I scheduled a haircut for this past Friday, thinking I would go in to get a trim – I’ve had very long hair for pretty much all of my life (with the exception of one erroneous bob in the seventh grade). Since then, my hair has been very guarded, with carefully planned ventures into slightly different styles; trims limited to two inches; and tears at any slightly “drastic” results. This being said, I was feeling in a bit of a rut last week, and come Friday, the thought of a big change was suddenly appealing to me. After spotting an online photo of a celebrity with a cute short cut, I started to consider going short, and began asking for opinions. The office consensus was “yes,” the boyfriend vote was “un-enthused,” and my mom’s suggestion was to “take it slowly,” knowing my usual reaction to sudden change. As I considered the haircut, it started to take on a bigger significance. It wasn’t just about hair, it was about me being afraid to make decisions, afraid of change. So, in what I considered to be a personal act of bravery, I went ahead and instructed my trusted hairdresser to chop it off. I sat under the veil of my fringe as she worked, watching in mixed amazement and shock as 8 inches of hair was swiftly razored and cut away.

My New 'Do

Turns out, it looks great. And while I am enjoying the look of my new hairdo, as well as the novelty of something different, the real thrill and energy boost has come from plunging in and doing something that I was afraid of. All acts of bravery, big or small, give you a sense of power in life, which is what I’m feeling right now. Maybe the beginning of the New Year is a good time to just start saying “yes!”

– Jean

Are there any small risks you can take to help yourself feel empowered? What have you been missing out on because of fear?