Each month I happily publish a healthy living column in my neighborhood's magazine, Kingsbury Living.
We have a fabulous community and I am grateful to share my experiences and expertise with dear neighbors and fellow friends. Take a peak below to view June's article, "It's Not About the Hair."
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Recently, I got four haircuts between March 31 and April 19. After each cut, I just wasn’t satisfied. It didn’t look right; it was uneven; it was hard to style; it was too bulky; it was choppy; it was (just fill in the blank). Ridiculous! Right?
After four haircuts within a three-week period (plus a ton of time and money), I realized that I didn’t need to get my hair fixed; I needed to get my head fixed!
This is not the first time this has happened to me. At 48, I am starting to get pretty clear on my “issues” and have come to realize that a sure sign that I am feeling out of balance is that I start to look for a new stylist and my hair gets super short. In other words, when I am anxious or feel lack of control in my life, I exert my power by getting my haircut.
Looking back I can identify a number of times this was a problem for me. To name a few, when I graduated from high school, took my first big-girl job out of college, after I got married, after I got a divorce, after a had both babies as well as when I struggled with a health issue that required a lot of testing and diet modification. Some of these are very positive situations, some are negative, but all were periods of transition where I felt vulnerable and out of control.
Before recognizing this pattern, I thought not being able to find a stylist that can cut my hair right was the problem. But looking at all the data in retrospect, I have finally figured out that I am the common denominator.
I didn’t need to change how I my hair looked, I need to change how I saw my hair. Or, I didn’t need to change how I look; I needed to change how I saw. Regardless of how well my hair was cut, it wasn’t going to be right because my mind (or I) wasn’t right.
After this most recent incident, I took a good, hard look inward and recognized that my coaching business was starting to gain traction: I have more clients, more speaking opportunities, and I am actually creating the career and life that I want.
And that is scary.
Although I am completely qualified and have had success in this work, I feel vulnerable and if I am being completely honest, I feel like an “imposter.” Having the courage to follow my “calling” brings up all kinds of self-doubt and puts me in a vulnerable place. This is what New York Times best selling author, Gay Hendricks, calls an “upper limit problem” or “ULP” in his book “The Big Leap.”
An “ULP” is like our success comfort zone. Hendricks says that each of us has an internal thermometer for how much success, wealth, happiness, love, and intimacy we’ll let ourselves experience. That’s our upper limit setting.
When life gets real good and we exceed this setting, we unconsciously do things to sabotage ourselves, so we can drop back to the old, familiar place where we feel in control.
Although I want to contract or pull back (or get my haircut), I will stay in the discomfort knowing that it means that I am increasing my capacity to enjoy success and happiness.
However, if you see me around the neighborhood sporting a new crew cut, you will know that I am pushing against my ULP.
What is your “haircut?” Share with me in the comments below!