Image: Lucy Stanyer Life Coach - image for blog post titled How self acceptance beat perfectionismSo how does self acceptance beat perfection?

You know when you have something that you need to do that you know will be good for you , but would keep putting off until X, Y, Z is better or perfect first. Well this is how I was about getting my new head shots done for my coaching business.

As part of my plan to upgrade the different aspects of my business, step-by-step, I wanted to have professional photos taken to use on my website, blog and in other marketing.

I’ve always preferred to be behind the camera and have a passion for photography, which was part of my degree. Being the subject – or that scary word, model – had always brought out self criticism and an inability to smile in a natural way.

“To accept ourselves as we are means to value our imperfections as much as our perfections.” Sandra Berg.

Image: Portrait of Lucy Stanyer - Business, Career and Life Coach www.lucystanyerlifecoach.comI bit the bullet and booked in the shoot with a great local photographer called Samantha Jones. But this was back in April and we had a few false starts for the shoot since then with illness, high winds and some pesky ‘mind monkeys’ making me think that I needed to be my ‘perfect’ weight before I could do it.

During the time when the shoot kept getting postponed, I had the space to reflect on why I felt that everything had to be perfect. Yes, people would be looking at me – both on the shoot and when I put the photos online. Yes, I’d like to be a dress size lower. Yes, people will probably judge me.

So I decided to accept these facts and own them. Rather than be beaten by them and not get the images that I needed.

How the shoot went

I focused on my strengths, the aspects of me that I’m most proud of and felt confident about. I also recognised that this was not a beauty pageant, it was simply a shoot to take images for my business that convey who I am and how I am – friendly, approachable, professional, open…and colourful!

Lucy Stanyer 047 resizedAfter accepting these facts and accepting myself as I am right now, my strengths and my flaws, when the day of the shoot finally came I felt strangely calm.

I actually enjoyed the experience. Sam made it really easy and no fuss. I felt relaxed, even though we were right in the middle of town with shoppers and locals passing by.

Sam has a friendly, chatty and quirky approach that made me feel comfortable and helped me not to worry about what was going on around us. She was great at making me laugh to capture a natural smile, plus a few silly shots along the way!

This photo shoot went from being a simple marketing exercise to an opportunity to beat off some of my perfectionism mind monkeys and accept, no embrace, who I am right now. Flaws and all.

What mind monkeys get in your way and stop you achieving something that you really want? Have you found some effective ways to improve your self acceptance? Feel free to share your experiences and tips in the comment box below.

Free coaching discovery session

If you are feeling nervous or unconfident about something that you need to do – like a shoot, a presentation, networking or sales calls – I can help you focus on your strengths and help you make that step change in your career or in your business. Why not drop me a line and book a free discovery session to find out how my coaching programmes can help you get get clarity, confidence and direction.


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