Maybe others around you are not quite so perfect. But, you are perfect exactly as you are. It’s a message that I’m sharing with various clients who are going through some “stuff” in their lives. When people face challenges and upheaval, and they want to show up on point, the wardrobe becomes strangely pretty important.
I say strangely because it’s not what we typically think of when people challenge our organizational power or personal integrity. And yet, you still must show up in your full power. When you do, you represent that you are perfect exactly as you are. Everyone is flawed. So, I don’t see everyone through rose-colored glasses. But, you don’t have to be without a flaw in order to show up as your very best self.
To protect the clients’ privacy to whom I shared advice and strategy, I will not divulge their sensitive circumstances.
One new client and I were doing a recent review of her wardrobe. I noticed how many of the pieces, and the ways in which she layers them, resemble armor. She said, “Absolutely!” Going to the office is like having a battle against corporate dragons. Fighting the good fight has certainly helped her to reach the leadership level she presently has. So, I felt compelled to call out that her personal style is pivoting. By visually reflecting who she truly is and how she wants to develop, her inner strategy also has to shift.
The strategy is to drop the armor, and to drop it soon. Putting on clothing as armor makes her appear defensive. If she’s on the defensive, then she visually looks weakened. Battling the corporate dragons from a come-from-behind and defensive position makes her efforts harder. This was an eye-opening and paradigm shift in strategic thought for her.
Of course, there’s a particular way for her to show up that I can’t share. And, it honestly doesn’t matter because the strategy is particular to who she is and to her unique circumstances. The point is that she got the message when I said to her: you are perfect exactly as you are. Drop your defenses and let those dragons breathe fire. They’ll never burn you down because you’re so strong and built of fireproof material.
It was a powerful metaphor. She knows that even more success is hers for the taking, just by being exactly who she is. She is a cultural change agent at her company. In the end, the cultural change shifted further with this strategic conversation.
Another person is having some personal upheaval. Throughout our lives, we all have bouts of personal upheaval. Sometimes, it really makes life suck! People tell us we’re not good enough [for them!]. If we hear it enough we begin to internalize that nonsense. I know it all too well. I’ve been down that road many times before. I’m glad to have been down that road all of those times, because I know the scenery. Even more, those experiences have deepened my empathy so that I can support others during their times of need.
This person needed to hear me say to her: you are perfect exactly as you are. When things feel like they are falling apart at the seams, it’s not an easy message to receive. It feels counter to the direction where it seems life is headed.
Here, the mindset strategy was the paramount point of conversation. Then, we talked about how showing up looking strong in her natural softness would serve her well. If she could envelop herself in the clothes that make her feel soft, she would also feel safe and strong.
I look forward to hearing from my clients how these strategies help them to move through their situations. One thing is for sure, even with their flaws, they are perfect exactly as they are. I am proud of them for what they have each accomplished. For both of them, the best is yet to come!