I suffer from a form of idol worship. Before you judge me too harshly, let me explain. I am pretty particular about who tops my idol list. To qualify for my devotion and following, an idol must be actively doing the very best they can to be the person God intended them to be. They must be using the gifts and talents God placed within them to touch and bless His children here on the earth. And they must have a mindset that God placed them here to bless those children. It’s a bit if a high standard and there are few who reach it, but I honor and respect those who do and strive to be one of them. I used to think these people were perfect, and that I could never hobnob with them or be worthy of their attention (I know, it’s a personal issue I am working on but many of you can relate). Over the last year I have learned that these amazing people are still just people.
And every month I have an amazing opportunity to learn, grow, and eat dinner with some of my idols at the National Speaker’s Association meeting. The other night was no exception. I was already suffering from the shock of trying to carry on a conversation with the amazing Jason Hewlett (who is on the idol list) in which I basically pounced on him, then tried to apologize for bulldozing him over, when I looked over to see Hillary Weeks standing near me. Now, I have been a musician my whole life and my dream has always been to change the world through music and speaking, so I have a few musicians on my idol list, and Hilary is one of them. The day before this event I was brainstorming and visualizing my “Dream Team” of mentors and she was at the top. And though at one point I sang on stage with her as back up, so did about 150 other women, so we really haven’t made any connection. Jason Hewlett, seeing my jaw on the ground from discovering who was standing in front of me, offered to introduce us. Dream come true, right! Yep! Until a decision I made earlier during the day came back to haunt me.
You see, a few weeks ago I had an amazing photo shoot with Chelsea Lewis Photography where I got the royal treatment. Hair, makeup, even false eyelashes which were new to me. Yesterday, while getting ready for the NSA meeting I was struggling with my self talk. I wasn’t feeling very attractive and thought maybe I should put the eyelashes on to make myself look prettier. As I was trying to keep my wits about me talking to my idol Hilary, these fake lashes started to come off my eyes! I felt like I was in the movie Yours, Mine, and Ours, when Lucille Ball’s teenage daughters put fake lashes on her for date with Henry Fonda. But while on the date her lashes fall off into her drink. Luckily in the movie, Henry looks past her outer beauty and falls in love with her anyway.
Not knowing how to handle the situation with Hilary, I just kept talking as if nothing was wrong. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal until we walked away and the first thing my husband said was “Um...your lashes are coming off pretty bad.” Well, if a guy notices, then certainly Hilary did! I spent the next five minutes laughing at how stupid and embarrassed I was, then convincing myself that I wasn’t going to be embarrassed and that at some point this story was going to make a great speech.
But as I looked inside me and realized my motivation for putting those lashes on in the first place, I recognized my poor self judgement and vowed that I would make more of an effort to love myself just the way I am and work harder at letting my inner beauty shine instead.
How often do we refuse to see ourselves at the beautiful person God made us to be? I confess, I do it all the time and I know many of you do too. So the lesson learned…Quit trying to be something you aren’t and value your own beauty. It just may save you from some very embarrassing moments down the road.
Check out Hilary at www.hilaryweeks.com You will be glad you did!
Shelly Coray is an inspiring speaker, trainer, coach, and mom. She has helped hundreds of youth and adults gain greater control over their thoughts and actions and achieve higher levels of success through her workshops, speeches and training programs. Find out more about her HERE.