Life presents beautiful convergences and happenstance along its pathways. What happens when you are a budding or seasoned stylist and reach a defining moment? Who comprises your support system? Who provides advice to you at critical stages?

Most people turn to their parents at pivotal junctures in life because it is natural for children to look for parental approval. After all, parents guide their children from birth onwards and know not only who their children are as adults, but the person’s inner child.

When should you seek parental advice and how big of a role must it play in your decision?

Obviously, don’t search for parental advice if you they were abusive, absent, or you are otherwise estranged. If you have a healthy relationship, run the situation past them. Parents are fantastic at linking your best interests with your course of action. They tend to support what is best for their child; it’s just an instinct. If your parents play a financial role within your life, you have a little less wiggle room.

[tweetthis]”There comes a time when you realize your parents may know better.” REBECCA BEARDSLEY[/tweetthis]

They are also individuals themselves with their own attitudes, traditions, and values. There comes a point in many people’s lives where they build their own identity, irregardless of what an older generation finds acceptable. Parental advice carries more weight when it’s linked to financial ties or in certain cultures, but you are still in control of your destiny. After all, where there’s a will, there’s a way!

How do you approach your parents for advice?

As with looking for advice from anyone, approach them at a quiet, convenient time. It’s never an idea to ask your parents, say, whether they think you need to buy your dream home while on the middle of a crowded interstate. Pick a time when people aren’t stressed out from external circumstances, so they focus on what you’re saying and participate in the conversation.





Own It

When you think of craft in America, you think of knitting, ceramics, or making furniture. These artists reap many health, psychological, and personal benefits from creating a quilt, a vase or a chair. With the advent of the Maker movement, technology, hand made items, and artistry, another important resurgence of craft has emerged. As hairstylists, your cosmetology career can soar with the benefits of the Maker, because you are one. Let’s talk about these benefits in depth.




Cultivate Resilience

Debacles occur in life.  For some it may seem like they can’t do anything right.  Life falls apart right before their very eyes once in a while, more times than one cares to tell the truth about, or so much, that they are filled with more doubt that chips away at their confidence.  How about you?  How you act or react when you’ve done something wrong can have a powerful impact on your psyche, your career, and your life.  However, a different response is possible.


I remember phases of my career feeling doomed for failure.  Have you ever experienced that?  You want to either climb in bed and pull the covers over your head, or you get angry at yourself and those around you, or you cave inside, and say, “Well, I won’t try that again.”  You give up.  These experiences can debilitate us, make us run for the hills, or, they become a point of understanding when we can see what we are made of.  We can learn resilience.

It didn’t help that I already I felt self-conscious about the family I grew up in, seven kids and blue collar family. My great grandfather was a cotton picker, and both sides of my family basically lived in poverty, and my grandfather on one side was a raging alcoholic, and the other worked as a dishwasher in a fancy hotel in San Francisco. My mom went to school till the 3rd grade, and my dad till the 10th. Only one of my sisters out of 7 has a college degree.

My family felt like a debacle.  We always had food on the table and hand me down clothes, and presents under the Christmas tree.  But somehow, I felt unimportant in this family, and unlike the rest, sadness and overwhelm with the chaotic environment left me mute and in my room.  Everybody needed more attention than what they could get.  So I started building my own inner life, and I wanted out in the worst way, so I left at 17 years old, and never looked back.

We’ve all got a story, a legacy.  It’s made us who we are, and when we look back we can see, either we became stronger for it, or we were defeated.

Now, let’s look at what is happening in the salon. Poor color choices, clients choosing to go somewhere else for their haircut because you continue to leave a wet towel around their neck, when they’ve told you they don’t like it a million times. Or, your coworkers harass you, or the salon loses their lease and you all have to find another place to work.

Maybe you’re learning haircutting, and you just can’t get a handle on the complexity of hair color, and you repeat past formulas that don’t work.  Maybe you’re not succeeding in the apprentice program.  Or, maybe each time you make a mistake you are completely hard on yourself.  Or worse yet, the last salon let you go.  Whatever the circumstance, the salon life is fraught with these “circumstances”.

[tweetthis]”We have this moment. Breathe in, and breathe out.” REBECCA BEARDSLEY[/tweetthis]


What you need to learn is resilience, and decide whether you are going to pull yourself up.  When we are feeling low about life, ourselves, and disappointment and anger come up, feel them.  FEEL THEM!  When we do, our senses come to life, we feel new levels of appreciation for the simplest of pleasures, like a walk in nature, or planting a garden, or talking with a friend.  A quiet strength develops inside you, a desire to better yourself and your life, a determination to make something of yourself awakens.

Food For Thought

[Losing: Builds Character or Sucks? The Wizards Speak On It] by Kyle Weidie

Your debacles lead you to awe-inspiring legacies that you learn from, they lead you to a resilience you never knew, nor could know without them.  In the research done by Donald Meichenbaum Ph.D., the Researcher Director at the Melissa Institute in Miami, Florida, states that, “Resilience reflects the ability to:

Bounce back

Beat the odds

Transform one’s emotional and physical pain into something “positive”

Evidence a relatively stable trajectory of healthy functioning across time

Move from being a victim to being a “survivor” and even to becoming a “thriver”

Be “stress hardy” adapting to whatever life sends, and for some, even evidencing “post-traumatic growth”.”  In other words, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

Now granted, nobody wants to keep on losing, or failing, or having hardships. But when you realize your debacles lead you to awe-inspiring legacies, you begin to reach others, you become relatable to all, your life takes on a deeper meaning.  Meichenbaum goes on to say, “Resilience is more accessible and available to some people than for others, but everyone can strengthen their resilience.”

Meichenbaum talks about developing these skills will help you develop your ability to handle these debacles and build resilience.  Lean on social relationships, personal control, experience positive emotions, and self-regulate negative ones, flexibility, and lean into problem solving.

One thing I grew well aware of in my trials, is that the seasons change, and every one of us goes through a dark night of the soul, and deep transformation occurs.  Our struggles make us come to the mirror, face to face with ourselves and grow our purpose and cultivate meaning.  This meeting is where our job, our relationships to ourselves and others becomes a practice in developing ourselves, when we are willing to do the work.

Life is still very mysterious, and full of unpredictability, and still, we can become better hair designers, better colorists, better hair stylists, and better people.


Question: What debacles made you change from victim to a learner?  Share your answer on Facebook, or Twitter.

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