One of the most powerful exercises towards practicing self love and making peace with our bodies is to take self-portraits. While not one of my more popular exercises initially in my women's groups, it remains one that makes the most powerful impact. Learning to trust yourself enough to take a picture of you, creates a bond and an awareness of just who you are and how you feel about yourself. The real fun comes in the sharing of the photos. It is not an exercise in creating vanity, it is an exercise in self love.
I remember being 16 and just looking at a picture of myself would send me into tears. Body issues tearing at me and yet knowing that inside of me I was glorious but trapped inside of this strange depression.
As a business owner whose face is her brand, I feel joy looking at my smile and my wrinkles around the eyes because that joy is what I want to deliver. My love for me matches the intensity of love I have for my work. (More on that another time.)
When growing a business the most beautiful way to start creating connection is through your face. If you aren't used to sharing and getting pictures taken of you, starting a business online will be the dive into that out-of-comfort zone.
From your website to Facebook to Twitter, and don't forget your Gravatar (please, please don't forget this) you have some face time. On twitter you can learn so much about a person from their picture. That tiny box can hold so much weight and instantly gives a first impression of you. Choose it wisely and change it from time to time.
Ever go to a person's Facebook page and instead of the person's face you see a logo? How connected do you feel to that logo? Do you want to go out to tea with it? Learn from it?
A logo can be the right fit as the face of the business. A product may use a logo or a picture of that product to brand itself. The Mogul Mom is a great example of a logo working the right way as Heather has many contributing writers for her site. If you want to meet her, simply go to her about page and see her beautiful face.
When you are in the business of building a tribe and community around a brand that is you, your face is the first place of connection. Your eyes, your smile, your softness or your edge. You and your style shine through each picture you place of yourself. A logo is no substitute. No one wants to talk to a logo about changing their life.
The first thing I want to see when I go to your website or your blog is you. I look for you. I go to your about page. If you aren't there I search for you. Often I run into stock photos and various other faces. Sometimes I can't find a picture of you anywhere. How can I say hello to you if I can't find you?
When I see you, I instantly feel a connection, a desire to know a bit more. When that picture says hello to me, invites me in, asks me to stay and learn more or read more I will. I do. Looking at me in the eyes or gazing away both carry different messages and meanings, lovely and different.
Notice how you feel when you are in the tribes where you hang out. What makes you feel connected and a part of that tribe? How do the photos, the faces, create that space and that connection for you?
I'm ready to see your face and you are ready to build your tribe. Show me you, the you that is now and who wants to start connecting.