Everything has cracks, that’s how the light gets in.

-Let your imperfections guide you to your ultimate success.

I love when I get inspired in the oddest places. Today I was at the dermatologist’s office for my annual check-up. I was also secretly thinking about asking him what he could do about the brown spots on my aging skin!

While in the waiting room, I glanced at the large TV monitor on the wall flashing the latest wellness tips, positive jargon and medical advertisements.

A quote caught my eye. “Everything has cracks, that’s how the light gets in.”-Leonard Cohen.

Cohen was a singer, songwriter, poet and novelist who greatly influenced popular culture in the 20th century. I remembered seeing a documentary about him a few years ago. I immediately looked up the quote and saw it was a line from one of his famous songs called “Anthem.”

As a coach, I constantly deal with my clients’ obstacles and challenges as they journey toward their vision of success. Once trust is established and conversations become authentic, their perceived imperfections tend to surface. A lack of emotional intelligence, imposter syndrome, resistance to change, and an inability to delegate or create a work-life balance, to name a few.

Unfortunately, most people, including myself, sometimes want to skim over these “imperfections” and get right to the “fix.” I’m all for moving forward. But seeing that quote gave me pause.

Everything has cracks, that’s how the light gets in.

The “cracks” represent your internal and external obstacles and challenges. The “light” represents the hope, inspiration, and optimism that can emerge from accepting your limitations as brilliant stepping stones to learning, growing and flourishing, all necessary elements to reach more of your potential.

Unfortunately, we live in a culture that puts perfection and success on a pedestal while hiding from the flaws and failures that lead to it. The irony wasn’t lost on me that I was in the dermatologist’s office, running to erase all the brown spots that marked the years of blood, sweat and tears that earned me my expertise.

Today, I wonder if you would be willing to embrace your cracks and let them be doorways to something brighter. Here are some suggestions:

Tend to blow up and get defensive? Appreciate passion. Then apply emotional intelligence to channel it constructively to make a positive difference.

Feel like a fraud? Appreciate meeting expectations. Then anchor yourself in your values and strengths.

Don’t do well with change? Appreciate stability. Then find someone to discuss how you could benefit from a change.

Have a hard time trusting others to do a job as well as you? Appreciate dedication. Then learn peoples’ strengths and capabilities to know who to delegate to.

Can’t find that sweet spot between work and rest? Appreciate vulnerability. Then do something that helps you feel balanced.

When I finally saw the dermatologist, thankfully, my skin got a clean bill of health. I decided to leave the brown spots alone for now. I could use a little more time appreciating who I am from them.

Besides, there’s always next year’s annual appointment.

Find your cracks and let the light in.

Til next week,

Jo-Aynne Von Born, Executive Coach READYSETMORE

Work Your Authentic Genius.
Flourish with your own intelligence.

  1. What are you defensive or embarrassed about? Usually, this will give you a window into what you believe are your imperfections.
  2. How do you hide, distract or blame others for these imperfections?
  3. How can you own and appreciate these imperfections before taking action to work through them? What shifts when you do that?

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