[dc]R[/dc]ecently, I had to step out of my comfort zone into an area that I knew would be challenging for me, but I had no idea how much “stuff” it would bring up.
An upcoming teaching engagement at Kripalu, a popular spiritual retreat center in Massachusetts, required a head shot from me for their marketing materials and they needed it right away. Having a professional head shot done has been on my to-do list for years – literally. I never made it a priority because I could get by with the picture I took with my computer, and because I like being the one behind the camera.
Each time I considered setting up a shoot, I’d talk myself out of it. “I want to wait until I lose some weight.” “I don’t like my current hair style.” “It’s too much work to find a reputable photographer.” I used all sorts of excuses to avoid this step, which was really just my resistance coming up; resistance that I thought was rooted in not loving my appearance. Boy, was I wrong.
I start my process by thinking about my photographer search. Then I remember – duh! – a long-time friend of mine is a photographer! I’d certainly feel more comfortable with her than a stranger. I ask her to do the shoot, making sure to tell her how apprehensive I am and asking her to be gentle.
As another self-care move, we plan to take the shots at my home and at the beach – a place where I always feel super grounded. I also schedule an appointment to have my makeup done at a salon right before the shoot so I can feel pampered.
The day comes and there’s no turning back. We start with some shots in my house. As I position myself in a super awkward pose that Lisa assures me will result in something great (she was so right), I find myself darting my eyes away from the lens as she prepares to shoot. OK, I know I don’t like my picture taken, but I feel almost assaulted by the lens as it’s pointing at my face. I want to retreat, hide, and disappear.
What the hell is going on? Alright, Kerri, pull it together. Lisa does her best to help me relax by acting goofy and cracking jokes, and I get back in my awkward pose. She lifts the camera, and seemingly outside of my control, my eyes shoot to the floor.
I eventually get through the shoot (and dare I say, even have a little fun), but a bit rattled by the experience. That evening, I sit to journal about it, and as I let myself just write freely, I’m stunned at the line on the page: “I don’t like to be seen.”
I go back and read the line again and again. “I don’t like to be seen?” Well, that seems silly. I’m a business owner for goodness sake! Oh, yeah, I do most of my work virtually – over the phone and the computer. Fitting approaches, I guess, for someone who prefers to “hide.” Whoa. I never would have thought of myself that way, but so is the power of a deep, old, blocking belief. “It’s safer to be invisible.”
Well, that need for a head shot ended up being quite the universal nudge, didn’t it? As my work continues to grow and expand, this is not a belief I’d like to subscribe to anymore. I think of the hundreds of conversations I’ve had with clients over the years about how to walk in a new, empowering belief. Guess it’s time to take my own advice.
As soon as Lisa sends me the final shots, I email one to the retreat center, and then immediately put one on my website and change my profile pics on both Facebook and Twitter. To hell with you, Invisible Belief! While there’s still miles to go before I sleep, getting those photos out there feels like a step in the right direction.
Here are some of the shots:
One thing that helps while we’re on a scary new road is to not feel alone. So, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Where in your life do you feel uncomfortable or hesitant? What do you suspect is the source of this discomfort? Now, what do you think is really going on?