So what does this have to do with leadership and coaching, you may ask? Today, I had an appointment with my hairdresser and brought the round brushes I've been using to get her opinion. Mind you, there are no less than 10 -15 others in my house, of varying shapes and sizes, all purchased to get that "just perfect" straight, no frizz hairstyle! After she cut my hair and was about ready to blow it dry, I showed her my brushes. Being the brilliant woman that she is, she suggested she use one of my brushes. I thought that sounded like a GREAT idea.... until I had this aha moment! As she blowed my hair dry and moved the brush around, sectioning the hair as she went, my hair started looking like all the previous times when she's styled my hair. She even showed me something on my brush that I could use to section my hair, that I never knew existed!
Sure enough, when she was done, and my hair had nary a frizz on it, she happily proclaimed: "This is a Great Brush!" Oh, oh.............. my search for "the perfect brush" came to a halting stop... and worse than that..... I had to admit: "it's not about the brush: It's about me!"
Now, as I write this, I'm praying my husband doesn't see it and then seize the opportunity to say "I told you so!" "We could buy a small plot of land for the amount of money you've spent on hairbrushes!"
So, as the message hit me, I began to smile. How often in life do we attribute a less than desirable outcome to something or someone else. "If only I had the right brush;" "if only I worked with different people;" "If only I lived in a different city/ state/ country;" "If only I had a different boss...." You get the idea! My fantasy, which has lasted decades, of needing to get just the right brush to get my hair to be straight came to a screeching halt by one small action. And, the insight would not have happened if my hairdresser had looked at the brush and declared it satisfactory. She SHOWED me what it could do when in the right hands, or used in a right way.
The mirror was held up to me in more ways than just my looking into it, as she styled my hair. I'm thankful to Lorraine that she was the gentle instrument to shatter my myth. My husband is thankful to her for the extra money and space we'll have! And I am thankful to God that I got to see the miracle in the message: that we can continue to go on "if only" searches without looking at ourselves and not get the results we want. Or we can ask the simple question: "what might I be doing that is contributing to this outcome?" Hopefully, you'll have gentle partners like Lorraine to help you notice your wisdom!