In my 20 plus years as a professional motivational speaker, I've had plenty of people tell me I look like someone. I've had Paula Poundstone, Helen Hunt, and lots of people's favorite aunt. I haven't heard any celebrity look alikes though for a long while, in fact I haven't heard anyone say I look like anyone for a long time.
Until last night.
I arrived after a late afternoon flight in time to check into my hotel, drop my bags off and join my client for a company reception and dinner. I had never met the people at my table before, and I introduced myself as the guest speaker for the next day. I noticed three of the guys across from me no longer contributing to the conversation about their company but they were whispering and looking at their phone and smiling. I could tell they were talking about me, but I wasn't sure. I immediately felt like I was in jr. high again where people were snickering at me or calling me 'Moose' behind my back.
When I asked what they were up to, they said it.
"You look like Angie Dickinson".
My immediate thought was, wow. I feel old. I should have worn make-up. My self-esteem immediately plummeted, and I wanted to excuse myself and go to my room and prepare for my 'motivational' speech! Then, to make it worse, the other people at the table, had never heard of her. I said, 'That's because she's 83!'
Then, the guys came over to me and showed me the picture of Angie Dickinson that they said I looked like. We all had a great laugh about it.
Then, I realized that I actually do look a little like her. But, that's not the point of my post. Aging, beauty, how do you define 'prime of life' isn't even the point of me writing this. My lesson here was how my immediate reaction was one of "Oh my, these guys think I'm 83 years old!" As irrational as that sounds, that's where my mind went. I thought, well, I guess those days of Helen Hunt are gone! Bring on the negative self-talk, the pity-party and all the accoutrements that accompany such a party. (Peanut butter M & M's come to mind).
But what they were really saying to me was I look like the younger, more vibrant version of her. What a compliment!
My goal is to feel good about myself, my strength, my ambition, even my hotness when I let that flag fly and not to immediately interpret someone's view of me as negative. I know when I feel good, I am stronger around these kinds of situations. Last night, I was just in that negative space. Thankfully, I got out of it quickly and was able to have a laugh about it the next day. In fact in my final slide where I have my picture and my contact information, I switched my photo out for Angie's.
Which Angie would you be today? The picture doesn't matter, it's what you attach to the picture of yourself.
From your learning to take compliments better motivational speaker, Marilyn Sherman