Have you ever been afraid to rely on yourself? Did you ever think that you’d be better off putting your project in the hands of a professional, even though you could theoretically attempt it yourself?
Embracing self-reliance can be tricky. Whether it’s about work, a DIY project or setting up a website, it’s easy to feel like a professional would do a much better job than you.
And while there definitely are some extremely talented people out there, I’ve started noticing more and more that we as passionate amateurs are sometimes better off when we rely on ourselves.
What inspired me to write this post was actually not work-related at all. It was a salon visit. Or, as I like to call it, paying 89€ for a 2-hour torture session followed by a lot of
You’re the only one who knows exactly what you want
It doesn’t matter whether you’re about to set up your website, alter your clothes or, yes, do your hair. You’re the only person who knows exactly how you want it to turn out! Even with a detailed description, another person will probably not have the exact same image in their mind. Even if you show them an exact image on Pinterest.
I’m sure that a talented professional will be able to listen carefully, use their own experience and give you great results, maybe even better than you expected. But most people fail at the listening part.
I am so used to doing my own hair that I hadn’t been to a hair-dresser in over 10 years. Yet when it came to dyeing it lighter, I was too scared to mess it up. So, I booked an appointment at a nearby salon that had good reviews.
When I walked into the salon, I was pretty clear on what I wanted. A natural-looking balayage, mostly on the ends of my hair. And most importantly: no blond in my brown hair!
Can you guess how I walked out of there? Right, I had giant yellowy blond stripes on the top of my head, while my ends were darker than before! Talk about regret and a waste of money.
The bottom line is, people don’t tend to listen. And that is the first reason why you might be better off embracing self-reliance. Even if you lack experience, at least you’ll be going in the right direction.
If you did your research, you probably know more than the professional
Of course, research can only get you so far. I wouldn’t trust an amateur with a heart transplant, even if he’s read every book there is about that. But oftentimes, you can acquire more knowledge about your specific topic than a professional with a broader experience actually has.
If I take my IBS, for example, I definitely believe that I know more about it than my doctor. First of all, he clearly doesn’t take the condition seriously. (Please imagine living with it before saying that it’s “just IBS”.) And second, he never gave me any advice on how to cope with it, while the internet is full of fellow sufferers who share so many valuable tips.
Now I’m not trying to say that I would be a better doctor or anything like that. But when it comes to IBS specifically, I’m able to treat myself better than my doctor ever could.
The same goes for my hair. I know how to brush it so it doesn’t break, or that it’s not a good idea to rub it with a towel. Or put gel in it (seriously, why?!). The hairdresser clearly never heard of any of that – and after tearing out half of my hair in the process, proceeded to say that my hair was falling out. Like, thanks, that’s what I needed to hear to make my day better!
So, here’s another reason to opt for self-reliance.
You have the power to be kind to yourself
When I booked my hair appointment, I was well aware that I might not love the outcome. (Although I never in my wildest dreams imagined the atrocity that they created!)
But I thought that even in that case, I’d at least spend 2 relaxing hours. Well, I didn’t. The whole process was more painful than getting my legs waxed because the hairdresser kept pulling on my hair so hard. In addition to that, he left me sitting for an hour with my hair in front of my face while the dye developed. Aren’t they supposed to roll it up in tinfoil or something?
Had I done this at home, it might not have turned out great either. But at least I would have been in control of brushing my hair, applying the dye, and being able to see while I waited. I could have had a (much cheaper) pamper session had I relied on myself, instead of the salon nightmare I actually went through.
Just because it’s someone’s job, it doesn’t mean that they’re better than you
Without being an IBS professional (whatever that might be), I know a ton about the illness because I suffer from it myself.
Even though I never learnt anything IT-related at all, I’ve pretty good self-taught Excel skills and a lot of people seek my help with it.
And when it comes to my hair, I’ve cut and dyed it myself many times. And never ever have I been so disappointed as when I came home from a salon.
The truth is, only because someone has a certain job, it doesn’t mean that they’re better at it than you are. At least not at the small part of the job that interests you.
Even the worst doctor has more medical knowledge than me, but I’ll still be better at treating my own IBS. A hairdresser might be much better at doing someone else’s hair, but I’ll be better at doing mine. And while an IT specialist will be able to do things I can’t even dream of, I might actually be better at doing the exact development I want by doing research online.
Self-reliance often yields better results because you’re actually concerned with the outcome.
Of course, this doesn’t apply to professionals who actually listen to and care about you. And if you find one of those, you better keep their contact written down somewhere.
And now to the most important question about self-reliance…
… how do I fix a butchered balayage without ruining my hair even more? :’-)
Seriously though: don’t let your fear of being an amateur keep you from relying on yourself, especially if you don’t know any professional who you can trust.
And even if things don’t turn out exactly how you wanted: at least you will have learnt something new!
Do you agree with what I say about self-reliance, or do you think that I’m drawing too much on the bad experiences I’ve had in the past? I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments below! And if you like the post, please be so kind as to share it on social media. 🙂