Salon Professional: Keep Yourself #1, by Carlos Valenzuela

From the beginning of time, beauty professionals never just worked on hair, skin, or nails. We serve as trusted confidants to a client’s challenges, dreams, and aspirations, soothe a troubled spirit with a cooling shampoo, kindle a winning attitude with kind words and a killer hairstyle. We stand by clients from their first cut to first date, prom, the wedding, childbirth, empty nest syndrome, ageing and too often attend last rites. We learn to navigate clients’ sharing the loss of a family member, spouse, nasty divorce and unfriendly firings. We get invitations to intimate occasions, weddings, family reunions, receive generous gifts, and even inheritances.

Carlos Valenzuela - Hair

You work hard for your money – 40 to 50 hours a week behind the chair. You come home too tired to take care of your own needs. Those desired personal rewards that sneak in when you have a minute alone are left for later. Today, you took care of everyone and left yourself for last or forgot about your needs completely. Eventually, lack of self-care bursts into a temporary frenzy of rewarding yourself with food, snacks, alcohol, partying. Isolation and low-level relationships with those close to you might also be taking a toll on your spirit.  You aren’t tired, you lack inspiration.

Time goes by quickly, it seems it was just New Year’s. Days roll into weeks, months, and years. You want to get healthy, save money, deepen your relationships. You are just waiting for the right moment to act. It’s never the right moment because taking on more responsibility seems too perfect and delicate to fit into your daily challenges. It’s also risky, what if people find out you couldn’t pull it off? There’s a little voice inside you saying, Didn’t we do this last year—and failed?”  You make peace with your situation, it seems easier than trying to change it. Focusing on yourself and making better choices seem too delicate a task to fit into your daily challenges. We all make poor decisions.

For many years, I couldn’t see how choice affected my circumstances. There was always someone or something to blame. I wish I could say I saw the light from a great book or heartfelt advice, it was nothing like that. One day, when my dissatisfaction was at an all-time high, I played out what my life would be like if nothing changed, if I just kept moving along day in and day out repeating the same routine. What I saw was really scary. I saw a physically and financially unhealthy life ahead.  I looked deep and hard for some external cause, but every finger pointed to choices I make. You can try to get yourself off the hook by not accepting personal responsibility, but it is a total dead end. Even when dealt a poor hand by life, it is still your choice and responsibility to free yourself – nobody is going to do it for you.

I am what I choose begins to make sense when you accept that poor choices brought you where you are, and better choices will take you where you want to go. It’s easy logic, just make sure you are ready to create a good life. You will know you are ready when you want it more than you fear it and enough to commit to doing the work. You don’t need anyone to point you to your dreams, you know well what you want. You just need a simple system to make it all stick and keep you on track. This is what #ifabulousu is all about.

You have your own reasons why you don’t want to focus on becoming the very best version of yourself. These excuses are based on fears like fear of failing, of being restricted, losing your freedom, and not enjoying life—after all, why would you work so hard? This fear is very natural, everyone wants it all and this is also the reason #ifabulousu is a 30-day plan. If you commit to following the program for 30 days, you will lose your fears and arrive at a new perspective allowing you to continue to create the best for yourself for the rest of your life.

Two reasons why many nix the idea of creating the best version of you are:

1.) You made promises to yourself that you didn’t keep—you failed with the gym, losing weight, saving money, and visiting your mother. Consequently, today you don’t trust yourself. Trust yourself again because there is nothing wrong with your intention. You failed because you set unrealistic expectations. You took on too big of a goal, set incorrect timeframes using incorrect and outdated information. Here’s the truth: we can only affect our behavior unless you make your goals a part of your daily routine, they merely wishful thinking and will lead to disappointment. Small things done consistently, no matter how small, create big changes. The fast track to realizing your dreams is in your daily routine. Look no further.
2.) I have no time, money, take care of others or too many other things to do—this says you don’t consider yourself a priority—a classic amongst salon professionals. You think self-care is being selfish and may be accustomed to relationships based on neediness, not real love. You may confuse caring with rescuing and don’t fully realize that we teach others how to treat us. It’s time to begin to love yourself in order to better serve others. This is the overall theme of #ifabulousu.

Add your dreams to your daily calendar and schedule a little step each day—no matter how small the effort. Here’s the rub: you must take the time to set up what you want to achieve. This sounds so basic, and yet, many wander aimlessly from one shinny object to the next. Sit down and think what you want, schedule what you will do each day and keep track of its completion on your calendar, journal, agenda, or cell phone– the gym, food choices, time with loved ones, decluttering your home, and saving money are just to name a few. I keep track using the #ifabulousu Journal, more on this later.

Insight: You are what you do each day, not what you say you are. Where you focus your attention, efforts and spend your money is what brought you to where you are today.

Carlos Valenzuela shares 45 years of beauty experience at industry shows, seminars, workshops and on Modern Salon Magazine:


Instagram: @carlosvalenzuelabeauty


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