It’s the start of the weekend! I get excited when Friday rolls around because I know my next few days will offer me a chance to give in to the softer, more relaxed side of myself. I know everyone thinks running a Matchmaking and Relationship Consulting business is all hearts and flowers, but it’s still a business, and one that requires me to be professional, focused and driven.
All of the women I privately coach have at least this one thing in common: they’re all professionals with busy careers that disallow them the opportunity to be completely themselves in the workplace. It’s unfortunate, but no matter what kind of job you have, it’s almost impossible to be fully and authentically expressed because of the nature of modern work. On the job you’re rewarded for being strong, thinking logically, and for making decisions without emotion. All killers for your personal and love life.
This is why many smart, strong women have a challenging time transitioning from day to night, from boss to “receiver.” It may not be what you want to hear, but finding and keeping love has a requirement built into it: you have to be able to receive just as freely as you give. Think about that. Easier said than done, right?
Getting Closer to Being You, 24/7
I want to offer you some simple strategies for helping you get in touch with your softer side at work, because this will have an impact on your success in your personal life. This doesn’t mean you won’t work just as hard, or that you’ll be any less decisive or effective. It simply means that you’ll choose not to shut out parts of yourself. The idea is to be a more fully integrated you, no matter what the time of day or day of the week.
I have three ideas for you to use to sprinkle a little “you” into your environment. It’s just a start — but these little changes can create major shifts in your mood, and (surprise!) even improve how people see you at work.
1. Bring in the color of nature.
It might sound trite and altogether too easy, but think about your desk at the office or your work space. Is it devoid of color, personality, or a sense of peace and tranquility? This weekend go the nearest farmer’s market and pick out the most colorful bouquet of flowers you can find. Preferably vibrant pink, as we all think of pink as a “girlie” color and the whole reason for this is to bring out the feminine rather than shying away from it.
Remember, having gorgeous flowers on your desk doesn’t make you less powerful, effective or respected. You’ll still be taken seriously for the amazing work you do. The photo at the top of this post is a shot of design icon Carolina Herrera’s office. In fact, here’s a fun look at the desks of a number of powerful and creative people. Notice how many of them have flowers on their desks? Personally, I’ve made it a habit to get fresh flowers for my office every week, and each time I step into my office it creates a mood and lifts my spirits.
2. Take a meditation break.
I’m not talking about being a yoga guru, I’m talking about taking 15 minutes every day where you get up, step out of the office and give yourself time alone to think about who you really are. Are you the boss at work with everyone relying on you? The over worked, underpaid employee that never gets enough credit or praise? Either way, those are roles, they aren’t you. You spend most of your waking hours at work so it makes sense that it starts to become part of your identity, but your job doesn’t have to be all that you are.
Think about who you are beyond work, who you are as a woman. What makes you smile? What brings you joy? What makes you feel sensitive or vulnerable? What could someone do to win your heart? Why are you a great partner for someone? What are your values? Who were you when you were a little girl? All of these questions are going to bring you back to your center, the core part of you that never gets expressed at work.
Dedicate this time every day, not just on your weekends, and you’ll start to see your world change for the better when it comes to love, I promise you.
3. Connect with your co-workers.
Do people at work have a good idea of who you really are? Most likely, not. Like many of us, you probably tend to keep the deeper feelings close to the vest. After all, you don’t want to get too involved or look weak to those around you. Sound familiar? There’s a massive problem with this and it’s hurting your love life.
Here’s why: when you hide yourself during the day, it’s guaranteed to take you longer to reveal and express yourself with new people you meet, dates you have, or even with the man you’re currently seeing. Quite possibly, even your husband.
You are one woman. You are not two people, divided in half: one for work and one for life! It’s not possible and it’s crazy making. Start to connect on a deeper level with those around you. Ask how your boss is, or if you’re the boss, ask your employees and really wait and care about the answer. Share bits of yourself when appropriate. Tell people how you feel in a positive way. When asked about your life or weekend, don’t run for the typical, “I’m okay and fine” answer.
Let people in and you’ll start to see people treating you in a softer and more caring way.
Making a True Power Play
Think you can’t do any of this at the office because you fear it’s going to take away from your work or level of respect? It’s just the opposite. People respect you because of how you lead your life, how well you know and express yourself, and how easy it is to know you. Obviously, this goes beyond flowers on your desk. The bottom line is: you’re too wonderful to leave half of yourself behind when you go to work. Let’s make a pact to be powerful, successful women who get ahead without giving up on our femininity!
I think we’ll all be a lot happier and even more successful than we ever dreamed.