way of punishing myself."
I admit I was surprised. For years, I’d thought of her as a shopping role model: someone who bought what she loved without guilt or stress. I had no idea what she was hiding in her closet, so to speak.
So, I’m going to come out of the closet with my own fears — the thoughts I’ve been having since embarking on this project and actually buying new clothes.
There are the money-based concerns, obviously: I shouldn’t have bought that; I paid too much for that; what a waste; how dare I spend that money on myself…and so on, all variations on the same theme: I’m not worth it. Of course, my mother thought I was worth it, and wanted me to think so too; that’s why I started this year-long spending project in the first place.
Focusing on my moms's wishes helps me stop second-guessing my purchases on a financial level – but there's plenty of negative self-talk waiting to fill that space!
- I’m going to look silly in this.
- I have no idea how to put an outfit together.
- I better not gain weight or that won’t fit me anymore.
- I’ll probably lose that necklace or shrink that sweater.
- I have nothing to wear with this.
- I’m too old to pull off this look.
- People are going to get the wrong idea about me when I wear this.
- I really need a stylist.
The unwelcome thoughts haven't stopped me from wearing my new clothes – or enjoying them – but I can’t shake that feeling that some other woman, or some other version of me, would feel a lot more confident leaving the house each day.
I’m happy to impersonate that woman for now – the old “fake it ‘till you make it” principle has worked pretty well for me so far! Like my wardrobe, my attitude is definitely a work-in-progress.
Meanwhile, I’d love to find out if other people second-guess their purchases. What baggage is lurking at the back of your mind – or your closet?