Remember: Failure is Valuable

I saw this quote today and it resonated with me. I definitely can use this sentiment right now. There are times in everyone’s life when you get down on yourself or your performance. In my case, it happens when I’m working behind the chair, when a hair color doesn’t turn out the way I envisioned.

I’m mostly referring to those hair color jobs that are not your average root touch up or balayage highlighting service; I’m talking about color corrections. Those previously colored heads of hair that require multiple services, multiple technique combinations, lengthy hours and thoughtful execution to transform them from undesirable into amazing.

The task is like trying to figure out a puzzle in which there are several right answers and its up to me to predict the best ones. I really love the challenge and the thought that is involved in theses processes, although they are exhausting to perform. When I feel I’ve nailed the outcome, it can be extremely uplifting. However, on those, thankfully, rare occasions I do not feel happy with my work, it can actually be devastating.

I had one of those experiences recently. She was a new client who wanted a complete color change, had damaged hair and had very high hopes for her appointment with me. We had to do three different processes, a treatment and a haircut that took a total of 6hrs and cost about $350. At the end of her appointment, my client said she was happy and thanked me for my time, but I couldn’t help feel like we weren’t finished. If I could just do a little more, if I had some more time or maybe if I had done a step differently, I would feel like the job was compete.

When something doesn’t turn out perfectly, we all tend to feel our failures. And man, did I feel it. I went home at the end of the day and thought about my work. I went over everything I did to her hair, replaying the whole 6 hour appointment in my head. I laid in bed that night continuing to think about it. I pin-pointed a step that I decided I could have done differently, and envisioned myself executing it, over and over. I couldn’t fall asleep for hours, but once I did, I began to dream about painting hair color on her roots and combing it through, then foiling her ends with bleach & 20V. I woke up tired, pissed off and disappointed. I felt bad for my client whom had had so much confidence in me and now I didn't have confidence in myself. Am I a terrible stylist? Does she think I’m a terrible stylist? Should I just quit my job and lay in bed everyday thinking about what a terrible stylist I am?

And just now I came across this quote. It reminded me that yes, there will be times when I feel like I’ve failed. There will be times I feel like I could’ve done better and I need to work on my skills. And that’s a good thing! The feeling that I need to become better pushes me toward taking more classes, getting more education and expanding my skill set. It pushes me to learn. So I guess, ultimately, no matter how down we all may get when we feel our short comings, it’s important to keep in mind that a it’s those short comings that project us to our future successes.

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