The Superpower of Choice

In my personal coaching sessions, the question I ask my clients the most is, what about the situation you are describing can you control?  After a few back-and-forth’s, invariably we arrive at what is universally true:  there may be precious little we can control about any situation, except for how we choose to respond to it.  Frustrating as it is, we cannot control how someone else feels, the outcome of a decision, the final grade, whether or not we ultimately get that promotion, etc.  We can and should work hard and do our best, but sometimes fate intervenes and things don’t go our way.  We are disappointed, saddened, frustrated. Once we confront these emotions, our superpower kicks in:  how we will choose to respond? Will we give up and never try again? Or will we double down and persist? Will we allow one disappointment, or even a profound tragedy, to define forever as a victim? Or will we choose to learn from the experience to emerge even stronger to face the next challenge life throws our way?

Even when we choose to wallow in grief and self-pity and avoid making any choice, the abdication of choosing speaks volumes.  When I was in the first grade, my father suffered a heart attack and had open heart surgery, which gave him four more years of life.  When he died, I was eleven.  I idolized him as little girls do, and I learned early on the shock and grief of losing someone. Two years later, just weeks before her wedding, my sister died in a car accident when a drunk driver ran a stop sign and struck the vehicle she was driving. I was the passenger and emerged unscathed. She was 26. I was angry at the senselessness of it all, and felt guilty that I survived.   

I knew that I could keep living with the resentment and the anxiety of always expecting another tragedy to strike, but I chose not to succumb. Instead, I looked back with gratitude for the extra years that the surgery gave to my father and to me to really know him and remember him. I chose to be grateful for having my sister at all and learning not to take anything for granted or ever to be governed by fear. 

YBeU Beauty Personal Coaching is my chance to help women to own their beauty.  For some that means embracing the superpower to choose how you want to show up in your own life. I choose gratitude, savoring the good stuff that comes my way, learning from the bad, and trying to bring more of the good to others.

How will you choose to show up in your life today?

Musings: Own Your Beauty

My mission at YBeU beauty is to empower women to own their beauty. But what does that really mean? Well, I am glad you asked…

OWN—to take possession of, lay claim to something. When you own your beauty, you take pride in it, you nurture it, you acknowledge it. Sounds easy, right? I was, indeed I hope we all were, raised to know that it’s what’s on the inside that counts and is the measure of any person. But what I also know as a woman, is that how we THINK we look on the outside profoundly affects how we feel on the inside. How do you feel on a good hair day? And how do you feel when you spot a blemish pop up the morning of a big interview? Simply put, I think we want to look good to feel good so that we can do good, whatever that means for you. The first step is acknowledging, nurturing and being ever grateful for the beauty that is yours right now.

YOUR—this is deceptively simple. YOUR beauty means just what it says, yours, only yours, and no one else’s. Ahh, there is the rub. No one else’s means you have to stop comparing yourself to others. I mean it, stop. Sure, we can and should admire the beauty of others and compliment them. But when we compare ourselves to anyone else, we are doomed to come up short, and here’s why. Our brains are hardwired to seek reference points that are utterly unrealistic. For example, are you comparing yourself to a celebrity, not your age, who has a team of plastic surgeons, makeup artists and hair stylists, not to mention perfect lighting and maybe a little photo-shopping for good measure? Yep, I thought so. You do this—I do this, we all do this–because celebrities and models are the images we are inundated with in the media. They seem so exciting, leading exotic lives in alluring places. Ok, but what if instead you compare yourself to the woman on Facebook who is exactly your age, your build, etc.? At least this may be more of a fair fight, but the question is, why bother? Why not instead choose a game you are destined to WIN, every single time, and that, my friend, is being YOU and no one else. After all, who is better at being YOU? You were created for a reason, unique in all the world. Your only job is to be the BEST you that you can, the best version of yourself. It takes work, but if you try, you just might find those 20 somethings on Instagram admiring your grace and confidence and comparing themselves to you…umm, not that we want that.

BEAUTY—so this is the hardest one to define. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? Then why is it so hard to look in the mirror and see our own beauty? We see wrinkles, sags, and spots. We see every imperfection oh so clearly, but never appreciate the beauty of the whole package. It’s much easier to define what beauty is NOT, to expose the lies we are told made up by other people trying to sell us stuff or make us feel small. Number 1: Anti-aging is what we must strive for. How many jars of lotions and potions do you have right now that claim to be “anti-aging”? What a ridiculous concept that is…does anyone ever point out that if we are not aging, we are not living and hence we are DYING. I don’t know about you, but I’ll gladly take the former. Number 2: Looking Younger means looking more beautiful. In my 20’s I went to a fancy department store to browse the cosmetics, when a much older sales lady approached me with a jar of very expensive, uber luxurious skin cream that she promised would take “at least ten years off” of how I looked. Elated, I thought through whether I could afford it, day dreamed about how it would feel on my skin, and then it hit me…why exactly would I want to look like I was 15 again? Hormonal breakouts, no self-confidence, no thanks. Now that I am in my 50’s, I’ll admit that looking ten years younger is much more attractive, but there is something even more appealing: striving to look MY BEST where I am RIGHT NOW, being present in my own life to enjoy it without looking backwards. Beauty now is looking in the mirror to see skin that glows (with a few fine lines here and there) and being grateful for all life has thrown my way, even and maybe especially for the stuff that gave me the wrinkles. We all get to choose how we define beauty every single day. I choose pro-aging, pro-living, pro-growing and trying my best. Taking the time to be grateful. Savoring what is good, and lending a hand along the way to others. All that…and of course, snagging, on sale, that perfect no smudge mascara and illuminating concealer for those days when my glow seems a little less glowy.

Disclaimer: My blog includes reviews of products I purchase myself or receive from vendors. I choose to review only those products that I attest to be of the highest quality. The opinions expressed are my own.