Do you have hair? If you've checked out the pic in my bio, you know that I may be lacking a few follicles or two...or two-thousand. And, of course, that wasn't always the case. When I was younger, my hair started thinning. I was devastated, crushed, and nervous. Nervous that I was losing my identity, something that defined me; I was afraid that I was losing a piece of me.
While I suppose that last part is true, I was wrong in every other way, though I didn't know that then. I did everything to try to cover it up. Everything! And, for a time, I thought it helped. You see, I started to lose my hair when I was in high school. And I went to an all guy, prep school known for great academics and sporting prowess. ...and I didn't have sporting prowess. In fact, I was a bit of an awkward teen and the guys I went to school with were relentless. My hair starting to thin was a bit of a crisis for me, so I desperately tried to hide it. After a while, as the front line that was my hair continued to retreat, I had a choice to make: Continue to try and cover it up as best I could...or, do something else.
As scared and painful as it was, I decided on a cold day in December to shave my head. While I regretted the timing - winter in Chicago is brutal - I learned something that changed my life that day:
Sometimes, the things that we perceive as weaknesses or inadequacies are actually the very things that can propel us forward in life if, instead of hiding from them, we make the bold choice to embrace them. You see, when I shaved my head - I stopped hiding. In fact, I couldn't hide anymore because the white dome atop my noggin couldn't be hidden. And in that I found power. I embraced what I had perceived as a weakness. Almost overnight, I made gigantic leaps in my career, my romantic life improved dramatically, and, as someone with passion for the theater, I started getting cast more and more in new roles.
I've found that we often hide behind the very things that can empower us if only we'd let them, which brings me to the most important question you can ask yourself today:
"What's your baldness?"
Is your baldness the idea that shyness is holding you back? Perhaps your baldness is that you aren't smart enough, good looking enough, or that you don't have the education you need to move forward. Maybe you feel you're too tall, too short, or that your weight is limiting you. Are you too soft spoken or do you always have an opinion and aren't afraid to make it known? Regardless, can you make the choice today to embrace your baldness?
I'm not going to say it's easy. It might not be. However, I can promise you this - it'll be worth it.
What's your baldness? And how can you embrace it?