10 years ago today...

Today is my 10 year esthetician anniversary. Time certainly flies by and I couldn't be more grateful. Following the less popular path at 18 years old was really difficult but I remember having the strength to quiet the mean voices in my head that this wasn't going to work out. I learned to follow my gut in that very moment. Choosing this path has changed me in many ways. With each success and mistake, I would do it all over again for the magnificent lessons and people it has introduced me too. This includes all of you. Believe it or not I learn from all of you each time we meet. Whether it is a piece health information that you learned about or just a fact of life, I have spent the last 10 years developing the best education because of that. Here are some of the best lessons I have learned from my time as a skin coach:

#1 - Everything always works out especially if you create your own outcome.  

Sounds pretty obvious right? Wrong. A lot of my clients confide in me some very personal information and through that I am able to apply a lot of it towards my own life. I remember when I was 19 years old I had a client who told me that she had recently ended a 10 year relationship and I asked her how she was coping with it. At that time I was in a 3 year relationship with my boyfriend who was going to school out of state and I was in so much pain from the long distance. I loved this person but I knew I didn’t love our relationship anymore. Without her realizing that sharing her personal experience with me, she gave me the strength to end things with someone I thought I could never be without. The good news is that to this day we are friends. Though the outcome wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be, it did work out. I created my outcome by listening to what was resonating with me. Some advice that I still carry with me to this day and I’m sure lots of you have heard from me as well.

#2 - In terms of success there is no competition, there is enough for everyone. 

This hits me pretty hard particularly as a young woman who grew up in an industry of competitors. In spas I always reached for the highest retention rate, retail goals and strived to be number 1. Let’s be honest, I’m not the esthetician for everyone. Personalities have to click and my outlook on skin is different from others. We are all individuals that provide an important service, just because one person likes me that doesn’t mean someone else’s treatment was not good. Being different is a great opportunity to be authentic to yourself. Once I realized that being number one doesn’t really matter (my paychecks were always the same regardless of how much more I pushed products on people or upgraded their services) I concluded that there is always enough to go across the board. I love helping other estheticians and also asking for help when I need a second opinion. The more you realize we are all in this together the more everyone can achieve their goals. There will always be enough clientele, money and experience for everyone, so letting go of the competition helped me enjoy the process that much more. It’s also really beautiful to see people doing what they love.

#3 - Your thoughts become things. 

I used to use self deprecation as a form of humor when I was trying to feel comfortable in a social environment. I think a lot of insecure people do this without realizing that those jokes can become fact, and a whole lot less funny. As soon as I let go of talking negatively about myself and others and started talking about people (myself included) with love, a serious shift happened. I started to wake up less anxious, I felt comfortable talking about myself in a way that wasn’t demeaning and I started to open up to new opportunities. My thoughts shifted to the positive end of the spectrum and all of a sudden my life became abundant with beauty, love and light. Even if we say one bad thing about ourselves, such as “my skin sucks” or “I’m so fat” those things will eventually make enough connections in your mind that they will be true. If you believe you are beautiful than your skin will always radiate.

#4 - There is beauty in EVERYONE! 

Old camera phone photo of Hayley working in Austin, Texas at milk + honey spa back in 2010.

Old camera phone photo of Hayley working in Austin, Texas at milk + honey spa back in 2010.

I’ve done tens of thousands of facials. Seriously. I can’t even do the math but as a workaholic I would see an absurd amount of clients in a week in the first 7 years of my career. Each person I have been able to pick out something beautiful about their skin. There has never EVER been one person that I didn’t think deserved the love and care that I was giving them. Whether you see it in yourself right now or not, you are exceptional. No one is you but you and that is so overwhelmingly beautiful. Find the parts of yourself that you may not think fall into a conventional beauty category and focus all your love on those features. I grew up hating my hips, my butt, my legs, my stomach, my skin etc. etc. the list goes on. One day I had a good friend (who is a former model) tell me that all of her model friends would kill for my body. I couldn’t believe it here I was thinking I had to be taller, thinner, flatter and the women with these bodies want what I have???? It all made sense, we want what we don’t have but what we have is a gift. I accept compliments now and genuinely throw compliments around to everyone I can. We need to be told how special we are, it’s part of our nature to feel like we can’t except these compliments but the next time you want to deflect it just take a breath and say thank you. You will feel amazing, I promise!

#5 - No one knows what is best for you other than you: Let your gut be your guide. 

Having always been the youngest one in a group of estheticians I felt like I always had many older and wiser “mother” and “sister” types to go to for advice. So when it came down to making really hard choices I felt like I needed approval to make a decision. The best advice I would always get is What does your gut tell you?. Receiving a question when asking a question can be infuriating but it’s a simple shift of thought that can give you the clearest answer. We all know what to do especially in tough times but the only person who knows what is best for you is yourself. Trust that you love yourself enough to know you will never be wrong when you follow your intuition. Even if it leads to a failure or a back step…those are all just lessons that you need in those moments to grow. 

Thank you so much everyone who has supported me. I can’t say it enough but my gratitude for all of you is overflowing. It is a privilege to know you and have you share your stories with me. I honor that and can’t wait to continue learning. Here's to the next 10! 

Hayley WoodComment