Have you ever pulled out and looked at some old photos of yourself as a child?
I recently had to do just that for my interview with Patricia Muir. She asked me what advice I would give to my younger self and what the photo says about me.
Now I picked an old photo of myself as a four-year-old. – complete with my kilt, hair pinned back looking like the robust Scottish lassie that I was. What the photo maybe doesn’t share is that just prior to it being taken, I’d fallen and badly bruised my legs. However, there I am smiling for the camera.
And my message from this is that when you fall down, you dust yourself off and get on with it. Something I still try to do to this day. Sure I can get pulled down when a plan doesn’t work out, or someone disappoints me, but you know what, in the scheme of things, it’s not life threatening, and as a cancer survivor, I have been there too.
The trick is to learn. Learn from the mistake. Reflect on why it happened, learn and move on.
My other thought on looking at the photo was I want to retain and remember my Scottish ancestry. Scots tend to be pretty down-to-earth, relying heavily on our common sense (and sense of humour) and not given to airs and graces. In other words, what you see, is what you get.
When I was applying for the managing editor position at Today’s Parent, I actually used that photo on the cover of my resume. You see I created a mock magazine as my resume, using the titles of their regular columns to tell more about myself. So their Letter to the Editor became my letter of application.; the Ages and Stages column (normally on child development) became about my career development and so on.
I got the job. How it turned out is a whole other story, but that photo has been around and has become an integral part of who I was and who I am today.
I remember a few years ago having a wonderful photo taken for Sheridan College. It was an environment photo shoot in that I had to pretend I was facilitating a group of young women. It had been fun and I’d enjoyed my conversations with the young women in the “audience.” When the photo came back, I was just glowing in it and I realized I needed to get that sparkle back. I needed to go back to group work.
Look out some old photos. What do you see when you look yourself in the eye? Are you doing what you are meant to be doing or have you lost some of the sparkle, that glow? They say that a photo says a thousand words. Maybe it’s time to check what your photo says about you and what you are doing now.
Company of Women
I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.