This week I traveled to New York City to film educational marketing videos for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN).
These videos will be preserved for time immemorial for thousands upon thousands of IIN students.
This IS the largest wellness school in the world we’re talking about.
I have never been “on camera” or participated in a professional video shoot, so I was a wee bit nervous.
So to help soothe my worries of looking sharp and polished for the videos, I made sure to book a wash and blow out at a fancy NYC salon to help me put myself together.
I decided to act as if this were a live, in front of thousands speaking gig (in essence, it was) and that’s why my dress, shoes and hair was important.
On the morning of my video shoot, I found myself enjoying getting ready because I had only the minimum to do and could relax knowing my "camera ready" look was going to be done for me. (Fussing with my hair when I get nervous is never a good thing for me, so I like to outsource this. Plus, it’s an easy way to look really put together.)
I put on my fancy dress and shoes, piled my bed head hair on top of my head, and walked over to the fancy salon to get my hair washed and expertly blown out.
There was only one problem: No one was there but a cleaning lady and the receptionist.
In my nervousness I mistakenly booked my appointment for the day before.
In less than one hour I was due to be professionally filmed and my hair was a hot mess.
I raced across the street to try the other salon.
No one was there either, and a quick search online showed that most salons didn't open for another few hours.
I didn’t even have a brush with me, nor did I bring any hair styling gear.
So there I was in the middle of a hot, humid morning on the side walk of New York, looking fantastic from the neck down, wondering what the heck I should do.
I mean, my hair had crinks, kinks and full on frizz from sleeping on it WET the night before. (Ladies, you know what I mean.) Think bed head when you were a kid, with your hair sticking out every which way and you’ll get the picture.
The anxiety was starting to mount as I stood there, thinking about how stupid I’d look.
And then I dug deep and said what you can only say in this situation…
I decided to take control and send my thoughts in another direction. (The Phuckets help in such desperate times.)
And I immediately recalled the following core belief I hold about being in business for yourself and looking like a pro:
It goes like this…
Your professional presentation is more about the overall feeling and energy behind your images (be it pictures for your website or videos.) It’s more about the entire composition and feeling tone of the image than the individual pieces that put together your unique look. Your connection with your eyes, voice, posture, personality and gestures are far more powerful than perfect hair and makeup. (We’ve all seen those images of “new biz pictures” on Facebook where the person looks SO polished they almost don’t seem real.)
And that was the anchor I needed in that moment. In that sweaty, near melt down minute, I realigned with my sense of self and sent my thoughts into a far more empowering direction.
The energetic DNA of my videos is more important than how my hair looks. The feeling tone and energy behind my message is what will connect with my tribe, and the crinks, kinks and frizz in my hair is not going to stop me.
And here is what I deliberately anchored myself in as I started looking for a cab...
Sure, I would have loved to wear my hair down and have it look awesome, but there is nothing I can do about it now.
I have a hair clip that I can use to brush my hair and when I get there I’ll ask them if they have hair spray and make do.
AND, I AM wearing one of my power colors, and I know that does wonders so I have that going for me.
And my make-up is pretty good today so if I hop in a cab now instead of running around trying to get my hair done, I can proceed to relax, cool off in the comfort of the ride downtown and prevent my makeup from melting all over the place.
I kept going, building on my good feeling thoughts and started mulling over what I WOULD like to have happen…
And wouldn't it be great if I knocked all six videos, right out of the park and the crew would be amazed at how quickly and effortlessly I did them? That would feel great! (I was warned that each 15 min video takes 2-3 hours to record and that it might be a long day).
I proceeded to imagine the crew and I blowing through all the videos in record time and getting them done in a remarkable state of ease, flow and fun and how good that would feel.
And to be quite honest, I also let myself feel what was behind my anxiety. A sense of sadness at having worked and planned to have things be “perfect” and now they weren't. I gave myself permission to feel this fully and let those feelings move through me versus ruin my day. A few dark thoughts came up...
Surely none of my colleagues ever have to deal with this, right? They’re so perfect! I’m not. It's just me and my screwy travel brain that mixes everything up and gets overwhelmed by the city. What a loser I am! I'm forever going to be known as bad hair Karin in my videos. Fuuuuudge.
I let these thoughts be, acknowledged them and waited until I was ready to think of something else. (I think this only took a few minutes.)
And when I was done with feeling sorry for myself, I returned to my "wouldn't it be cool if" game and basked in how it would feel to do a really great job despite my hair fiasco.
I arrived at IIN headquarters nice and early (since I didn’t have my hair appointment!) and let myself be led by the staff through all the processes, paperwork and focused on holding onto my Self. That solid, yet fluid inner core within me that can choose to not be shaken by external circumstances.
That part of myself that I have relied on when shit hit the fan, or when I ended a good enough relationship and went for what I really wanted, or when I made a decision that others didn't understand and tried to convince me otherwise.
On the outside, I looked quiet and shy as I sipped my calming chamomile tea in the waiting lounge, but I was just staying focused. I prefer not to talk too much before I get on stage of any kind.
I watched as the video production crew set up and overhead them saying they couldn't believe they were in for 6 videos today. And they also told me that during the recording, they would have to turn off the air conditioning because it made too much noise and that with the hot lights, it might get warm for me.
I had an instant vision of a Saturday Night Live skit with beads of sweat pouring out from the top of my already messy hair. And that made me laugh.
We started recording a little after 10am and we wrapped up all six videos before lunch. The stunned production team asked me if I'd done this before, and shared that this was "quite remarkable."
I’m happy to report that it all went pretty easily, all things considered.
Just like how I'd imagined, but better.
P.S. You can read this like this was a funny story about hair. Or, you’ll remember this little behind-the-scenes snippet the next time you find yourself feeling nervous about how you look in your business or rub up against the perfection thing (uh, you're human right?!).
And you too, will remember that you can lead your thoughts and that it ain’t about the hair, or being a perfect size 6 or looking like the perfectly healthy, perfectly detoxed wellness pro.
It’s far more about the energy behind your words in your presentation, website, or email.
You are the presence your clients want to feel in your message. Let THAT shine.
And sure, get a blow out if that helps too.
P.P.S - Looking for a coach that gets that everything is energy and is pretty damn biz savvy (even when she has a bad hair day)? I may be your gal. Head over here to set up a chat.