‘When the stylist asked me what I wanted, I replied ‘Cut it off! Please just cut it off before I lose my nerve.’ Without hesitation, she grabbed the scissors and began to chop.’

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“One week ago, today, I found myself sitting in a salon chair, staring at the reflection of a woman I hardly recognized. Her hair an unkempt mess. Eyes dark and tired. Skin dull and sullen. She looked like she had given up on herself, and in a way, she had.

The duties of motherhood had longed replaced the importance of her self care. A morning face full of makeup, and hair styled to perfection were long gone. Ponytails pulled through a baseball cap had become the morning hair routine. And good makeup was not meant to be wasted, especially when she knew she wouldn’t see anyone important that day. Her job now was to be a daycare provider, a chef, a maid, a chauffeur, a tutor, an accountant. Wearing more hats than she could often keep up with; the busy-ness of it all visible in her inability to find enough time for herself.

I didn’t recognize that girl anymore.

With my 30th birthday looming, I felt the overwhelming urge to make a change. I needed to do something to transform myself inside and out, and as silly as it sounds…I needed a haircut.

When the stylist asked me what I wanted today, something in me clicked, and I replied ‘Cut it off! However, you want to do it is fine with me, but please just cut it off before I lose my nerve.’ And so, without hesitation, she grabbed the scissors and began to chop.

You can laugh all you want at the thought of a haircut being so transformative, but let me ask you this…how often do you sit in that salon chair and ask for your blonde hair to be colored fiery red? For your long, flowing locks to be cut into a pixie? For bangs?

If you’re like every woman I know, the answer is never. Because we fear change.

With a haircut, we fear how it will affect our outwardly appearance. We fear that we will somehow be less attractive if we change what we believe suits us, and that our already fragile self-esteem will plummet.

As the weight of my hair left me, so did the weight of my anxiety. As women, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. We worry too much about the way we are perceived, especially by our significant others.

But what if my husband doesn’t like it?! I don’t know about your husband, but mine has never consulted me before he gets a haircut, so why do we even care about their thoughts on the matter? Because again, we value the opinions of others more than our own.

Even in our day to day life, we fear how others will judge our choices.

We stay in toxic relationships because we don’t want to imagine the possibility of being alone and having to start over. We don’t want the small talk and gossip to tarnish our reputation.

We stay at jobs that make us miserable because we don’t want to take a chance on ourselves and our dreams.

We don’t cut our hair because the thought of changing our appearance or doing something out of the norm is terrifying.

We are too fearful of what others will think of us, and that needs to stop. Our happiness is in our own hands.

Doubt kept me from changing my hair. Doubt keeps me from following my dreams; from putting myself out there to be accepted or rejected. Fear of change keeps me rooted in place. How can you ever know what you’re missing, if you never take the chance? Stop doubting yourself and take the leap. Just like hair grows back, life has a way of working itself out. Be brave enough to make a change.

Cut the toxicity out of your life.

Cut the naysayers.

Cut the doubt.

Cut the negative body image.

Cut anyone and anything that doesn’t bring you complete happiness.

Girl cut your hair. It may just be the best thing you ever do for yourself.”

Jade North

This story was submitted to Love What Matters byof Four Norths in the South. The article originally appeared here. Follow Jade on Instagram here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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