For the month of October we are talking about self-expression and how it relates to us feeling beautiful. There are so many ways we express ourselves, it can be through our clothes, shoes and our wigs. I believe we all have the desire to show our unique selves to the world. But when we put ourselves out there it can be a bit scary.
It’s the yo-yo effect of I want to be noticed and please don’t notice me. Let’s face it, putting ourselves out there to be seen can bring some discomfort with it. I often experience that feeling when I try new styles and want to share some techniques I use to quiet my voice of discomfort.
Before I offer a style in our on-line shop I test her out, which means I get a lot of opportunities to try a variety of hairstyles and colors. I do this to make sure that we have natural looking wigs that are comfortable and meet our quality standards. In addition, I want to make sure our styles are flattering and give you a great style at your fingertips. So yes, I wear every style and that is not always easy for me. Last week I was really excited about trying a new lovely style we will be offering soon. But when I put the long curly ‘do on my head, wow, did I have a really uncomfortable reaction to how I looked. As soon as I saw my reflection all kinds of voices started to go off in my head. I put her on and this little voice came up and said, “You do not look good and waves and curls…you can not wear waves and curls.” (I hear that voice quite often about waves and curls, not sure where it came from but it’s been there awhile.) That first negative thought started the voices on the color, length, and about every other aspect of my reflection. My head tsunami was in full force!
Luckily, over the years I have learned some great techniques to calm those very annoying voices. The first thing I do is to stop the tsunami in my head, I took control of my brain. A strong and forceful “STOP” to myself moves me from Negative Nelly autopilot to remembering that I control my thoughts. Once I stop all the chatter I refrain from making judgments, rather I just try to notice things about the style. I remove the pressure from deciding if I like it, look good, look horrible…I don’t need to make any of those judgments. From that vantage point I can appreciate what the style has to offer. Then I give myself permission to explore and play. So I pulled her back with a clip, played with the curl, and styled her differently. All the time refraining from making judgments. I gave myself time to see my reflection and adjust to the length, color and curl. Not only could I appreciate the beauty of the style but I started to appreciate what I liked about the style for me.
It’s a powerful experience to step back, refrain from judgement and to see ourselves differently. Our brains are wired to resist change and keep us safe from judgement. In a weird form of self-defense we are our own worst critics, choosing to judge ourselves more harshly than any other critic possible could. Our own judgement has us step away from mixing things up…it takes the girlhood joy out of dressing up. Rather than keeping us safe, our internal critic keeps us stagnant. While our brains may be wired to resist change I believe our souls are meant to evolve. Evolution requires self-compassion rather than judgement. Every time I wear one of my wigs I practice self-compassion. I get to quiet the voices of judgment, give myself a chance to appreciate my reflection, wear the curls and smile. Give yourself the chance to see yourself differently. You will be surprised how beautiful you look.
Let me know how you quiet your Negative Nelly voice. I would love to hear from you!