I need help. I got burned.

curling iron

By Gina Trimarco, Chief Results Officer

I’m curious. How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 on your ability to adapt to change? Two months ago I would have answered that with the number 8, taking pride on my “yes, and” skills … until one day when I allowed my hair stylist Brittney to talk me into chemically straightening my naturally curly hair. I quickly learned that I don’t rate so high anymore and I have a curling iron to thank for this!

I trust Brittney so much that before she had her own salon I let her do my hair without having a mirror in front of me. She knows what I like. She knows what’s best for me. Every now and then she may push me a little to do something slightly different than usual, which is good for me. It’s a great relationship.

When she suggested this straightening thing she gave me great reasons (and benefits) for why I needed to do it … to put moisture back in my hair, to make it easier to manage my hair, to give me a smoother look. She never mentioned price. I said “yes”. My only objection was that it was a three or four hour process, plus another 90 minutes of drive time round trip. So I packed my briefcase with work and snacks to make a day of it.

I innocently arrived for my new hair experience. Little did I know how little I knew about what I was getting myself into. Brittney made me some coffee. I got out my laptop so I could work while she worked. And then it dawned on me to ask “Oh by the way, how much does this cost?” I did not expect to hear “$300” and had a moment of buyer’s remorse. I overcame my sticker shock and went through with it. Four hours later I had straighter, smoother hair with great shine and wave. Yes, wave. So, first she chemically straightened it and then used a curling iron to curl it. Crazy, right?

One of the main reasons for this change was to make it easier to do my kinky, curly hair every day without it frizzing up. A couple days later I washed my hair and sure it enough my hair had no more curls, no more frizz. And I was instantly heart broken. I felt ugly. I didn’t look like me. For years my identity was so connected to my hair and now my hair as I knew it was gone. And I cried. Not only did I cry I started texting Brittney about how ugly I felt. I clearly needed to blame HER for this change that she talked me into.

What made me cry the most was the realization that I didn’t know how to use a curling iron to style it the way Brittney did. It was clear that all I needed to do was curl it but every time I tried to curl a section I only made it look worse. And even worse than how it looked, I kept burning my forehead with the curling iron! Now I had red blotches on my forehead and they hurt bad. This was feeling like a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from. Some of you may be thinking, “Are you kidding me? Is she really upset about something this trivial?”

Well, our emotions and reactions are usually linked to something bigger. And that was the case in this situation. What I was struggling with was change. I was struggling with something new and out of my comfort zone. I was feeling real pain from a curling iron and egotistical pain from feeling ugly. And I was also feeling stupid for feeling upset over something trivial on the surface.

As a business owner and entrepreneur I face these emotions daily and have to remain aware of the trivial things that throw me off balance in my business. What this experience taught me was:

  • The need to try new things that might make me uncomfortable
  • To trust my instincts about others who guide me because they know better and have my best interests in mind
  • To trust my instincts to make the right decisions without fear of spending money
  • To ask for help when the decisions I make are challenging in the beginning
  • To celebrate the continued success and pursuit of mastery of new processes and endeavors
  • To laugh at the things that burn me – the scars go away eventually.

So, I asked Brittney for help. I asked her to come to my house and teach me how to properly and effectively use my curling iron and that’s what she did. And with a little practice I finally figured it out after a couple of weeks. And now I absolutely love my hair and how much easier it’s making my life now that I got the hang of styling it.  If I can curl my hair without getting burned, what’s next? Maybe I’ll go blonde! No, that’s just crazy!


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