While reflecting on coaching this week, I was reminded of some data that I heard about 20 years ago. It stated that some girls were confident and able to express their beauty, but unable to act or articulate the opportunities made possible by their beauty. I have found that it’s the same for many of the descriptors including intelligence, poise, grace, presence, charisma, diction, and more. The challenge is that some girls, and boys, have not had the training to translate qualities into constructs of character. That leaves opportunities to complement as simple compliments leading no where. Invitations to build a team become wasteful vanity.
Inspired by these thoughts, I created an infographic that I will share here. It has multiple layers of depth from my point of view.
The depth and conversation starter goes far beyond the construct of Real Men versus Lame Dudes.
- The silhouette of the woman has a confident stance and is seen differently, approached differently by the Real Man versus the Lame Dude.
- The characteristics of the woman don’t change, but the view of the Real Man is character while the Lame Dude sides sees only what is visible.
- The Real Man side invites a conversation and partnership while the Lame Dude side outlines selfishness and separateness.
- All the words in white are acceptable to say in mixed company, but the Real Man words in white are more substantive without attempting to be so.
- Notice that many women have adopted the Lame Dude phrases as badges of courage for themselves. For example, being paid and making your own money is acceptable, but it’s says nothing about character.
I hope that many are inspired by this infographic. I hope that women begin to see how they feed into a narrative through their own self-talk. It is not enough to see that you have more, that you are more, that you are worthy. The power is in recognizing that your resources are a way to cope, to adapt, beyond survival, to thrive. You can stand before kings because of your character packaged in your beauty. Your beauty is welcomed as well, but character will reveal that you don’t have to FIND happiness. You CHOOSE happiness.
Replace the “Lame Dude” and “Real Man” headings with “Vain Self-Talk” and “Sustainable Self-Talk” respectively. My point is that YOU have to realize that everything you are contributes to your success. Update your mindset to be comfortable with beauty as a tool that you can use to your advantage. Even if you have never seen it used for good, understand that it can. People are naturally drawn to attractive people. That’s what attractive means. You don’t have to deny your attractiveness in order to utilize it sustainably. It certainly doesn’t make sense for you to walk into the boardroom smelly, bed head, sweat suit, and tooth decayed because the board members should not be worrying about that. It’s not that you want them to focus on your hygiene and fashion, but your hygiene and fashion provide an attractive package for your progressive and innovative ideas. Get it? Keep it! Use it to your advantage.