I can make this happen. I can push my way through. This thought has probably passed through the mind of every successful woman. Because every successful woman (at least of my generation) was taught that success was unattainable unless it was achieved like a man. Through sheer force and determination, instead of with grace and ease.
Men and women are shown to have different tendencies. Stereotypically men are seen as the bread winners, who rise to the top of corporate ladders. Women are seen as the caretakers holding the family unit together behind the scenes. What you might not know is that these tendencies are not at all related to a person’s gender.
Both masculine and feminine qualities exist in all of us, on a sliding scale. Masculine and feminine mean different things in different parts of the world and thus are culturally defined.
In North America, masculine is defined as confident, aggressive, dominant, competitive, flashy, linear and goal driven. The masculine sees the world as a hierarchy; he is in a constant race to the top. Feminine, on the other hand, is defined as humble, avoidant, persuasive, collaborative, fluid and process oriented. She views the world as a network of relationships and is interested in mutual success.
Within each of us the masculine sets a destination and drives the car. While the feminine fills in the details like gas and stops to enjoy the sights and the company along the way. Together they arrive successfully with plenty of rest, ready to set off for the next destination.
The problem is that in a male dominated workplace little has been done to understand the benefits of the feminine to business, professional, and personal success.
The Power of the Feminine
The masculine has been driving the car alone for much of the history of modern professional work. The constant need to push forward without concern for personal well being has led to overwork, stress, exhaustion, and eventually burnout. It’s no wonder that stress related deaths top the charts in industrialized countries.
For far too long the misconception has been that because the feminine is different, it is lesser, weak, or submissive. It is not.
The following feminine strengths are important to business success:
- Building collaborations across teams and departments within an organization
- Synthesizing direction based on data
- Sharing the workload and personal sense of responsibility for a task
- Leading by influence and persuasion versus command
- Creating relationships to boost company moral
- Embracing self care and rest
But there is a secret. Neither energy on its own will lead to total success. The best leaders know when to switch between masculine and feminine to serve the needs of the current situation. And women have a strong advantage when it comes to this. A Stanford study found that working women who had a strong balance between the masculine and feminine were more likely to get the promotion (even over men).
Achieving Personal Success
During work hours it is so easy to stay in the masculine. There are lists to tackle and bonuses to be earned. But overly masculine women aren’t the ones who land the corner office or make it to the c-suite. When the guys at the office start using words like “too aggressive” about you, it’s time to turn up the feminine at bit and reap the benefits of achieving success with ease.
Plus if you spend too much time at work out of balance it can be difficult to find balance at home. Home requires a different kind of balance than work. Work life requires an internal balance of masculine and feminine, home life requires an external balance. At work you are the captain of your own ship but at home there are two people who must balance command.
One person must take on the feminine role externally and the other person must take on the masculine role externally for a relationship to thrive.
Polarity is good. Opposites attract. Do you really want a feminine man?
Remember the example of driving the car. Someone needs to drive and someone needs to stop to ask for directions. If you both try to drive in your relationship (which is what tends to happen in unbalanced relationships) you will never leave or you will just keep circling the block.
I will say it again the feminine is not weak.
In fact, I would argue that the feminine has the power position because she gets to fill in all the details, then sit back and watch as the masculine goes out and makes it happen. Plus the home needs the relationships, love and support that the feminine is all too eager to give. It is the best thing to come home after being in charge all day and let someone else take care of me. Neither my husband nor I would be in the successful positions we are in at work if we didn’t allow for the balance of our masculine and feminine at home.
Turning Off the Masculine
You probably already know how to turn on the masculine. Just check your emails and listen to your mind start to work. The feminine isn’t something that can be activated with a lot of thinking. You often do it without even knowing but here are a few ways to slip back into your feminine before you return home from a long day at work:
- Move your body. After work is a great time to go to the gym or take up a dance class.
- Use your senses. Especially your senses of smell, taste and touch. Go grab a glass of wine and really take the time to enjoy it.
- Spend time with a female friend. Talk about anything but work. Bonus points if you pair this with one of the activities mentioned above.
- Laugh out loud. Listen to a funny podcast on your commute home from work.
- Create something. Paint, draw or sew. Do anything that doesn’t require a specific outcome or goal.
What are your favorite ways to release feminine energy? What would you add to the list?
Key Factors to Remember in Achieving Feminine Success:
- Balance masculine and feminine for better communication and negotiation skills at work
- Turn off masculine energy when fostering and developing personal/love relationships at home
Want to increase your feminine energy at home and start attracting an amazing love? Download my free ebook ‘The Ambitious Woman’s Guide to Finding Love’ for 3 simple steps to calling in the love you desire.