We all have that voice in our heads that keeps us from doing whatever we want. It's our conscious. That voice that says, "Don't do that! You could get hurt!" or "Tread lightly, this is scary!" But sometimes, that voice take a negative turn and keeps us from moving forward with our dreams. It's in those moments that our fears start to become our reality. For one reason or another, we let them sink their negative teeth into our brain and rule every decision we make.
For the last few years, I've let my negative voice keep me back from pursuing my dream. I've known since I started doing hair that I wanted to be an educator. I left every class thinking I WANT TO DO THAT!! Eight years ago I was able make that dream a reality by becoming an educator for a brand. I knew deep down that I wanted to bring my own education to the table, though. So, I stopped educating for the brand with intentions of pursuing independent education. I started creating a course list, making a brochure, getting all my ducks in a row. But when it came down to putting it out there, that voice took over. "You're not as good as they are," it said. "What do you have to offer," it pondered. "Nobody will like you," it mused.
I let this voice hold me back for nearly 4 years. Every time the thought crossed my mind to get it started again, there it was. "You'll fail." I looked at all the other stylists that were starting to bring their own, independent education. "You're too late. There's too much competition now." I allowed myself to hang my head in defeat. I left the industry all together. I let myself believe that I actually had failed.
I left the industry to pursue marketing, another interest of mine. I became the Marketing Director for a dentist office. I learned an awful lot about teeth in the year I held this position, and my teeth thank me for it! The thing is though, I failed as the Marketing Director. I didn't yet realize how much those negative voices were ruling my life. The amazing thing though, is that throughout this year the owner of that practice invested a lot into the team, and into me specifically. We had coaches come in and critique us. When I reviewed my marketing plan with them they all said I was on the right track. We went to industry events with guest speakers who were intended to motivate us. And they did. We watched these speakers online as a group. I cried at most of them.
With each experience, the teeth started to release themselves from my brain. I started to see myself with a renewed confidence. I started to believe in myself again. I may not have been successful as the Marketing Director, but the journey within myself was one I'll always remember.
In March 2018, I returned to the salon. I felt like I was starting over. I had lost the majority of the clients I had before I left. It was really freaking scary. But I took a deep breath, and I did it. The voice was still there, but this time I said, "F- off. I got this." I invested in some serious education. I revamped my website and my social media accounts. I posted some model calls to get my name back out there. I put in the work.
Just last month I launched Hair Rebel Academy. In a sea of super successful independent educators, I'm late to the game for sure. But I'm here. And I'm doing it. I'm scared as hell. I may fail. But at least I'll know that I tried.
When I'm about to publish a new class and the voice says, "Who are you to teach this?" I take a breath and click the post button. And then I post it two more places just to make my point. When I stand in front of a crowd of stylists and the voice says, "You are not smart enough." I take a step forward and say hello. And then I schedule another class.
Dear negative voice: You will not break me. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never again.