Two years after I had my first ever set of personal branding photographs taken by the talented Ursula Kelly, I had a new set taken by the equally talented Tanya Lloyd. These were two entirely different experiences that in contrast taught me a lot about the ease, freedom and joy available when we are fully ourselves.
In May 2017, I was on the verge of launching my new business as a transformation coach to help smart, hard-working professionals take stock to create the next rewarding and rich new chapter of their life.
Getting photos for my website done by Ursula was a no-brainer, I knew she would deliver a great job. I put a lot of pressure on me (and on Ursula, sorry Ursula!) to “get it right”. I approached it in my then typical way. Full control, full attention, making sure that everything was considered, planned, prepared. I went to great lengths to ready myself; hair, nails, makeup. Spent ages deciding what to wear and what shots to have. It was a BIG investment of time, energy and money.
While I was pleased with the results and even enjoyed parts of the day, because of the perfectionist way I approached it, it was an ordeal. I felt exhausted afterwards with the emotional effort.
In time, I noticed more and more difference between the me that I was becoming in my own new chapter and the me in the photographs.
The me in the photographs had spent almost 10 years employed as leader and coach in corporate environments. AKA being “professional” and always trying to “get it right”.
The me that I was becoming was gradually settling into working for myself in my own way, on my own terms, learning to trust myself and increasingly give myself permission to show up as me.
I was relaxing and expanding into myself so much so that 2 years on I not only feel different, I look different.
Time for some new photos!
I spotted an offer from brilliant headshot photographer Tanya Lloyd and instantly booked myself in. 24 hours before the shoot I read her instructions on what clothes to wear. I did a quick and easy shop (thanks to Lisa Newport for clarity about what suits me) for vibrant clothes in my style and colours and set off to the shoot feeling excited.
The shoot was super quick and super fun. Tanya’s only brief was to capture my energy. We laughed a lot and I felt entirely comfortable. I wasn’t trying to be anything different than myself and I left that shoot energised and looking forward to getting the photos, completely confident they would be great and feeling blessed to do the work I do and have freedom to be fully myself.
These two shoots 2 years apart showed me just how much being fully yourself is energising, whereas trying to be something else is draining. When you’re doing something, you love it flows. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t have challenges or require effort, but you don’t have to force it, it’s not a battle.
Being more you is key to creating a rewarding and rich new chapter.
When you express yourself more fully and give yourself permission to have, do and be the things that matter most to you, it enables you to live more vibrantly.
So, think about what you do and how you do it. Are there areas where you can give yourself permission to be more you?
Think about the elements of your work that light you up and that you really enjoy, what are they? How can you do more of those?
Think about how you spend your time and which activities give you energy. Do more of those.
Trying to get it right is the norm for ambitious professionals and while it certainly works there comes a point when an internally driven self-trusting approach is more effective, enjoyable and sustainable.
Start telling yourself that you’re enough and what you have to offer is enough.
Creating a new chapter that thrills you is an internal job not an external job. Decide to move in that direction and take baby-steps. It’ll be a gradual process AND you can do it.
If you’re ready to be more fully yourself and committed to creating a life that energises you, I’d love to talk to you about how I can how I can help you on that journey.
You’ll receive clarity, direction and practical suggestions on how to move forward with ease and flow into your new chapter.
Ready to start your new chapter?
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