I have a lazy right eye.
I’ve always had my suspicions, but trying to take the obligatory, half-decent post-haircut selfie a couple of days ago confirmed it.
Thirty three attempts later, I managed to get a shot where Right Eye looked relatively normal.
A lazy eye.
Add it to the flabby stomach and double chin - and what have you got?
(Hint: The antithesis to Marie Forleo).
So...you can imagine my sheer horror when my right-hand woman, Erin, gave it to me straight yesterday:
“Yep, this new concept for the website looks GREAT. But...I can’t see YOU. How can you expect people to trust you, if you won’t let them see you?”.
I felt my back muscles tense.
Defense mode: engaged.
My mind had a canned response at the ready.
I don’t do photos of me because I’m an Alchemist. It adds to the mystery. Curiosity is part of my brand. And anyway - that’s the whole point of our work: honour who you truly are. I’m truly not a lifestyle-shot kinda person.
But my mouth had other ideas.
“Yup. I know”.
The admission stung.
The truth is - I used to blame the fact that I had nothing worthy to contribute to others - amongst other things - on my not-so-baby weight (she’s four now, so I’m not entirely sure I can legitimately use that excuse).
But now? Now, I have so much belief in my work that I’m anxious that my less-than-polished appearance will do it an injustice.
So, Erin suggesting that I need to face my demons and actually start allowing people to SEE me, understandably made my eye twitch. (Let’s imagine my left eye, just for visual effect).
But Erin hadn’t finished.
“It's also about not wanting to. It's a mini temper tantrum”.
“It’s not that I don’t want to be seen. Just so long as people don’t look at me”.
(I was hoping here that my dry sense of British humour would be enough to shift the discomfort. It was an epic fail).
“I can't sit and talk you out of any of that. It's your journey and really, there's nothing to do but take the journey. You're going to have to start living what you teach”.
This really got me.
Living what I teach.
If there is anything I consider to be virtuous about myself, it’s my integrity.
I pride myself on my willingness to be vulnerable. On being an open book.
When someone suggests that I’m not walking my talk, it hits hard. That’s exactly what I teach, and believe without question: branding can be the most beautiful journey to self-acceptance...but if you want to be seen, you have to get naked.
But what happens when you’re covered in scales...and you’re just not ready for the world to see them?
What happens when...no number of YouTube videos can actually make your curling wand do what it’s supposed to do?
What happens when…you just don’t translate well on camera?
What happens when...you know your work has immense potential, but you’re not sure that you can do it justice?
What happens when you have a lazy right eye?
Well-meaning cheerleaders may tell you to get over yourself.
That it doesn’t matter what you look like. That beauty isn’t skin-deep. That you’re never too old. That you’re perfect, just as you are. That all you need to do is tap into your brilliance, and hit the meditation cushion.
On the surface, this all sounds...delightful.
But it’s not much comfort when you come across yet another website of a solopreneur who seriously has it going ON...and you can’t help but wonder whether you even stand a chance.
I don’t have the answer.
(I’m still comforting myself with rice cakes over my gravity-defying right eye).
I could tell you that you are so needed, just as you are.
That what you have to offer deserves more than comparison and self-doubt.
And whilst all of that is true...I know that if I said that, it would have to be my truth, too.
My gift may be the ability to see true archetypal beauty in my clients, and translate it into a brand identity that reflects every facet of their irresistible personality...but I’m being honest when I say it’s a whole lot easier to work magic on others than it is on yourself.
So...it isn’t my truth. Not just yet.
But I’m working on it.
Can you relate? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment here on the blog.