You can say, as I have for a month, that it’s just hair and this is a silly non-topic. But now that I’ve experienced it, there is stuff to be said.
I feel different. There was a history there that got chopped off. A history I want to let go of. A history of being someone who follows the rules and plays it safe. I see myself as a little more of a risk-taker now.
A change like this allows you to let go of the way you saw yourself and the way others see you. The top of your head is a very public place.
I walked into a party and a wall of people formed, assessing, scrutinizing, deciding. And commenting or not. Most people said they like it, and some were silent, adhering to their mothers’ advice.
We are humans and we use visual cues to make instant judgments about people. That ability has helped us survive and evolve. (Read Blink.) Of course someone’s hair is one of those factors that helps us quickly suss out: Is this person: Old? Young? Cool? Rebellious? Granola? A parent? In give-up mode? Serious? Playful? Fun? Boring? Stiff? Mousy? Intellectual? Nerdy? High-maintenance? Self-involved? Overwhelmed? (Guys, if you think this doesn’t apply to you, think again.)
I’m sure we all want to think that what we’re putting out there reflects who we are. And we want positive feedback from our fellow humans. But ultimately, you better do it for yourself. You better do it to become more of who you really are.
Before the chop, I was worried what people would think. Now, I hardly care. I like it. I think it’s cool. That’s what matters. And every morning, I feel happy and smart to not waste 20 minutes fighting with the blowdryer!
The success of this change has made me reflect on my decision-making ability. I’m usually hesitant and take a long time to think things over before taking a leap because I’m not confident in the outcome.
So this becomes a part of my experiential learning process. Another good decision goes into the reference file.
Each time you get a positive result from taking a risk or trying something new, the more you trust yourself. You’re more likely to try the next riskyish thing that your gut urges you to do. And step-by-step you become more your authentic self.