Feeling Wind-Machine-Worthy

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I recently experienced my first professional photo shoot after meeting the fabulous Fi Mimms and learning about her “passion project” compiling a book of images and inspirational quotes to support Fitted For Work.

I wrote a LinkedIn post sharing my experience of the photo shoot and was overwhelmed with the response I received. I wanted capture and expand on the topic of feeling “wind-machine-worthy” through this article.

Leading up to the shoot I was anticipating feeling nervous and a little anxious, however upon starting the process of preparing for shoot, I was surprise by sudden feelings of “not being worthy” of all the fuss and attention.

These feelings really strengthened when Fi unveiled her wind machine. In amongst the laughter and joking, I was struck by the thought: “Could I REALLY be worthy of a wind machine??!!” As my mind raced forward, I proceeded to manufacture even more anxiety by imagining meeting new people and seeing the looks of disappointment on their faces upon realising that the “real-life” version of me is significantly less polished and glamorous that the version of me in the images we were creating.

Fi had heard it all before and it quickly became very clear that I was not alone in thinking this way. Fi was funny, kind and down-to-earth and we chatted about the many times she has heard various versions of the same self-limiting beliefs from her other clients.

By the end of the session I could see that putting on nice clothes and taking extra care with grooming in order to create images that capture my personal brand was not vain or ridiculously-self indulgent – it was just a really smart thing to do.

The experience brought back into sharp focus this wonderful passage by Marianne Williamson that really resonates with me. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, talented and fabulous? Actually who are you not to be? Playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”

I am now a firm believer that we are ALL “wind-machine-worthy”. Everyone deserves the opportunity to create images that capture the most professional and confident version of themselves.

In fact, in an era where personal branding could become as important as your CV, you are crazy not to.

 

Reflections on my childhood, lessons learnt as an undocumented migrant living in NYC

I asked the fabulous folks in my tribe to share personal stories about the things that help them to thrive and reach their full potential. Here is what the wonderful Carol Corzo wanted to share.

‘I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference’ (R.Frost) As a child, I was one of the many undocumented Latino child migrants living in NYC, and I count those years as some of the best in my life.

What did it all mean?

Through global media and recent events, most people around the world know what an undocumented migrant living in the US is. Did you know when I was living in NYC in the 80s, the common term was ‘illegal alien’.

As a child, I always found that term demeaning, as I certainly was not an alien from another galaxy nor did I wish my existence to be defined as a criminal.

Through those years I knew that I could not tell anyone that we were undocumented, neither my school friends, neighbours nor teachers due to the powerful omnipresent threat of deportation. From this, I learnt to hold a secret.

But I never lived my life in fear; instead, I learnt some very powerful life lessons, largely, because not only do I have a great family but I attended the most brilliant school in Queens, with amazing teachers and students (interestingly, it is a school that once received an F rating, but I received the best life education).

I learnt to-

Believe

Every single teacher almost daily told us that a child from a Queens can do anything, nothing is impossible. We could go to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, UC, we could sit in a boardroom, we could be an artist or run a women’s shelter. At that age, you trust your teachers and you believe in them, and thus believe in yourself.

Stay curious and learn

Have an open mind, be curious, ask questions, listen, research and learn. Simple really.

Empathy

As the AIDS crisis hit in the 80s, when there was a great deal of awful prejudice all around us, at school we learnt to seek first to understand from the other’s perspective and about empathy. When there were schools closing their doors to children with AIDS and HIV (remembering the great hero Ryan White), our Grade 5 class would welcome them. Thank you to my teacher Mr Kaplan.

Inclusion

I had incredibly happy years at school in Queens, although I was undocumented I felt that I belonged.

Values

Hold on tight to your values. The below grainy image was taken in 1986, on the official reopening day of the Statue of Liberty. I believe in liberty, hope and opportunity.