This week, I have an appointment for a photo session. I need to get new headshots that I can use for my business.
I’m very excited about working with this photographer (Rupa Kapoor) . I really like her pictures and have heard great things from people who’ve worked with her about how much fun it was and how beautiful she made them feel.
Who wouldn’t want to feel beautiful, right?
Rupa gave me some pointers on how to prepare for the shoot. One thing she made clear is that I shouldn’t get a haircut before our session. She advised me to steer clear of salons for at least a week before our scheduled time together.
Ok, I thought, sounds like good advice.
But … there was this one little thing about my hair that was bothering me …
And … well .. .
Ok! I confess! I ignored her! I went to the salon for just a tweak.
Two days before the shoot.
I liked it better before.
What I had in mind and what the stylist did were two different things.
I’m certainly not angry with her. She did what I asked her to do. We just didn’t talk about it enough beforehand, so our understandings of what needed to happen – and the end results – were mis-matched.
Neither of us was clear before we started.
Of course, we didn’t realize that until it was too late.
Yeah, I’m bummed that it’s right before the photo shoot. I hope it’ll be one of those things that I notice more than anyone else, and I’m crossing my fingers that my hair isn’t the first and only thing people notice about me in pictures.
Here’s what’s interesting about this experience: There was a time in my life when a haircut-I’m-not-thrilled-with would have ruined the whole picture-taking experience for me — and thus the photos.
(If you’re a woman and/or you have curly hair, you can probably relate.)
Thankfully, I’ve learned and let go of a lot of stuff since then.
The thing I often talk to clients about is how every situation — no matter how stressful or awful — is an opportunity for something, for anything.
And the real gift and challenge is that you decide what it’s an opportunity for. It’s your declaration. Your choice.
It can be an opportunity to stand up for yourself, an opportunity to accept something about yourself that you’ve been struggling with, or an opportunity to play bigger than you ever have in the past.
You can even choose for it to be an opportunity to lie down, kick your heels and cry about how this always happens to you, if that’s what you really want.
The power to decide is yours.
So I’m declaring this whole haircut-before-the-photo-shoot an opportunity to embrace my imperfections, to love me in all my humanness.
I’m choosing to smile at my wanting everything to be perfect, and appreciating that it is wonderful — just as it is.
I’m also choosing this to be an opportunity to embrace the difference between excellence and perfection.
You see, I consciously reach for excellence in my life — to serve my clients excellently in every session and email, to have excellent relationships with my loved ones, to excellently be me.
Does this mean that everything is perfect? No, of course not.
There are times when I look back on a session and think, “I could have said this instead of that.”
And there are times when a relationship is messy, or when I get a haircut without clarity just before a photo shoot.
That stuff happens. I’m not perfect.
The thing about perfection is that it’s a static state — it doesn’t change.
Once something is perfect, you don’t touch it. It needs to stay that way.
And life isn’t like that.
Everything is always changing, evolving, growing. And that’s exciting! I LOVE that!
Excellence, too, is always changing. What’s excellent today may be outdated soon. If I find a better way to work with clients tomorrow, I’ll take it. If someone shows me a more excellent way to lead a webinar, I’m for it.
Most importantly, though, I’m always looking out for ways to be a more excellent me, which in turn makes me a more excellent professional, wife, mother, and friend.
So that’s what I’m choosing for this photo shoot — an opportunity to be excellently me in front of a camera and feeling beautiful just because that’s what I choose, not because I have the perfect anything.
It’s a chance for me to be excellently imperfect.
What do you choose to have an opportunity for today?
If you want, share it in a comment below. The power that comes from declaring it can be surprising.