Women In Business, Welcome to Your Imperfect Life.
Ok all you women in business out there!…….Relax, it’s going to be all right. Not perfect is not a bad thing. In fact, imperfections are a good thing. They can cause growth and laughter. They can make you a more authentic person. They can be things of beauty. They can empower and grow self-confidence. Business coaching will boost your confidence, create an environment for you to be the successful woman leader you have wanted to be, and improve your professional career.
Not too shabby for something that most people try to cover up, ignore and avoid.
Didn’t get that client you really wanted to work with? Flawsome. Something better is coming along.
So, you beautiful women in business…..don’t really understand the numbers that make your business tick but too embarrassed to ask for help?
Flawsome. You’ve been successful up to this point without really mastering the numbers, imagine what’s possible if you really got it.
Didn’t hit your goal of losing 25 pounds but lost 22 instead? Flawsome. Steady progress wins the race and is still successful.
Believe me, I know all about being a less than perfect female leader, but it’s taken a long time to recognize flawsome. I used to be totally focused on making sure everything was done right, all the time. I succumbed to the expectations of my husband (now my ex) had for a perfectly clean house all the time, dinner on the table when he arrived home, kids happy and always well-mannered, and of course, to be ten pounds below my ideal weight. Because that’s just what a good wife does, right?
That same attitude carried over to my businesses. I’ve been a women entrepreneur and business owner for (geez!) 30 years and I have sure made my share of mistakes. Compulsively checking and re-checking the marketing pieces. Not stepping out and meeting people because public speaking gave me a migraine (I have overcome this one, thank goodness!) Being afraid to ask for the sale because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Being over-confident in sales projections and making a large buying decision based on faulty numbers.
How could any of these possibly be flawsome? Because it shaped me into who I am today. Taught me to fight for my self-esteem, confidence, and intelligence. To stand up and speak up for what is right and true. To respect myself enough to insist on respect. As a women leader, to ask for the sale and to absolutely know the numbers in my business that drive success.
It seems to me that failing, and failing big, is actually the new success model. You can’t really work out the kinks in anything without a spectacular fail or two along the way.
I used to think that if I just had happy thoughts everything would be okay. There’s no doubt about it, positivity is always a plus in any woman’s life. We could all use a boost of positivity and confidence in ourselves and in our abilities.
But what happens when the tide of negativity overwhelms our consciousness and deflates the positive progress we have make? It’s then that the female power of habit kicks in. The muscle we develop in this situation helps establish a strong, creative, confident, and courageous temperament.
When you believe that a mistake is evidence that you’re weak, worthless and not trying hard enough it’s actually evidence of how you really feel about yourself. You feel that you’re weak. You feel that you’re worthless. Eventually, you feel that nothing you do will succeed. You lose confidence in yourself and in your abilities. Something that doesn’t exist actually has the ability to make you fail at life.
The way around these problems is simple. You need to begin embracing your imperfections and see them for what they really are – flawsome opportunities for growth and self-knowledge. For women leaders, recognizing flawsome and moving forward anyway is essential. Without it, everything in business and life comes to a screeching halt. Personally, I think that the way we define beauty influences our idea of perfection.
The Chaos and Beauty of Feminine Power
There are two ways of approaching a definition of beauty. In the West, we have tended to define beauty in terms of the absolute. We associate beauty with perfection. Think about Keats’s poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn” which contains the line that “beauty is truth, truth beauty – that is all you know on earth and all you need to know.” That line encapsulates our ideas about what beauty really is. For many, beauty is an ideal. This means that, like all ideals, beauty exists on a higher plane of reality than the rest of us. It is different than us. It is apart from us. It is not us. In short, in the minds of many, beauty is synonymous with perfection.
Yet, we live in an extremely imperfect world. In nature, things are rarely symmetrical. There are few straight lines and right angles. Nature is far more concerned with function than with form. So much so, that form follows function, almost as an afterthought.
This is where the Japanese philosophy of Wabi Sabi comes into play. Wabi Sabi is a way of defining beauty that comes from the traditions of Zen Buddhism. It tells us that beauty occurs naturally and that the inherent flaws and defects in everything are essential elements of anything that is beautiful. In fact, without those flaws and defects there would be no beauty. In short, the Wabi Sabi philosophy embraces imperfection and elevates that imperfection to the defining characteristic of anything beautiful.
In Zen Buddhism, words prevent enlightenment. Therefore, defining the meaning of the words “Wabi Sabi” actually goes against the grain of the Wabi Sabi philosophy. However, such a definition is essential to understanding what Wabi Sabi is and is not. The word Wabi translates as simplicity and Sabi translates as the beauty associated with wear and tear. The definition demonstrates that in Wabi Sabi beauty is never contrived and always natural. Beauty is inextricably bound to the chaos of the world.
The best example of Wabi Sabi is perhaps found in the Japanese tea ceremony. The beauty of the tea ceremony is not only defined by its simple and pure movements, it is also defined by the objects used in the ceremony, particularly the bowls used to drink the tea that has been brewed. These bowls are handmade glazed pottery. Therefore, they are irregularly shaped. The glaze is cracked and uneven. They are used and revered precisely because of these flaws and not in spite of them. It is the imperfections that make them unique and, therefore, beautiful.
Wabi Sabi is the antithesis of our Western definition of beauty. Wabi Sabi is found in laugh lines and in crow’s feet. It is found in the worn fabric of a favorite pair of jeans. It found in a field stone wall and in the crust of a homemade loaf of bread. Think about what a child prizes most when taken on a walk. It is a chance feather blowing across the path. It is a distinctive leaf or piece of wood. It is a stone or pebble with a quality all its own. This is the essence of Wabi Sabi.
Wabi Sabi is not found in plastic surgery, city skylines or the lines of a sports car. Instead, it can only be found in what is natural, in what is humble and in what results from the work that occurs in day to day living. There is no goal in Wabi Sabi. There is no drive for self-improvement. There is no ego. In Wabi Sabi, beauty is everywhere, hiding in plain sight. Perfection is an illusion and a lie. In the mess and mistakes of the everyday, a miracle lays waiting to be discovered.
Women entrepreneurs and women in business in general, have so many things coming at us all the time –it’s time to drop the expectation of perfection and embrace the grace and flow around us.
Learn to embrace and accept your flaws, see the cracks and lines as beauty. Having a business mentor, coach, and confidence coach will allow you to live the successful and empowering life of your dreams. Uncover your inner female power and see how business coaching can influence your life.
Dawn Todd is the founder of Wildly Successful Women, a business networking Meetup Group of 6,000+ women owned businesses and women entrepreneurs, and the Go-To Authority on Manifesting Money, Prosperity and Business Success.
With over twenty-five years as an energy medicine teacher and practitioner and ten years as an author, speaker and Executive & Business Coach and Consultant, Dawn brings a deep understanding of sacred feminine energy, prosperity consciousness and intention alongside grounded business practices.
Dawn’s stellar list of partners have included Microsoft, American Express, Napoleon Hill Foundation, Daniels College of Business, COUNTRY Insurance, Rockies Venture Club, Angel Capital Summit, eWomenNetwork, WomanScope News and Constant Contact and has recently been invited to be an expert contributor for The Huffington Post.