It has always taken me less than 3 minutes to put on makeup – I consider myself girly, but I’m pretty grounded in my girliness –and well, red lipstick has scared the bejeezus out of me for as long as I can remember.
It’s just so RED.
And red is just so bold – it’s so “look at me, here I am.”
Those who like to blend into the crowd clearly need not apply.
And I was like this for a while. I still sometimes feel this way. There’s a coziness, a comfort of sorts, when you blend into the crowd. But at the same time, you can also feel forgotten about, unseen, and a bit lost.
A few weeks ago, I went on a magical retreat in Sonoma called Live Free. It was led by the magnificent Nisha Moodley and Sarah Jenks. And when I got the packing list, I saw one thing that made me squirm a bit.
Um, excuse me. Since when is bright lipstick a requirement for a retreat?
But, as one who follows directions and is up for the magical adventures of life, I meandered over to Sephora to check out my options.
And, let me tell you, I felt scared. This whole lipstick thing felt really scary.
Here’s what I realized though —
It wasn’t the lipstick that scared me. It was the idea of being seen.
When I was in Cape Cod last week for the retreat I recently wrote about, we sat around the fire under the full moon and pledged to release a part of ourselves that was no longer serving us. Feeling the heat of the flames on my face, I delicately dropped the white piece of scrap paper that I scribbled my commitment on and watched it melt into the fire.
And my commitment was this – to stop hiding myself from people.
That might surprise you – maybe I seem very “out there” in my newsletters and on Facebook and if we’ve met in person. And there’s a part of me that’s certainly outgoing and bubbly and over-excited.
But there’s also a part of me – and I’m pretty certain, a part of all of us – that hides myself from other people. We’re scared that if we’re really seen for who we are, maybe we won’t be liked, loved, included, valued, etc. And that can feel really super scary, so we hide, and blend in, and conform, and sure, maybe it feels safer for a bit, but ultimately it doesn’t, because you’re not only hiding from other people, you’re hiding from YOU.
You deserve to be seen and loved as is. And to be really seen by others, you have to first really see yourself.
Stop hiding. Stop blending in. The world needs to see you. You’re here on this earth to be seen. And yes, while buying (and trying on) my first tube of red lipstick felt pretty terrifying, once I put it on to go out, I felt pretty awesome. I felt more confident. I felt pretty kick ass. And get this – I was actually excited to be seen.
How can you allow yourself to be more seen? Here are some of my favorite suggestions. Let me know what yours are too. I love swapping ideas.
Buy that tube of bright (red/pink/gold/blue) lipstick
Wear a headband with a big bow on it
Choose a brightly colored work bag (no more black and brown and navy)
Sway your hips side to side as you walk on the street (I’ve legit tried this and it feels awesome)
Smile at everyone you pass by
Compliment a stranger
Wear a tiara out to dinner – because, why the hell not?
Get your nails painted a wild color – check out Essie’s colors
Wear big dangly earrings or hoops
Talk to the person next to you while waiting in line
Go to that event where potential clients and referral partners will be hanging out
Dance freely to your favorite jams every morning before you do anything else
Go skinny dipping
Bye bye to those baggy sweaters (or at least just save them for those extra cold days)
Ask someone out on a date (and stop waiting to be asked)
Skip in the park (at first it might feel silly, but pretty quickly, it’ll feel ah-mazing)
Host a dinner party and tell each friend to bring one of their friends so that everyone meets a new person
Offer to split a cab with someone who is also waiting for one (this one is for you NY-ers in particular)
Go out dancing, just to dance
Make eye contact
Sit in the front of the room at an event
Get a tattoo (real or temporary)
Wear a hot pink bikini
No more messy buns – hello blown out, deliciously straight or curled hair
Join a club or start your own
Jordana Jaffe, founder of Embarkability, teaches entrepreneurs how to get clients without spending a lot of (or any!) money. She’s currently leading a free 21-Day Challenge, How to Get Clients on a Close-to-Zero Budget that you can sign up for here. You can also receive Jordana’s free weekly newsletter here.