The Only Person Who Can Make You Feel Like a Failure Is Yourself, and It Always Comes From Looking Outward, Not Inward

Payton Dale is a rock and roll wardrobe stylist based in Nashville, Tennessee. For many years styling was a side hustle for Payton. Then in 2017 The Payton Project was born and became her full-time career. Her work has been featured in music videos, magazines, TV specials, and commercials. We caught up with Payton to learn a bit more about her, what makes her tick, and how her newly acquired Transcendental Meditation practice is featuring in her life.

What are your passions? What does a typical day in your week look like?
I love helping people feel good about themselves. A typical day in my week looks like hunting down pieces for my clients, styling photos or video shoots, doing virtual styling with clients from all over the world, and some days it’s just hanging out with my husband and our two dogs Bo and Arrow. I love vintage shopping, record stores, and going to see concerts.

What was your perception of meditation in general before you learned the TM technique? Did that perception change after your first few experiences meditating?
Honestly, I thought it was going to be difficult to practice or that it wouldn’t fit into my life, but in reality, it’s been just like brushing my teeth or making my bed. It’s a good habit to maintain!

Do you feel that the TM technique has helped you accomplish your goals? If so, how?
Learning TM has made me feel more energized. Like I have more time in the day to accomplish my goals. It’s so easy to be productive when you have extra energy! It’s also helped my communication skills greatly, both in business as well as personally.


Can you tell us a little about your books, what inspired you to write them?
Most fashion and style books were written with one thing in mind—the outside. But the external is just a symptom of the inside. When someone is confused or overwhelmed about what to put on their body, it is a sign that they truly aren’t at peace with themselves. I wrote my book to show people that it’s internal first, external second.

Can you talk about the biggest successes and failures you’ve experienced? What did you learn from them?
My biggest successes came just as I was about to throw in the towel. I was deep in my ego one day, feeling very hurt that I wasn’t getting the sort of praise and recognition I believed I deserved—total ego trip. But that’s when I got the call to do one of my biggest jobs to date. The only person who can make you feel like a failure is yourself, and it always comes from looking outward, not inward.

What are your 3 favorite tools for a healthy and happy life? What are your core values?
1. Meditation 2. Yoga 3. Vegan diet! Focus on the gifts you were given, and harvest them so you can enrich the lives of others.

In one sentence, what describes your approach to life?
Keep your side of the street clean. Which basically means show up in your own unique way with the gifts you were given. If everyone did that the world would be a more beautiful place.


Do you see yourself as somebody who took a leap of faith to live a more creative life, or do you think it kind of just happened?
Every single good thing in my life happened because I took a leap of faith. I could have gone to school and attempted to live a “safe” life but I knew I was destined for bigger and better things. I worked as many as four jobs at once to make this dream of mine a reality. So a leap of faith mixed with a lot of hard work.

If you could give a person one piece of advice when thinking about pursuing a life/career like yours, what would you tell them?
Doing what I do isn’t for the faint of heart. While it may appear glamorous on the surface, your ego needs to take a backseat so you can let your client shine. TM helps me do just that.

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