As far back as I can remember, I’ve had more than an affinity for certain colors – cerulean blue, bright neon pink, rustic oranges, moving mahoganies; you name it, I’ve loved it. If there’s one thing that we, as humanity, can agree on it’s that there’s an unspoken bond between the colors of our world and our feelings towards it. Colors affect your emotional state on the regular and lately research has even proven that colors can have a physiological effect on the body, giving them emotional control of our brains by altering our hormonal balance. Without a single noise, taste or smell – the introduction of color can completely alter the course of your day, your life or even your business proposal.
Back a few years ago when I was first hired at Walt Disney Studios they had a few of our departments pair up for a ‘Color Coding Workshop‘ to determine the best way to communicate with each of us in an office setting. There are four options for colors – white (peaceful, logical), yellow (fun, attention seeking), blue (emotional, intimate) and last but not least red (powerful, productive). At the start of the workshop, we filled out two separate surveys and score ourselves; once we finished we received a dominant and a subordinate color – which for me was blue and white. Though I was intrigued by the results, my assigned colors for the workshop weren’t my important takeaway: once we finished reviewing our results, I got to thinking about my coworkers, colleagues and superiors.
The goal of the workshop was to demonstrate the best ways we can relate to our peers and, on the flip side, be understood by them in a constructive environment. I went through the litany of associates on my email chains while thinking long and hard about the people I continually butted heads with. I took the time to consider their views for a second – to see what it meant to come from a world where your own personal rule book is run on finding fun or pushing for power – and attempted to translate my learnings into action. Almost immediately I was witnessing results! There’s one coworker who I had continually fought against to the point that I almost quit my job – on no kidding three different occasions. After the workshop, I picked up the office phone for fun and rang to his cube – I had a question about a movie promotion and was curious how much better we would be at communicating. I’d determined that he was a red by color coding standards, so – I wanted to play into his sense of respect and power. Instead of whimsically explaining what needed to happen, I let him get on his pedestal and go through, step-by-step, how we were going to manage the promotion. For the first time in our work relationship, we came to an agreement, and an affable one at that!
Now, the more I grow up the more I’ve observed firsthand the role that color plays in everyday life. From the color of my hair to the colors in my closet; we’re unconsciously affecting our lives on the daily with the way we choose to paint our individual worlds. I’ve always had an affinity for things that sparkle and shine; thinking back to when I was a little one it always seemed like the blues of the world took my breath away. The sky, the sea, my dad’s eyes -they were absolutely (and peacefully) beautiful to me. The older I’ve become, the more frequently I’ve been attracted to deep colors at times of passion and light pastel yellows and greens when I’m feeling free. There are three places that colors play a dominant role in my life: my closet, my nails and on the walls of my apartment. If we take a trip down memory lane, you could actually see that the dominant colors in my life also dominated my wardrobe: going back to high school, pink was the highlight of my wardrobe; once I moved away to college blue soon replaced it. I’ve gone through a wicked black phase and tried to counterbalance that with all types of greys; the end result is a cacophony of color and a rainbow on hangers. Like you would really expect anything less though, right? Sometimes, it’s the neon colors that get me and others it’s the faded pastels that float into my world – but lately, and so strange to me – I’ve been mulling over this almost bright pastel yellow and it makes me calm and connected. The irony for me is that though I’ve never done a personality “Power Color” test – for fun, I started playing around with one on Seventeen magazine’s website and – voila – I actually tested as yellow:
Yellow is the color of happiness, mental clarity, optimism, cheerfulness, and energy.
It is also a color that stimulates appetite, the brain, and memory, leading to confidence
Yellow is a practical color, it makes one more analytical, as it is mainly perceived by the brain, and a lot lesser by the heart
On the flip side of our color based personalities, is the idea that behind every astrological sign there’s an appropriate color to don. Being born in early December, in tropical astrology I fall under the reign of Sagittarius. I’m ruled by Jupiter, was born with a travel bug, I have a knack for being open and interested, love being on the move and hate feeling constrained. As far as colors are concerned, we’re ruled by light blue, royal purples and rich maroon; moody, emotional colors which are almost as outspoken as we are as a sun sign. For being such a fun loving (yellow) sign, the colors give us balance. Astrology signs are ruled by colors as well as birthstones – and I think the later is equally important to mention. The Sagittarius birthstone is Turquoise, our soul stone is Tourmaline and our heart stone is bornite (peacock ore). All are beautiful in their own right, and all grant so much energy when you hold them – especially if you leave your gems out during a full moon like last night.
So tell me, what are your power colors?