Do you remember that scene in Fleabag when Phoebe Waller-Bridge says:
“Hair is everything. We wish it wasn’t so we could actually think about something else occasionally. But it is. It’s the difference between a good day and a bad day. We’re meant to think that it’s a symbol of power, that it’s a symbol of fertility. Some people are exploited for it and it pays your fucking bills. Hair is everything.”
Yup so true. But something else I’ve noticed when I , or one of my gorgeous girlfriends, goes for a totally new look there’s trouble ahead. Women NEVER cut all their hair off for no reason.. Never.
So just before Christmas I burst into my local hairdressers and demanded “get rid of it all”. Reece – best hairdresser in London – was terrified as he knew my penchant for rage and regret when he’s been a bit too sissor happy. But this time he knew I meant business and off it all came.
I hadn’t realised it at the time, but a new me was ready to emerge. I should have seen the signs, my partner certainly had as he stepped gingerly around me. My long suffering mentor/coach realised too: “somethings going on….” she said smiling and knowing that her calm counsel was starting to take effect.
I’m a bold person by nature – I don’t like too much comfort and like to work at the edge of my comfort zone. It’s where I’m happiest. But over the year I’d somehow lost my passion and enthusiasm – I’d started to feel stuck and emotionally drained.
“You’re a people pleaser,” my annoying coach kept pushing me “Just stop it – life is short. You know what you want to do. You’re fooling yourself thinking you’re helping anybody.” And, as usual she was right.
The key to my problem was I’d strayed well outside of my circle of influence (if you haven’t already pls read Stephen R. Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®, doing way too many things that a) I didn’t have any influence over and b) was totally emotionally draining and c) not aligned to my fundamental principles.
Bad. Bad. Bad. There are so many things I want to do and it was sheer arrogance that I could do them all. On one week alone I’d pulled two all nighters and almost a third – fine when you’re 25 not so good when you’re not. So this is my promise to the new me:
- never say yes immediately. Check diary and strategic plan and remember the answer is way more likely to be no.
- focus on what you love doing and ban yourself from looking away from your strategic plan
- update strategic plan and stick religiously to what is in it. Put a scull on my desk – like the buddhists do to remember that, in the words of my Grandmother “you’re a long time dead”
- remember you are a creative who needs managing and structure – ideas are great but without a plan they are meaningless.
- work with people you love, trust and respect. Avoid people you don’t
- value everything you do and put a value on it. If you don’t, nobody else will
Just the kind of thing I’d say to one of my best girlfriends.
Have a great day