Don't judge a book by its cover....
"Don't judge a book by its cover" - How many times did you hear that quote? How many times did you give someone this advice? How many times did you tell it to yourself? Yes, I did all of these above, and I am still finding myself judging people by their appearance.... you probably do too. This is horrible habit most of us have and because we have it we missing out so much.
One year ago I had one day event at my studio. All day I was doing headshots for business leaders, entrepreneurs and boss babes. I had great response when I announced Marta Chodur Photography Headshot Event. So many talented humans and individuals signed up! I was so excited to meet them all and hear their stories! Guess what ? One of them was Marci Hopkins. She is the creator and host of amazing show "Wake up with Marci" ( which airs on WLNY, WLNY-TV, channel 55 at 6 am on Saturday) as well as motivational speaker.
When she responded to my headshot event I thought I will loose my mind - from happiness of course :). I was jumping, dancing and jumping and dancing (that was my initial reactions) ....but then.... when emotions cooled down and my endorphin level returned to normal - I said to myself - OHHH NO !!!! I can't do it! I do not know how to act around TV Personality like Marci Hopkins. Cold sweat was running down my back haha !!! I was too scared to meet her! Just look at her!!!! Nooooo!!!! That what my brain was screaming on top of other thoughts like : she is probably mean and so on and on and on.... and I just simply cannot deal with it! I was running all possible excuses in my head to tell Marci why I am not able to hold photoshoot with her.... I was driving myself crazy! Well at some point I said to myself : Get over yourself!!! Step out of your comfort zone, push yourself, do something which is not always in your safe zone, try new things, meet new people !!!.... ohhhhh for Gooooods sake just do it !!!!!!!!!
The day of session with Marci I tried 5 outfits, burned my hair and had panic attack! 10 mins before she arrived, I wanted to run away from studio haha.... Well I managed not to do that and face my fears!
Marci came on time! Looking so beautiful, polite and sweet! She was so neatly prepared for session as well. It turned out that Marci is one of the sweetest humans I ever met in my life... I told her all about these emotions from past few days, and how scared I was... welll I had to explained her why I am forgetting to breath haha and sweating so much... :):):). I am so glad I did... She understood! She was so sweet and cool about it! She hugged me and we had very moving and inspirational conversation. Marci is so down to Earth amazing woman.
You probably figured out by now that my session with Marci was full success, and not only because we got great images of her (I know I am great photographer) :):) , but I left my studio stronger and inspired that day. I wont judge a book by its cover anymore! I promised that to myself! That day, and the moment when I met Marci I finally understood - but REALLY UNDERSTOOD, that we not giving ourselves chance to meet all these amazing humans, because we judge them by how they look, before we even say hello to them! We loosing so many opportunities to make new friends, new relationships, meet amazing people, because we judge them by their looks or level of intimidation !!! I know, I wont let myself to miss any more opportunities in my life to meet all amazing individuals out there. I wont let my brain judge them before I even say hello to them! You should too! That what I finally understood when I met Marci!
In my specific case, meeting Marci was very eye opening and helped me with my social anxiety, as well as to work on that judgmental part of me, and open my mind. That day when I met this fantastic, amazing, beautiful in and out woman, I changed the way I think about many things. I am definitely more open minded and less judgmental, and I am saying yes to opportunities which I would turned down earlier because of my anxiety. I am not even close to master it yet haha, but I am working on it! I can tell you one thing - since I opened my mind and heart, beautiful things happening to me. I get to meet so many fantastic people and to experience amazing things . Try it yourself ! If you meet your own "Marci" in your life do not get scared, just open your heart and your mind and give yourself and her/him a chance... see what happens...
Few months later I had chance to work with Marci again to photograph her show behind scenes. I was still nervous to see her again and meet more people. I got chance to see how much work, preparation, research and heart it takes to put one show together. I never realized how many people is involved, how much love and passion is in it ...watching Marci's show being created was truly inspirational and addictive :). Her show "Wake up with Marci" is full of emotions, love, inspiring and empowering. Just like Marci herself. She devotes lots of time to give back to her community and she is very passionate about everything she is doing. I got to experience all these amazing moments because I didn't let my anxiety and judgmental part to win! Amazing things waiting for you too ! Just open your soul and your heart. Check Marci Instagram to listen her daily motivation monologs.
It wont happen overnight, it requires work and self discipline, but it feels amazing....
Love you dragonfly lady! Your are beautiful soul and true inspiration !