On Courage & What's Holding Us Back from What We Really Want (Episode 49)

       Today, we’re gonna talk about haircuts, courage, & what’s holding us back from doing what we really want.
       Watch the YouTube video here >>> https://youtu.be/GHsFJ-QNKHw
       Today’s conversation is going to start with a story about my (Lisa's) haircut and courage, then move into what this could mean for us teachers in our classrooms and the level of grit our students have.
       Back in high school and college my hair was basically long and straight. I could blow dry it and put hot roller curlers in it and it looked great. I was often complimented on my hair. My hair has always held curls and in college hair dressers started mentioning that I had ringlets on the underneath part of my hair near my neck. As I have aged and had children, my curls have taken over my hair.
I have wanted to cut my hair short for a long time. Drew Barrymore’s haircut in the movie Mad Love or Meg Ryan’s hair in French Kiss have been memorable in my mind for a long time. I tend to grow my hair out for a year or two and then cut it to shoulder or maybe chin-length hair. I love the idea of easy to style, sassy, messy, and cute hair. I had never actually had the guts to cut my hair as short as I wanted to try. I would always talk myself into cutting it short but ask hairdressers if they thought I could pull off a short cut and I’d always come home with a cute bob cut but deep down I longed for shorter. I had this realization that I was trusting the expertise of hairdressers but they also had their own preferences.
       After my last time of going to a place determined to cut it short and chickening out, I kept looking at my hair thinking it could be shorter and I could pull it off and still feel pretty. So I waited until I went back to California to a friend that I trusted and had her adventure with me to see what happened when she cut my hair and I trusted her ability to style it cute. She did a fabulous job. I came home and kept squealing at my reflection. I didn't post any pictures to social media because this haircut wasn't meant for others, it was for me.                     
       JONATHAN: This got me thinking about this on a bigger scale. This is about so much more than haircuts. This is one example of something we really want to do but are afraid of. And I think we teachers all have at least one thing we’d love to do in our classrooms or careers but for one reason or another, we’re afraid of it. So with your haircut … what were you really afraid of? 
       LISA: I was afraid my hair would look ridiculously bad and people would judge my sanity. I want to look pretty. 
       Those are two different answers. 
       That is my answer though. 
       So were you more afraid of looking bad personally or more afraid of what other people would think?  What was actually holding you back from getting your haircut the way you wanted to try?       
       I didn’t want a mom haircut. I didn’t want people making fun of me for my choice. I didn’t want to deal with, if people made fun of my haircut and then I couldn’t emotionally handle it, being seen as weak or having a weak self-esteem. When I was growing up I heard a message that if you took sarcasm, jokes, or friendly ridicule too seriously then you needed to lighten up and not take it so seriously. My decision to cut my hair was, deep down, a risk of realizing how weak or strong I might be in response to others' reactions. 
        So there’s a lot more to your fear than just your hair might look bad?
        So this is where your story about a haircut becomes a larger conversation for all of us teachers and students. What things have we been wanting to do for a long time but haven’t done because of fear? It’s helpful to chase these fears all the way back to their source, so we can decide.
        Yeah, so the source of my fear was feeling weak and not confident in myself. When I finally said, “Screw it! I’m gonna cut my hair,” was when I decided to ignore the fear and take the risk. It was really me saying, “I can handle my own personal struggle if my hair looks crappy and I think I’m emotionally able to handle criticism about my hair, because it is hair and it will just grow back. I don’t care if people think I’m crazy or judge my sanity based on this choice.”
        So were you afraid of what they’d say or what you thought they’d say?
        Both, I think. But as I think about it now, the people who are close to me would be totally supportive, even if it looked horrible. So I don’t have to worry about my close people.
        So it’s more the people that you don’t really know?
        Yeah, there is a ring of people, outside of my close friends, that are more than acquaintances and I was worried about what they might say about me. My way of controlling the situation and what people might think or say about me was to stay with the acceptable, safe choice. I’m realizing that our fears about all that might be keeping us from trying so many things that we might love. 
        Like your haircut.
        Yes! *squeeeee*
        How many years have you wanted to cut your hair short?
        A long time. So I could have had this happy haircut for so many years.
        I love that point. How many things are we afraid of that we could have already done and been enjoying all these years?
        Let’s move this over into the teaching world. So a question might be, “What have I wanted to try in my classroom that I could try this year?” “Why haven’t I tried it?” “What am I afraid of?”
What is the root of that fear? It could be fear of looking incompetent
       Being sensitive of what others think is normal. It is needed to not live our lives selfishly. 

       Conversation of the Day: What is a thing you really want to do … but haven’t?
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