Updated: Oct 1, 2020
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In life’s journey, we must seek to reflect, learn, and grow. Welcome to the Road to Rediscovery, with your host, Aubrey Johnson.
Aubrey Johnson: Hello, everyone, and welcome to another amazing episode of the Road to Rediscovery. I’m your host, Aubrey. The Road to Rediscovery is about reflecting on past life lessons to learn and grow from them and to take it to the next level and help others who are struggling through dark times. We have a very, very special treat for you.
My special guest is a Certified Professional Life Coach specializing in relationships, life, and parenting. She’s an optimistic coach who gives people the tools to realize their own ability for developing a positive mindset. She is above four panel speakers who are featured in a very special Zoom virtual event called What is a Perfect Woman, on Wednesday, August 26th and hosted by Her Nexx Chapter, a women’s empowerment organization that has built a community-driven to stimulate growth and transformation. We’re going to learn more about this amazing event. I’m very excited to have our special guest. Please, help me introduce Nida. Nida, hi. Welcome to the show. How are you doing today?
Nida Jawed: I’m doing great. Thank you for having me.
Aubrey: Oh, it’s our pleasure. We appreciate you being on the show. Okay, Nida, let’s dive into this extraordinary event, What is a Perfect Woman? Can you share, overall, the purpose and the message that is to be conveyed to the attendees?
Nida: Yes. What is a Perfect Woman? is not a question, first of all. It’s a thought. It’s a thought that every woman has in her mind a certain point in her life because each one of us, being a woman, has been judged in some way, have exhausted ourselves trying to meet an expectation at one point or another. At times, in the moments when you feel you are failing, you are thinking, “What is a perfect woman? Because somehow, I’m unable to be that person.”
So the whole concept of this show is based on this thought, What is a Perfect Woman if it isn’t me? The message behind the discussion we want to have is, first of all, discussed as a societal expectation, let’s say when every woman has to match or is expecting herself to match those standards, to be that perfection, whether it is coming from social media or a picture from a magazine. Is she that person?
What we are trying to convey to all the women, and this program will be virtually connected. Women from around the world will be connecting on this platform. The message is, you are perfect in your uniqueness. Each one of us is different. Each one of us is capable of different things. We are unique. We don’t have to be exactly the same and measured on a certain scale to know how we identify or what makes us perfect. Who we are is perfect. We are perfect in our uniqueness, and it is time we all start owning that instead of comparing each other with each other or even what we see on social media or magazines. So that’s what we’re trying to achieve.
Aubrey: That’s wonderful. That is absolutely wonderful because, at some point, there will be a point of realization for the attendees to embrace who they are physically, spiritually, mentally, and not get so caught up in the comparisons and whatever is considered imperfections. Would it be safe to say what is perfect and what are imperfections? Is that driven, unfortunately, by society from a comparison standpoint?
Nida: Yes. Indeed, it is. I believe so because who I am – if someone comes across and judges me based on that, it’s going to make me think, “Am I not perfect?” If I were to share from my own example, I’m a tall girl, and if I have found myself in a group where not everyone was as tall as I am, so being a topic of discussion or being made fun of was something very typical that I was encountering.
When you are different in a group of people, you seem to recognize yourself differently. Obviously, when you are a little girl, or you’re growing up, and you seem like something about you is different in comparison, you are thinking, “Am I not perfect? Is this my shortcoming? But this is something I cannot change about myself.”
So the best way to deal with it is to own it. “I’m tall, and I’m perfect, and that’s exactly who I will be.”
Aubrey: Yeah. Absolutely.
Nida: Absolutely, and that’s a lot of self-acceptance that goes in it because I have no control over another person’s opinion or what they have to share. I have control over my thoughts and how I recognize myself. Another point that this event is making is enabling all of our audience to recognize self first.
Know that you have to accept yourself first. You don’t have to go out and seek validation. If you feel good in what you wear, then you do look good. You don’t have to ask someone, “Can you tell me how good I look? Just feel good and own that because what if you feel that you look amazing in your outfit and then another person turns around and says, “It would have looked better if it was yellow.” Then you have this whole distortion of perception in your mind.
Aubrey: Right. That’s amazing. Every bit of that that you mentioned, Nida, really resonated with me and being a male, as well. I say it because I’m a true believer of mind over matter, and I’m a true believer of the outlook you have on life emanates from within, outward in your behavior, in your attitude, and how you carry yourself, and there’s some sense of aura or a vibe that people perceive when they see you walk down the street, or if you’re meeting a friend for coffee, as you talk, your non-verbal gestures and things like that.
So that leads me to ask you, when it comes to a woman who unfortunately is just really, really consumed by commercialism, what perfect is for a woman, and all the marketing-type things that are touted out there in the world. Let’s say she transforms to one of purpose, one of power, one of embracing and owning who they are, all things about them, their height, the color of their skin, their hair texture, all those types of things. Is there a physical visual difference that you see between those two types of women?
Nida: Like I said before, it’s all about acceptance. The one who was consumed by everything commercial around her, who has started comparing herself to what the society is projecting as perfection. Whether it be self-esteem issue that underlying within her, somewhere in her personal life, someone has made her believe that there is an issue, you are not perfect, you are somehow not accepted because the idea we start holding onto – for this example, this lady who was consumed by commercialism, it’s because she is believing that she needs this in her life.
There is an underlying self-esteem issue. There is somewhere in her current environment or at a certain point in her life, someone who has made her believe this. She never received a validation she was seeking. Maybe in her childhood, her parents may have said something. Many times, when I’m encountering and dealing with women, they tell me that their mom told them she is obese, and she needs to lose weight. Though mom was saying it out of care, the fact that the mother portrayed her this way and called her out or body-shamed her in a way too, that has stuck around this woman goes ahead, she empowers herself.
Let’s turn the same woman into the one that is empowered; that is taking control. She grows up to be a very well-toned woman. She has control over her body and everything else. She is what she assumes to be perfection because being obese was not so much as she was told once. But even in the state of her body, where she feels that this is what is perfect, and yet she is still feeling consumed by commercialism, she never really healed from that perception that I am not perfect.
So many times, I have seen ladies try so hard to be that perfect image, and to the outside world, it looks like she got it; she’s owning it; she’s developing it, but there is always a projection that is saying, “You have room to improve. You have to be better. This is exactly what you need to achieve that. If we talk about commercials, let’s say face creams, they’re talking about acne. They’re targeting those that have imperfections on their face indicating that beauty is important and acne is coming in the way, so you need to use that certain product. We are conditioned to believe that we are imperfect, and we need to achieve perfection.
Aubrey: Oh, wow. That’s a futile pursuit. We’re not going to achieve that perfection. So, someone who is consumed by that, buying every type of product for their skin, for their hair, for their nails, it sounds like they’re continually dissatisfied with their physical condition or appearance.
Nida: Absolutely. It has a lot to do with what is thrown at us in commercials, what we are seeing online. For example, I have a friend, and she’s posting one more beautiful picture than the other. She has all kinds of filters on her, and she’s just perfect. Here I am, looking in the mirror, and I see the wrinkles I have, and I’m seeing I have just developed a new pimple. I’m going through hormone changes, and all this stuff is happening to me. I’m comparing myself to a filter while looking at myself in the mirror.
Imagine the damage I can do to myself doing so. If I was to take a picture and add all those filters on my photo, I’ll be just as perfect, but it doesn’t relate like this. We take a picture, and we look in the mirror to compare and see who we are because we ourself have developed an idea of beauty. We have ourself developed a standard of success, let’s say if we’re talking about career women.
If I’m not reaching this point, but someone else has, there is a fault in me. What am I not doing? And I could be doing everything I’m capable of, but because I am not going in the path and direction she is at, I’m downplaying myself. Do you see where I’m going with that?
Aubrey: Yes, I do. That leads me to ask, Nida, without giving away everything that will be presented at the virtual event, what are some of the foundational strategies and approaches that one can have to develop or start to develop their self-worth. It’s one thing to say, “We need to embrace ourselves for who we are in our current appearance.
Yes, all of that is true, but without having the tools and the strategy to take that step, to make that approach, it could be quite confusing and daunting for someone who is trying to grasp that empowerment. What are some of the foundational ways to approach appreciation of self and self-care?
Nida: As a life coach, whenever I start sessions with my client, and especially with the program that I bring with Her Nexx Chapter, it’s called Her Mindful Bliss. This is exactly what I aim to do. What happens is that any individual cannot have that perspective shift unless they are connected with self. Self-awareness brings us, and it plays a huge part when it comes to shifting perspectives when it comes to self-acceptance.
This is exactly where the journey needs to start because when we are in comparison with another person, or we are not recognizing ourselves as someone capable and perfect, it is because there is a disconnection between our truth, who we are inside, and the person we are portraying and expecting people to recognize and validate.
Aubrey: I see.
Nida: If your inner self and outer self are not in synch, then how will you achieve self-awareness and appreciate the person you are. For instance, someone who loves reading is part of a group that loves music, and she is unable to share her interests because everyone has an opinion. This is her truth that she is not exploring. She will be in her isolation when she enjoys, or when any person, man, or woman enjoys what they like, but they feel it’s not accepted through others.
So at this point, self-awareness comes when we connect with ourselves and say, “This is who I am? This is what I own about myself. I like it, but I don’t need approval for it. I enjoy it. This is enough for me. Of course, this mindset takes time. So, as a coach, whenever I say the strategy to self-recognition starts from the same mirror. Look in that mirror and look at how you are perfect. You have eyes that can see. You have a mouth that can talk. You have ears that can hear. You have a voice. You’re an artist. You’re a musician. You are so much more, and no one needs to tell you who you are.
Aubrey: Absolutely. 100%. No one – how can they tell you who you are when they are not in your shoes, they’re not in your skin. Right?
Nida: Absolutely. When we appreciate our own strength, yes, each one of us has weakness, but when we appreciate our strength, what we bring to the table, how am I perfect in my own ownership of being.
Aubrey: Right, right.
Nida: That’s exactly when I can deliver. That’s how I came to be a life coach. I know how I’m gifted. I recognize my talent. I know how I am as a mother. Every mother is different. And believe me, motherhood is hard because each mother is being judged by another mother, even when we speak of generations, and that’s not easy either. When you turn around, and you see, “I have these little human beings who are smiling, who are still hugging me when I feel I’m failing.” That’s when you know you’re doing a perfect job because even when you scold your little child, he or she is the one that comes back and hugs you.
Aubrey: They do. Unconditionally, and it breaks your heart when you scold them. It’s a job of a parent, and like I said, it breaks your heart, but they come to you. They hug you; they smile at you. That’s how you know you’re doing your job.
Nida: Absolutely. That’s the reassurance that, “You know what? I’m not so bad of a mother after all because I’m worth loving.
Aubrey: Absolutely. Like you mentioned before, helping those who are consumed by this commercialism, as a coach, getting them to realize their perfection within themselves. Once they make that realization, it sounds like they’re on the path to growth. Right?
Nida: Absolutely. I have seen women transform in front of my eyes. The course I’ve been coaching, I have worked with about 100 people. The transformations once people connect with their truth are phenomenal.
Aubrey: Wow! And once you make those transformations or once we see them make those transformations, the sky is the limit because now, every action and every task that they do is driven by this new mindset.
Nida: Absolutely. You know, the truth of life is, we will encounter challenges, and the truth is, someone will always have an opinion, and the truth is that someone will always say something that is not exactly what we want to hear. But this is also true that people will only talk, say, and tell us what they think from their capabilities.
Nida: And we have to know what we allow ourselves to accept because there’s a lot of noise in our surroundings. We cannot hear all of it. We just have to listen to what matters, and what builds us, what makes us, us. And the more positive people we focus on, more coaches I’ll say we focus on, most of those much rather be our partners; they much rather want to see us evolve in a better person. I would say always pick the one that tells you that “Don’t worry about it. You are so good. You can do it.” The words of affirmation do magic.
Aubrey: Oh, yes.
Nida: Most of the time, it’s words that damage us too. So, go toward a person that uses words of affirmation to build your self-esteem, to reassure you that everything will be okay.
Aubrey: I couldn’t agree more. Those words of affirmation, they truly, truly can be the building blocks of someone’s transformation. Right?
Aubrey: Because if they feel attacked, that has an impact on their self-esteem, and their self-esteem may be telling them, “I’m not good enough for this. I don’t have the ability to achieve this.” The affirmation basically turns that around and, hopefully, to the point where they’re thinking to themselves, “Hey, you know what? Someone believes in me. Someone believes in me. If they believe in me, why can’t I in myself?” Then that’s the realization that happens from within, at least that I feel. Then, like we said, the sky’s the limit.
On the Road to Rediscovery, we always talk about what I call the four cornerstones to growth, and those four cornerstones are humility, self-awareness, gratitude, and service. To me, those are critical, critical cornerstones. But, obviously, those cannot be achieved without the self-care and the self-worth, the foundational building blocks that you, as a coach, establish with your clients and people.
So I must commend you, Nida, for the care and the work that you do out there, and I must commend Her Nexx Chapter for holding this event. Can we chat a minute about the panel and the format? Is this going to be like a Q&A, or is it going to be like a panel presentation or townhall-type setting? What is this going to look like?
Nida: Of course, it’s virtual. My guest and I will be discussing all the major areas in which women find themselves challenged. Let’s put it that way. Whether it be as far as beauty goes, that includes body shaming; that includes the example I shared with your earlier, age, and all of that. Then, we’re going to discuss the points of what is extreme beauty makeovers. We have different beauty procedures and surgeries, as well, that are being used more and more commonly than otherwise.
Then underlying insecurities. What’s causing it? This will be a very informal conversation. This will be different in a sense that I’m, as a mindful women’s coach coming in with my perspective, and then we have a beautician, we have Myra, that’s her. We have Champaign Grace. She is a millennial entrepreneur. She has a group where she builds young women up in their pursuits of business. Then we have a relationship coach.
So when we’re talking about the hats women wear, and yes bring their perspectives and expertise from their experiences. And we have this complete discussion over a woman who has been thinking, “What is a perfect woman? How am I perfect?” And in every area that a woman represents, whether it be as a partner, as a wife, or as a mother, as an employee, or even as a boss.
There are multiple hats that each one of us is wearing. Each portion of that comes with some questions. Am I good enough of a person to fit in this role? At the end of the day, if you are giving your all, then know that you are perfect. You don’t have to have everything on your plate. You just need what you can consume, and that’s what’s important.
Nida: Exactly, and at the end of it all, it’s about our uniqueness, recognizing how we are unique, and that’s exactly what makes us perfect. That’s the whole structure of this upcoming event, and the conversation my guest and I will be having. And, of course, we look forward to having all of our audience join in this conversation and listen to us talk because the takeaway is a whole perspective shift. You may end up, to the audience, all the women, you might end up hearing something you have never thought of before.
Aubrey: Right. Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant, Nida. You mentioned earlier when we started off about how the name of the event is not a question, but it’s a thought, it’s a statement. It’s funny you mentioned that because the whole time, while I was preparing for our conversation and going to Her Nexx Chapter, website, and so forth, I took a mental note that there’s no question mark after the name of this event.
Then I read more into what, at a high level, this conversation would be about, and I thought to myself, “You know what? That question mark is removed or missing on purpose because it’s not meant to be a question. To me, there’s a lot to be said and to be known and heard in the smallest of details and the smallest of messages in what you say and include and what you don’t say and don’t include.
For me, it spoke volumes when that question mark was not in that statement, in the name of the event. This is absolutely tremendous. I have a question for you, and my question is this: first off, let’s if we can, take a quick moment and consider the current state of the world and all the things that are going on in this world from the pandemic to social injustice, police brutality.
You have people who are making marches, and there’s also a push for social innovation and diversity and inclusion. It’s a long time coming, but it’s a pretty large push, I believe. There’s a certain level of awareness that is, to me, unprecedented, and it’s not just with Black Lives Matter or the Me Too Movement. It’s a people of all color, people of all sexual orientations, and just the diverse ways that we are.
To me, it’s an unprecedented level of awareness that I hope really takes things to the next level in our society. Having said that, there are a lot of people who are not women who realize and understand that there is the commercialism. There are the cookie-cutter statements and the societal-type of pigeon holes that tries to put a woman in a box when it comes to what is sexy or what is perfection.
Those people, those men, want to make a truly conscious effort to be a part of the solution, not part of the problem. They want to contribute to the solution, whether it’s in a professional setting whether it’s in a personal setting. Maybe they’re single, and they’re on the dating scene, or maybe it’s in a family setting.
Events like this, to me, are perfect ways for those men who have a true and genuine interest in contributing to the solution and want to have that awareness so that they know what areas not to go in, or to believe, or maybe to help shape other men. How can that awareness be projected to men in a certain conversation or forum, or how would you recommend or see a way that men who truly want to help contribute to the solution learn about these things?
Nida: First of all, the group of men, let’s say men as a gender – each man is different, just like how every woman is different: our elements, structure, and brain mindset, all of the principles are the same. Like, we cannot paint every woman with the same brush, I would say, don’t paint every man with the same brush either.
Aubrey: That’s right.
Nida: Because each man is holding a different perception. Those that are wanting to learn more about how they can be gentler and how can make the significant other, a lady in their life, feel more secure and more valued. All these are great assets and great mindset. It all starts by asking the one you want to value, the one present in your life, whether it be your mother, sister, partner, wife, whoever it would be.
It doesn’t start with an exact question if that’s uncomfortable, but you can say, “I love you. What can I do for you?” What women really want to hear is validation. If you can make someone feel special for that perfect moment – yes, we’re telling women don’t seek validation because they are disappointed when that happens, but if she’s the one coming to you, and she’s asking you, “Is my red dress okay?” instead of saying, “Yellow would be better,” a man can say, “You look beautiful, but yellow is your color. You blossom like sunshine.” You want her to change? Give her something to change for. Allow her to make a choice because you made her feel special.
Aubrey: I see. Wonderful.
Nida: It’s just a little start that starts right in your surroundings. You want to make someone feel special. Learn from them.
Aubrey: Gotcha. And when you learn from them, that can also transform to other females that a man may interact with in the professional environment and other places. Is that accurate?
Nida: That would be because once you know how to validate or appreciate the one in your presence, regardless of the environment you’re put in, men and women will learn how to indirect peacefully together, eliminating the sexual tensions, eliminating the stereotypical situations or societal pressures. I can now look at her this way because she might think this way. The equilibrium of men and women keeps shifting. We have never really met in the same space and spot.
Aubrey: Yes. It’s quite relatable and so true. We continue to shift. I think these types of awareness’s that you’re mentioning and things that a man can do to help a woman feel validated and giving them a choice can help get them a little closer here and not so shifted.
Nida: Yeah. She will be making her own choice, but the man is validating that “I appreciate you more.” We are more willing to give when we know that someone is giving something back to us. Why doesn’t validation work? For instance, if we take a typical example of husband and wife, she is coming to her husband with a question because she is holding him to a certain value and level.
It matters to her what he thinks. This is why she’s asking for his help. This is why she is counting on him. This is why she wants validation that she looks lovely in her red dress. However, if a man holds her at the same level, he will go on and tell her, again with the dress example, and he will say or explain his part of the story. “I will do this for you as long as I’m done with this.” Then instead of it being weeks, he can give her a timeframe so that she knows how to set her expectations instead of just creating an expectation.
Nida: I believe the bigger challenge when it comes to men and women, is that we have set expectations instead of realizing what the other is capable of. In a relationship setting, once both partners get to learn more about each other, those expectations should be set based on capability.
For instance, if the glass of a husband is 50% full, and the wife is only 25% full, he can only expect 25% from her because if his expectations are 75%, and she can only give 25%, she will end up getting exhausted trying to meet the 75%. Then the husband is going to get disappointed because he’s not getting, or he’s not receiving his expectation.
So we, as men and women, set ourselves up for disappointment instead of learning and sharing what we are capable of with the other person. We just set expectations and come into a relationship with our biases and past experiences, and our own baggage that we have not shed yet.
Aubrey: Wow. That’s so true.
Nida: That’s where the conflicts arise.
Aubrey: I see. It’s quite ironic how conflicts like that, let’s say a couple, arise that foundationally happened in a previous relationship or was sprouted from a previous relationship or a previous experience.
Aubrey: That’s where you have to peel the layers and unpack what is the true problem here? When did this really happen? Are we arguing just about a washcloth that was left on the floor in the bathroom, or is there something deeper behind that?
Nida: Absolutely. In coaching, when we start talking about self-awareness, it’s one of the other elements that we go through. Help the client shed the weight they’ve been carrying because you can only move forward when you feel lighter. Whether a man or a woman, my message would be, recognize the most beautiful part of your life, which is that your past experience, your pain, your aggression will never be part of your present or your future again. That’s the most beautiful part.
Aubrey: That’s beautiful and reassuring. So reassuring.
Nida: Exactly. At this moment, right now, you have every control to shift your perspective, start living how you choose to. Whatever actions and decisions you make, right now, is what will be creating your future, not your past. You don’t have to live there anymore.
Aubrey: It doesn’t have to define you.