Some years back, I can remember sitting in the chair of my hair stylist, and good friend, in the back of a JC Penney Hair Salon. Out of nowhere I blurted, “I’ll never be one of those girls.” As I began to elaborate, explaining that “those” girls are the ones that are always perfectly put together with perfect hair, perfect nails, gorgeous makeup and the annoying ability to turn heads no matter where they go, she listened intently. In truth, I was throwing my own little pity party, and I really just expected her to say “oh you look fine” or “I know what you mean” but instead she said “Yes you will, and so will I.” She spoke with such conviction that I was instantly intrigued. Then and there an idea was born. While she worked on my hair we spent the next two hours hatching a plan that we ultimately decided to call “Thirty Days to Fabulous.”
Our plan was based on six key components: hair, nails, makeup, clothes, nutrition, and exercise. Within each of these components we identified what we thought was the right look and style. The basic premise of our plan was to successfully maintain those components for thirty days, with the ultimate goal that they would develop into habits. We decided that once we were in the habit of looking good and acting the part, we would naturally evolve and eventually become “those” girls. Looking back, I can’t help but wonder what I was thinking.
My first couple days on the road to Fabulous were exciting. Once I was able to accomplish the right look it was surprising how quickly the compliments and appreciative glances started piling up. While this did wonders for my confidence and gave me an incredible self-esteem boost, I eventually came to notice that somewhere along the way I had unintentionally adopted a new persona. I’m not quite sure when or how it happened, but I was definitely developing the aloof and superior attitude that I imagine went with being one of “those” girls.
Along with this realization, I began to have doubts. As I started to realize that my new look was becoming more than just a little makeover, I began to feel uncomfortable and question exactly what it was I was doing. As much as I wanted to look pristine and polished, and become the type of person that other people view as being well put together, it all felt fake, unnatural, and wrong. I started to feel as though I was setting myself up for failure and becoming someone that I wasn’t even sure that I liked.
I also struggled with the idea of self-improvement. In my mind “Thirty Days to Fabulous” was a self-improvement plan and by definition should have been a good thing. I worried that by quitting I would be taking the easy way out or failing to achieve my full potential. Then I had an epiphany, and for perhaps the first time in my life, I understood with true clarity that I liked myself just the way I was. I finally understood that if I had to make a choice between becoming one of “those” girls and losing myself in the process, or simply being me, I would choose me every time.
Needless to say, I ended my journey on the road to Fabulous. I eventually came to understand that the issue wasn’t in wanting to improve or even change myself, rather the issue was that I was trying to become someone else. Instead of appreciating my own style and developing and growing from there, I made the mistake of trying to become someone that I was never meant to be. Fortunately, the experience was not wasted, because it forced me to stop and evaluate. The lesson that I learned along the way has significantly reshaped my entire way of thinking. These days I try not to get caught up in thoughts about “those” girls.
Rather than focusing on what “those” girls are saying, doing, thinking and wearing, I have shifted my focus to THIS girl. I haven’t got it all figured out, but I invite you to learn and grow along with me. If there is one thing that I know for sure, it is that there is true peace and power in simply being you.♥
Until next time… remember to be true to the girl in the mirror.