Everyday Living

How a trip to the nail bar reminded me of 3 vital life lessons

(Previously published on 5 August, 2015)

So only a few weeks ago I made an unplanned trip to the nail saloon when I needed to pass some time while waiting for someone. To be honest, my nails did need some pampering. The nail stylist cleaned, filed and did all the necessary. But then, I needed to decide on the colour of nail polish to be used.


Now if you’ve been to a nail bar (like I’m sure many of us ladies have), you’ll know that one could be spoilt for choice with the wide variety of colours and shades that are available. Being my conservative self, I started picking out the darker colours and shades so the stylist could sample them on me to help me decide. I picked the dark blue and purple like colours, as well as some others with names I can’t remember—and then, the stylist brings me orange. ORANGE?? I screamed… “No way!” I said to her. “I don’t like shouty colours and that orange doesn’t look nice”. I had just about condemned the orange without even trying it—at face value, based on what it looked like from the bottle. But then she persisted I sample it and soon… I indulged.


Honestly, the results surprised me. It was beautiful, and so I swallowed my initial comments. I also went home with hands and feet all orange and proud. However, the instance reminded of three key things… like a light bulb went on:


  • The comfort zone is deceptive:It can trick you into believing that “you have arrived”, that you are doing good, and that there’s not much need for you to try more things or push yourself. I was fine with the so called “non-shouty” colours, but who said something else would also not be nice? Truth is if she had not brought the orange nail polish, I’ll most likely never have picked it up myself. Thankfully, she did. It’s for this same reason that many local champions remain local champions. Self-doubt and fear of failing also keep us in the comfort zone. I know the feeling. But sometimes it takes being tried, being pushed or being exposed, to find out that there’s so much more we can achieve, and so much more we can be… if only we step out


  • If you are not “willing”, things won’t happen:Yep! There’s that element of ‘your will’, and this is something I have been telling myself. I realised that if I was not willing to sample the orange nail polish albeit reluctantly, then I’ll never have created the room to realise it’s true potential. Sometimes we just need to find the will. Many great adventures happen when we put in the willto try.


  • Face value is often not true value:Is there anyone that doesn’t like beautiful things? Not at all! We all like good things—me included. But what is on the outside is not always a true reflection of what is on the inside. The orange nail polish did not initially appeal to me from the bottle. Be careful to not judge at face value­—not people or things. The beauty withincould amaze you. Same applies to all facets of life. A beautiful lady doesn’t always reflect a beautiful heart, as does a handsome man not necessarily carry a handsome heart.


I guess what I’m saying­ is— in life—we learn everyday. We never know what could happen, if only we put away our bias and pre-conceived ideas.

So what’s your verdict on my orange nails(Sorry about the pic quality, but its the best my iPhone gave at the time)? Well… I like 🙂


**I won’t let “me”hold me back mindset**

Have you felt like your comfort zone is limiting you? Why not share in the comments box below…



© Dr Vivian O. Ikem, 2015


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Vivian (Dr Viv) is as vivacious and full of life as her name ‘Vivian’ suggests. She is a Certified Coach, People Builder, Consultant, Speaker and Trainer with a passion for helping ambitious Leaders and individuals build resilience, rediscover their value and potential and thrive in work and life. She is also a Chemical Engineer by background (with a PhD), multiple award winning researcher, ex-management consultant with a top UK based Consulting firm and Founder, The Reset Squad. Inspired by her journey as a high achieving professional and recovering perfectionist who overcame major trauma, depression and sudden change, Vivian taps into her invaluable lessons learnt, to empower and help people reset, rediscover and grow through their experiences. She is the author of Shadows in the Mirror - The Many Faces of Depression and contributing author in Unzenable – A Guide to Stress Less and Be More. To know more, please check out the 'About Vivian' page. Vivian is also available to speak on or discuss issues you may wish to take further personally, or at events. Please use the 'Contact' page to get in touch. Thank you.

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