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Confidence Shift

The Blog by Michele Charles Gustafson

Pack Your Gym Bag For Image Presence

life+style Jun 06, 2017

OK, my gym bags are heavy. Are yours?

Creating a presence in your image happens every day you leave the house. That means even when leaving the gym.

I go with a full change of clothes, makeup and accessories I pack the night before so I'm always ready to create a look that is at the least crisp and at the most impactful - even in the Pilates studio parking lot.

I teach my women to do the same. It doesn't take the effort you think it does when you know exactly what works for you.

Then you can head off to the grocery store and if you meet your next client or customer....you're totally "image-of-trust" ready!

How big is your gym bag?

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Why Fashion Tips Won't Help You

fashion style May 28, 2017

What are fashion tips anyway? Advice on how to wear something? Advice on what "thing to put together?" Suggestions on how to "find your style?"

Yes. Those are fashion tips. Have you noticed that I don't give you a bunch of those?

Here's why....
In isolation, they don't work.

Here's an example, if I told you "Wear stripes. They are in this season." Without a defined and empowered sense of personal style clarity and wardrobe confidence, you won't know:

:: what color those stripes should be to not overpower your face
:: what contrast level those stripes should be to not throw off the balance of your outfit
:: where to place the stripes on your body to create a balance and proportion that makes you look 10lbs slimmer
...nor would you feel unquestionably confident shopping for stripes because you know exactly which to choose.

Can you see that generic "fashion tips" do more harm than good for your wardrobe, for your style and your confidence? In isolation, they create more confusion for...

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Confidence is a Currency in Short Supply.

Uncategorized May 17, 2017

These days it seems like women have every reason to be super confident.

They can get all the degrees and credentials, they can start businesses, they can hustle to make "a six-figure income," and they can raise a family and be a great part of their community.

They seem to have it all and look so "confident" doing it.

It's all a sham.

These women doing and having it all have a secret you don't know. Inside they are crumbling.

They don't remember why they "do it all". Even though they tell you they love their life, something behind the scenes is falling apart. Or they are stuck in a people-pleaser trap and they are doing all this "greatness" for the people around them. Do you know why they are doing it all?

1. They don't remember who they are.
2. They don't remember what flatters their heart and makes them happy
3. They haven't prioritized themselves in they don't know how long...

And the reality is, they are broke in the currency of Confidence.

Confidence is a quality that is built...

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Your Dreams vs. Your Comfort Zone

quotes Apr 28, 2017

This week, I ran a 3-Day challenge in my Facebook community. If you haven't experienced a "Michele challenge," let's just say, it ain't no "fluffy" challenge.

I ask my participants hard questions. I challenge their thinking of their status quo. I teach them that the conventional thinking they have held is wrong and is what is holding them back. And then I ask them to personal responsibility and action based on that teaching in their homework assignments.

A typical thing happens. As it does in life. Everyone runs out of gate excited eager and optimistic. As I challenge them, the homework takes longer to be posted, deeper more personal insights start emerging from those brave enough to stay the course and then the inevitable happens. It happens every time. By Day 3, there were only a fraction of those that started who finish.

Welcome to life. Most people won't stay the course and be challenged out of what is comfortable. It's what keeps them stuck. It's not your skills or your...

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International Women's Day Feature

news+media Mar 08, 2017

I was absolutely honored to be featured in my local community newspaper as an inspiring women for International Women's Day.  The piece gave me the opportunity to share my almost 20-year passion for working with women and why I think they have the ability to change the world as we know it.  You can read the feature HERE.

Photo Credit: Tyler Marr for the Meridian Booster

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HUE+Food : Slow-cooker Coconut Curry Chicken

hue+food Jan 12, 2017

So, I made this post on Instagram and the crowd went wild wanting to know my recipe for slow-cooked Coconut Curry Chicken. So I will share it. I also thought I would use the opportunity to talk about color in food and how it plays such a role in helping us enjoy our culinary adventures because it's the first impression of what we are about to eat!

My mom always taught me that we eat with our eyes first.  Pretty food is good food.  So I use color theory whenever possible to dress up even my weekday meals.

For this yummy, warming dish, the Mustard yellow of the curry is the splash of predominant color on the plate so to make this even more appetizing, I used complimentary colors to create more interest.  

The Leaf green of the cilantro is complimentary to the Mustard yellow.

And the Red-Orange red of the red peppers is a primary color with the yellow. They all go! And the plate looks so appealing.

Color theory is a huge part of helping our eyes decide if...

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2017 Color of The Year - Greenery

color Jan 10, 2017

Pantone, the color authority, has named the 2017 color of the year! Introducing Greenery!

Greenery is a yellow-green. Its hue is warm and chroma bright. Its psychology is on of energetic renewal. Think of the first-day-of-spring green and match green tea both are reinvigorating.

And now for my Personal Color Expert take on this color and what I know you WON’T do with it!
Because of its hue, this color will either enliven your complexion when it harmonizes with personal color makeup OR this color has the power to make you look seriously sick. It has a high saturation level which also means that if it’s NOT in balance to your personal color harmony it will not only make you look ill but will overpower you.

Greenery has a very powerful color psychology - a specific message it sends to the person looking at it on you. What I know for sure is that only 1% of this group will know exactly when to wear in your day to command attention and impress on influence. Teaching this kind...

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Eyes: Colorful Windows To The Soul

Eyes are the window to the soul - pools of endless color in harmony.  How did the Design class of Lakeland College know I believed this so deeply? Oh wait, I told them in my Image Works for Young Professionals talk last month.

Today, I received the most heart-warming thank you gift. Better than any other - a color map of their eyes!  In all their beautiful, individual, colorful detail and the arranged in hue design from browns, through amber and hazel, to moss to green and aqua, to teal and sky blue and dot the deepest pine green.


How wonderfully thoughtful. They have made an impression on me.  So glad I made an impression on them too. Their thank you messages were on the reverse of this collage: 

 “Michele! Thank you for being the most empowering guest speaker ever!”

“Thank you so much for coming.”

“Thanks for the confidence boost! I did cut my hair!”

“Motivating and Inspiring”
“You are so inspiring,...

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