“It’s days like these I shake my head, laugh and think how much I love my job,” a Global Spa Specialist said coming up behind me, nodding towards the auditorium wall. Sitting single-file were the facial models dressed in nothing but their spa gowns.
It was Day Two of testing.
They were quite the sight to behold – ladies of all ages, shapes, and sizes gabbing away, half-naked, while snacking on scones.
“What I wouldn’t do at this very moment to be half-naked,” I thought to myself.
Instead, I sported black-on-black, with just a hint of black, mentally preparing myself for the 6-straight hours of massages and techniques we were about to be tested on. I knew it was going to take all of me both physically and mentally to perform for this length of time. What I didn’t know, was how much it would take from me on an emotional level.
The F-bomb was all I could think about. Oddly enough, F&*% was the reason I was even there.
The bar was excruciatingly high, the atmosphere intense, and the expectations so great that several professionals canceled coming last minute out of fear. Fear that with one wrong movement, they would fail. And not just fail, but be in the spotlight while doing it. And not just in the spotlight, but in front of really, really good looking people with flawless skin.
Well, I woke up with a zit the size of Asia that morning. A zit so BIG, it had its own heartbeat. Off to an impressive start, as usual.
As I stood there above my model, who was now snuggled under warm blankets on the massage table in front of me, visions of Scones and Free Facials dancing through her head…they called out the first movement. Then the second. Then the third. There would be hundreds of these commands called out over the next 6 hours, and upon each one, we all moved in unison, activating pressure points and doing Mandible Slides. Well, all moved in unison, except one…
Clipboard in hand, a Global Spa Specialist would arrive at my side: “Jennifer? The occipital slide with a double twist, slam dunk, triple axel, grand slam, activation of pressure point 53 with a cherry on top please?” Every time, I would shake my head slowly, stand there like a dummy, and another tear would slide down my cheek. I just simply didn’t know half of the movements. I had never even seen them before in my life. I gave it my best shot, but at the end of the 2-days it was clear:
I had failed over half of what I was tested on. Over half of what I was expected to know.
My sleepy model looked at me when it was done and said, “Wow, that was amazing…” Oh really? I thought. Your snoring and occasional SNORTING made me wonder if you were even aware of what was going on. Lucky for me, falling asleep during a facial is the best compliment an esthetician can receive. And lucky for her, she slept through the Herbal Clay Masque mixed with my Snot and Tears that I applied to her face. Now that I think about it, her skin did look pretty great…
There is FEAR that is felt when you FAIL after having given it your all. When you pour your heart and soul into something. When there are hopes, dreams, risks, blood, sweat, tears, snot and a dab of Herbal Clay Masque. I don’t like to fail when I’m trying to succeed. I took Philosophy 4x in college, and failing never seemed to bother me then. But the “not trying” thing really helped take the edge off.
I have been researching F$@& lately…and it’s been giving me a lot to think about. And when I say “researching fear,” I mean I Google YouTube videos. Super intellectual, I know. Bear with me. Through my “research,” I stumbled across an interview with Danica Patrick, an IndyCar Driver. I fell in love with her philosophy on fear while she races:
“You’re driving your car and feel frightened a little bit. Then, we bump up against that feeling as much as we can, to try and push that limit further and get comfortable there…and then push it again. So you’re constantly on the brink of crashing ‘cause…that’s the fastest.”
In all reality, I didn’t shed a single tear because I didn’t pass. In fact, in the end I told the judge (while sniffing snotscicles back up my nose), “I didn’t come here to pass, I came here to learn what I need to know to become the best.”
So why was I such a drippy mess all over this poor woman’s face? I guess I was letting myself feel. This is a new(er) thing for me. It’s much easier for me to say No Big Deal, or I’m Just Fine, or Put Your Big Girl Panties On…it’s a new(er) challenge to FEEL (there’s another F&#$ word!) the pain that comes with not making the cut.
Lately I ask myself: What are my biggest fears? What sort of things do I avoid doing, so that I don’t have to feel pain, rejection, fear or failure? In all of my deep, intellectual YouTube research, I have discovered that this is how we break through…how we surpass even our own wildest dreams.
In this incredibly scholarly YouTube research, I’ve come to desire the pain that comes with looking inside and discovering what I may fear. What holds me back. Then DO IT – and cry the whole time because it hurts and it’s not fun and I probably fail. But the truth is that when I fail, I still wake up the next morning. I still have a job…shockingly. And even more shockingly, those on the Global level were actually impressed that someone as inadequate, ill-prepared, unknowledgeable, and with such a ginormous ZIT on her face, would have the guts to even show up…
Lookout, January 2o12. Because I just wrapped up my greatest success yet – failing like I’ve never failed before. And guess what?