In this interview, leadership coach Dima Ghawi shows us how we can step into more powerful roles in our personal and professional lives.
If you’ve ever felt pressured to live the life other people expect of you, rather than listening to your own dreams, this episode is for you.
What You’ll Learn
“We’re taught to be perfect,” Dima explains.
“The perfect wife, daughter, mother, employee. That’s why so many women struggle with a work-life balance… What ends up happening is they end up losing themselves, because they’re trying to please everyone around them.”
Dima felt the duty to please everyone around her from a young age. It wasn’t until she reached adulthood that she had the courage to “break the glass vase” and shatter the expectations of her family and culture.
She explains that all women have “glass vases” in their lives, ideals they’re expected to live up to. We grow up constrained by those ideals, often without realizing it. Expectations regarding our culture, relationships, appearance, and work define how we are allowed to live. These expectations clip our wings and keep us from understanding that our birthright is the sky.
But we can change that.
We change it by choosing differently.
For Dima, the two most powerful choices women can make are to invest in themselves and to help other women.
In her coaching practice, she sees women coming up against the same 3 roadblocks: the fear of failure, the fear of being judged, and the fear of falling short of perfection. Those fears keep them stuck and deter them from taking risks.
It’s not easy. We’re bombarded with conflicting messages. On the one hand, we’re told to be an individual and go for it. On the other hand, we’re judged and shamed for stepping out of line or becoming powerful.
Yet we must try. Not just for ourselves, but also for those around us. As Dima says, “When we accept ourselves and keep trying, we’re inspiring other people to accept themselves and try.”
We don’t have to do this alone. Men can stand at our side on this journey. We’re all served by a community where both genders are contributing to their highest potential. We must support each other to grow together.
What’s needed is not necessarily putting women in charge, but rather inviting more feminine energy into the halls of power. “The feminine energy is the nurturing, the caring, a lot of compassion, wanting to make a difference in the world….” Dima explains. “It’s the energy of love. And this is not gender-specific.”
Even though the road may feel rocky right now, Dima says, “there is hope, because we’re getting there. If you think about our life, it’s better than our grandmother’s and better than our great-grandmothers, and our daughters’ lives are better. There are still issues, and there are still vases that we’re still passing from one generation to another, so we’re not done yet, but we’re heading to a more positive place.”
Jump to Topics of Interest
- Dima’s extraordinary life story 0:27
- How do you get the courage to break free when those around you aren’t supportive? 1:50
- The story behind “Breaking Vases” 2:32
- The importance of getting an education 4:23
- What a glass vase might look like for the average American woman 5:50
- Creating a new story and questioning the ideal of perfection 6:59
- How do you create empowered women? You start by not clipping their wings. 8:34
- What does it mean to be a woman and seek power? Comparing Hilary Clinton to Wonder Woman 11:20
- Helping the next generation to value education through the power of a simple game of make-believe 15:28
- When the desire to go after your dreams is hit by the fear of being judged 18:10
- Dima’s reaction on seeing her first TEDx talk 20:33
- Was the Dalai Lama right? Will the world be saved by the Western woman? 22:25
- Why we need men alongside us as we save the world. 23:55
- Why the world needs more feminine energy in both men and women 24:30
- Dima’s work in empowering women, addressing their fears, and helping them commit to their own growth 24:30
- The importance of shattering glass vases for future generations 33:33
About Dima Ghawi
Dima is a motivational speaker and leadership coach who works with women, helping them to shatter limitations and achieve their highest potential. She offers keynote speeches, workshops, training programs, and coaching. Learn more.