Jordan Peterson, renowned clinical psychologist, professor of psychology and social commentator, is often noted for his sharp attire.
This wasn’t always the case. Over the years and in the build up to his tours on stage, Peterson made a special effort to shift away from loose-fitting shirts and jeans to a more tailored and professional look. And his reasoning for this change is sound.
“Dress like the person you want to be” is Peterson’s advice. He states that much like children play-acting grown-ups when they are young as a way of practising for the real thing, dressing like the person we want to be is a way of preparing ourselves for our future.
After researching Peterson’s thoughts on this topic, what I found compelling is what he identifies as step one: In order to dress like the person you want to be, you first need to identify who you want to be.
Imagining who we want to be in the future tends to disappear with our growth into adulthood. But, I believe, that these thoughts and intentions are just as important now.
Imagining who we want to be and then taking action to become this person is what helps us to identify our values, beliefs and our goals. Imagining ourselves better, more evolved, higher principled and living with greater discipline is what motivates us to develop new skills and grow.
We have all experienced the boost in confidence that a new outfit can bring. Seinfeld fans will remember when Jerry buys a new and very expensive suede jacket. While modelling it to George, Jerry states, “This jacket has completely changed my life. When I leave the house in this jacket, it’s with a whole different confidence.”
Figuring out who you want to be is the aspiration. Dressing like that person is a great start.