Liz Dennery Sanders
Luminary Circle founding member and former chair of the Los Angeles Board of Directors Liz Dennery Sanders offers Step Up members insight each month into key steps to success.
I have always loved fashion. I started reading Vogue when I was 12, and found what I thought was my dream job at Harper’s Bazaar when I moved to New York more than 15 years ago.
But what I ultimately experienced was an industry that perpetuates a culture driven by consumption and continually reinforces the crippling belief that what’s on the outside is more important that what’s on the inside.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a new pair of shoes as much as the next Louboutin-loving fashionista, and how you dress and present yourself is an external expression of your personal style and brand. But when material possessions become a competition and “things” are used to fill an insatiable void, you will find yourself on empty again and again.
I am troubled by a society where girls are more interested in bigger boobs than reading better books. Where reality television is the preferred form of entertainment, and Kim Kardashian is considered a better role model than Hillary Clinton, Sheryl Sandberg, Joan Didion or Malala Yousafzai.
We must teach and show our girls by example that the only path to real confidence, self-worth and fulfillment starts on the inside. No amount of frosting will make a flavorless cake taste good.
But when we start to equate material things with self-worth and our value as human beings, that’s where we get into trouble.
We are an instant gratification society fixated on fame, money and the idea that more is better.
Contrary to popular opinion, a bigger house, better paying job, the “right” friends or sexier significant other won’t make you happy in the long run. A closet full of designer clothes and a permanent spot on the VIP guest list might feel good temporarily, but the return is often shallow and unsatisfying.
You must take the time to heed the call of your soul – to sit up and pay attention to your gifts and figure out the best way you can use them while you’re here. Too often we search outside ourselves for excitement, fulfillment – magnificence even – when it’s been inside of us all along.
If you want to feel full, nothing outside yourself will satiate you. Only looking within – at your desires, intentions, goals, values and dreams – and taking action to live in alignment with your core beliefs and truth, will bring you real fulfillment. It is by identifying our gifts and using them generously in the world that we become whole.
If you want to feel confident…help someone else feel confident.
If you want to feel valued…value others.
If you want to feel abundant…give of yourself.
If you want to feel love…give love.
A temporary, candy-coated fix will never give you what your soul is looking for.
As long as we value material possessions and money more than we value intelligence, compassion, generosity, honesty and integrity, we remain empty shells of the real selves we are capable of becoming.
Abundance is an inside job.
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©Liz Dennery Sanders 2013
Liz Dennery Sanders is a brand and creative strategist, personal development coach and the founder of SheBrand.com, a global online business dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs and the companies that speak to them build smart, engaging brands with style. She is a regular contributor to MariaShriver.com and a member of the Vogue 120, a hand-selected group of 120 influential female decision makers and opinion leaders across the country known for their distinctive taste in style, design and culture. You can connect with Liz at www.shebrand.com and on Twitter: @SheBrandLiz