My Life Is Worth It, I Deserve This!

worth it

Join entrepreneur Ellen Burton as she tackles every aspect of a personal branding makeover with The Image Studios. Today, she talks further about the process of refining her perfect colors, and the challenge of asking for help with one’s appearance.

The Color Analysis should have been easy for me. All I had to do was sit in a chair and let the analyst hold many, many color swatches up to my face to decide “my colors.”

I’ve heard women talking about what color clothing and lipstick that they cannot wear because it’s “not their color.” I had no idea what they were talking about. A few friends even tried to tell me what my colors were. Nice information, but I had no idea what to do with it.

When I sat in the chair with a grey shower cap and grey shower curtain draped over my shoulders, at some point, I began to quietly weep. I think it was a shame attack of some sort. I was struck with the idea that, at my age, I should have known this by now. Why didn’t I pay attention to the things my mother, aunts and cousin paid attention to in fashion? Why was I so resistant to self care around my image? Why didn’t I consider moisturizers, mascara or ask about the proper way to apply makeup?

I ignored the power of my visual presentation, but at the same time, I love art, color, sculpture, texture, books, music and beauty. But the feelings came up because I never really thought of myself as beautiful; or deserving of beauty; or associated with beauty. Again, I hold my position that I do have pretty good self-esteem, but I guess this is just another layer of the proverbial onion.

I took many deep breaths to stay present to the experience and not quit, not run. Every now and again I have to remind myself: “I deserve this, I deserve this.” Reminding myself of this really helps!

My question is: Why is it so hard for some of us to accept help with these things?


I think it’s hard to wrap our minds around “getting help” with something that we do every single day. In the case of visual communication or visual presence, we dress and groom ourselves daily. Getting “help” with something that we do anyway may feel extravagant. Perhaps it feels like getting help from a therapist, a personal chef, driver or housekeeper. We do have to feel “worthy” of the value it adds to our life.

Another consideration I think we have about advice related to our visual presence is: How could it be that we are doing a bad job?! If we are, what does that mean: How many bad impressions have we made? Over how many years? How many opportunities have we lost? Being ignorant of our presence can seem more comfortable than being informed. Realizing things we didn’t know about our presence can feel a little like realizing that we have spinach between our teeth. At whatever point we find out, it stings our ego–we feel a little embarrassed. Finding out we have spinach between our teeth during lunch is uncomfortable. But what really sucks is looking in the mirror before bed, and realizing that we’ve looked crazy since we ate that salad at noon.

The truth is that there is nothing “bad” or “good” about anyone’s presence. No judgment. Our presence is either an accurate or inaccurate impression of who we really are. Hearing that our presence is not aligned with our self-perception or our goals can sting, but like the spinach example, earlier is better. Accepting help ought to be easy because our lives are worth it.



About Kali Patrice

Kali Patrice is the founder of The Image Studios, a Chicago-based firm that specializes in branding and image communication. She blogs through “Successful Expression” to share fresh ways to share insights about image, personal branding and self-expression.