Since opening up to her industry peers, Bethan Brennan realised she wasn’t the only barber battling imposter syndrome. Here, she tells us more…
“Imposter syndrome can immobilise even the strongest and most talented of us; after talking to many barbers at industry events, I realised I’m not alone in having the nasty little voice in my head. And the most eye-opening part of it all – this affects you no matter how long you’ve been cutting or how big you are in the industry.
“You might find yourself setting ridiculous, unachievable goals, which only leave you angry and disappointed in yourself. We need to remember that we are only human, and we all experience these thoughts and feelings at times. Self-doubt is holding many individuals hostage and preventing them, and the industry as a whole, from progressing, growing and doing amazing things. What if Vidal Sassoon never experimented with different hair cutting styles and techniques? Or if Tom Chapman gave up on his incredible work with The Lions Barber Collective?
“Talking about how you’re feeling to your loved ones, colleagues and peers is extremely important. Not only for your own mental health but also to encourage others to open up. Besides this, Headspace is a fantastic tool which uses science-backed meditation and mindfulness tools, while hubofhope.co.uk finds local services and support for individuals.
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“One of the best things we can do is support our industry peers – when we hear a person bad mouth another colleague or professional, our mind opens up to the possibility that we too are criticised and spoken badly about by others. We are all guilty of putting ourselves on insanely high pedestals and having unrealistic expectations of our work. Real perfection is finding pride in the work you create daily when no one is looking and being proud that the cut you did for your client is better than the cut you did for them four weeks ago.
“We should celebrate our successes, without downplaying them or passing the credit over to someone else. Own your accomplishments and be proud of yourself and your hard work. Congratulate others, admire their work, and be inspired by them without letting it influence how you feel about your own.”