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Now you see me!

I’ve definitely been someone who doesn’t like having their photo taken!

I feel awkward. The ones from the past I do like of me? Are mainly those where I’ve had professional hair and makeup done! Me as a bridesmaid at my friend Lucy’s wedding, me at my brother’s wedding….there’s a theme.

But those ad-hoc ones? I’ll always spot my sticky out ears not being covered by my hair, the dark circles under my eyes, the droopy eyelid, the spot that’s magically appeared since looking in the mirror to apply makeup, the top that isn’t sitting quite straight enough…… the list could be lengthy!

Now, would anyone else notice that? Probably not. But I would. And actually that’s all that mattered!

Would I ever be that critical of someone else? Nope. Do I always judge myself more harshly? Yes!!!

And why? I didn’t like myself very much. I feared the judgement and the criticism and certainly never expected a compliment….if I did? I’d brush it away very quickly.

So, much of my “journey” (cue X-Factor style music of your choice to read the rest!) in the past, nearly 2 years has really been about repairing the relationship with myself, loving and getting comfortable with who I am, no matter the hair, make-up, skin condition or level of tiredness exhibited on the outside!

The website and particularly the video, is something many of my friends have said is completely out of character for me. There’s also a Facebook and Instagram page too now, albeit I am still getting comfortable with posting and you still won’t have seen many or probably any actual pictures of me!

One of the pieces of feedback I did have on the website when I took to my personal FB page a few weeks ago, was “change the photos!”. I laughed and thanked the kind deliverer of said feedback because it is, after all a gift!! And you know what? It was so helpful to know that my response was to laugh rather than crumple into a heap and cry! Why? It showed me where I am now.

The photos were always only temporary; until I could get some “of me now” done and to be proud of! After all a LinkedIn profile picture taken 2.5 years ago on a yoga retreat in Italy and the only other one that was high enough res to be included was me at 23 in a work photoshoot……could you tell?!

And now there are! Yes, immediately after a post lockdown haircut admittedly and only me doing some make-up on a chilly April day with a wonderful photographer who made something I was quite apprehensive about, really, really easy!

So; this is me….this is who I am at 42. Here’s to me having the confidence to be seen and not worry or fear the judgement or critique. Who knew being outside your comfort zone could be fun….

What about you? Are you comfortable and happy with being seen? Either in a professional or personal sense. Have you ever asked yourself why or why not? What do you need to let go of or forgive yourself for, to allow yourself to Shine?

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