The best thing I ever learned from not wearing a bra

Woman in grass happy

First of all, if you're my dad, you may want to seriously consider not reading the rest of this article. Same goes for you if you're the kind of person who gets squeamish talking about ladies' undergarments.OK, now that that's out of the way--I don't know about you, but I pretty much hate wearing bras. Every once in a while I'll luck into one that fits so comfortably that I forget that I'm wearing it, but most of the time I feel like I'm stuck in a harness that I can't wait to rip off.

And I know I'm not the only one because the other week I went to a fancy NYC bra shop and all of the saleswomen, who were laughing at me as I got angry at bra after bra, finally admitted that they hate wearing bras too!!

Seriously, if there's anyone who should have figured out the secret to finding bras that work it should be the fitter. One of them even admitted to me that she's basically given up and wears sports bras instead. She pointed to her uni-boob with a shrug and a smile. She looked happier than all the other saleswomen, by the way.

So I've been quietly mainstreaming my own bra-alternatives. Lately I've decided that a sports bra is a perfectly acceptable option for several occasions, including drop-off and pick-up at school, and anything that doesn't involve my taking off my coat. I've even gone to coffee shops to work wearing my sports bra, justifying it by saying that no one can really tell what's on under so many layers, and anyway as long as I feel good, I shouldn't care what anybody thinks.

But here's the CRAZY thing that happened to me yesterday: I was getting ready to go to the coffee shop, wearing my sports bra and a long sleeved T-shirt, and the bra straps were showing at the neck. I started to doubt whether I could really get away with it, when all of a sudden the perfect solution occurred to me: I could pretend that I'd just been working out.

Let me say that again: I could pretend (in my head, since no one has ever actually asked me why I was wearing a sports bra, and no one else would be participating in this conversation) that I'd just been working out.

It was brilliant! Suddenly I had a legitimate reason to be wearing a sports bra, plus I was now one of those ambitious people who exercise!

I felt this huge weight lift. I felt relieved, and totally comfortable in my clothes, and I even felt proud of myself for working out. Again, *I did not actually work out, nor did I have any intention of working out.* Apparently I just have a gift for creating alternate realities in my head that make things appear better than they actually are in real life.

                Me, in my alternate reality. (Not really me.)

                Me, in my alternate reality. (Not really me.)

I quickly realized how insane this was, and at the same time I was fascinated by how real my relief had been, and how good I'd felt just by making up a story.

The clothes I was wearing were exactly the same, and yet I felt completely different in them. I felt proud and comfortable, as if everyone around me would now know that it made sense for me to be wearing a sports bra, and that they were maybe even a little impressed that I worked out and then went straight to work.

So...what does all of this have to do with anything?

I'll tell you. Our bodies, minds and emotions react to what we believe to be true. When I believed that I was kind of a lazy slacker who couldn't manage to deal with wearing a real bra, I felt kind of crappy, embarrassed and not very proud of how I looked. When I believed that I was working out, I suddenly felt energized, comfortable in my clothes, and happy with who I was. All because I made up a story! Nothing had changed--outside of my head.

I felt a shift in my body, in my energy, in my feelings because of a belief that I made up. Which made me wonder...what if you could harness the power of your own beliefs? It would change everything. And here's one way you can start playing with it right now.

I want you to ask yourself these two things:

1. What are you making up and believing that's not true and not serving you?

For example...

  • Are you telling yourself that you're 100% focused when you're working, when you're really 50% focused and 50% checking Facebook?
  • Are you convinced that you should be able to get everything on your to-do list done, and beating yourself up every day that you don't, when really there's no way you could possibly get everything done in the amount of time that you have?
  • Are you believing you haven't got what it takes to start the business you've been wanting to start--the time, money, energy, support, ideas, qualifications--when really you could make it happen if your fears were addressed and the path were cleared?

2. What could you make up and believe that will liberate you?

For example...

  • Could you decide that you're capable of focusing intensely when you have the right structure around you, and that you're entitled to do what it takes to make that happen (leave the house, shut the door, use the 10 Minute Miracle™, do a Get One Thing Done™ day)?
  • Could you give yourself permission to be realistic about what you can get done, do the most important things and accept that that's all you can do and that that's good enough?
  • Could you believe that the business you want to build already exists, and that it's simply waiting for you to step into it? That only you can build this exact business, and that you already have everything you need to just start, and the pieces and support and vision will fall into place as you keep moving forward?

It's a shift in your mindset, either way: Identifying something you've been believing that may not actually be true but is constantly getting in your way, or inventing a new possibility and choosing to believe it, which allows it to actually become real.

It's amazing how quickly things can shift once you see them from a new perspective.

Huh. Who knew a bra could teach us so much?