How a Shortcoming Made Good


At one time, Tony Robbins was offering a personality assessment with one of his programs and, my assessment came back to say that I cared too much (valued) about beauty.  It’s true.  I not only wanted to be pretty myself, but I wanted to be surrounded by beautiful things.  My home, the sunshine, the grass and trees and, well, everything.  At the time I was an Interior Designer, so I didn’t worry too much and figured it’s serving me well.

How important is beauty?  How do you feel when you’re in a room with the drapes closed, a build-up of dust and grime, questionable surfaces of furniture and fabrics?  Now close your eyes and see yourself in a sparkling clean room, bursting with natural sunlight, a view of the ocean, inviting seating and bright colors?  We feel different when we’re surrounded by beauty.

People behave differently to someone who is young and beautiful as opposed to someone who maybe has let things go.

People react to visual cues.  Pretty visual cues, for some, are more enjoyable.

I don’t really think I’m so different from everyone else.  People react to beauty because beauty is enjoyable.

Cathy Sykora

Cathy Sykora

Founder, The Health Coach Group

Cathy helps health coaches build and maintain successful businesses that improve the lives of others.

What is Beauty?

That’s the thing, beauty can be found everywhere.  What is beautiful to you?

  • one person’s act of kindness
  • a smile (remember the Facebook Video where they caught EVERYONE smiling and no matter their size, color, culture, age, they were gorgeous)
  • nature is beautiful (earth, water, sky, the sun)
  • color is beautiful
  • music
  • art
  • friendship
  • a child

It’s all subjective, but beauty is important.  My grandma was beautiful.  No one would have put her on the front page of a magazine, but she was beautiful to me.  Other people’s babies sometimes look red and wrinkly to me – but give me the baby of someone I love and that baby is beautiful beyond words.  The hope for the future, the miraculous creation, the promise of joy, all goes into the beauty we experience in the same baby someone else thinks is red and wrinkly.  So beauty is more about the person experiencing it than the object itself.

If you talk to a mathematician, you’ll be told it is an equation.  A philosopher, a meaning we derive.  A psychologist will say it’s perception of extraordinary.

The Health Coach Group

That is what made The Health Coach Group flourish – it was embarrassing to send health coaches out into the world with black and white printed sheets for their customers to learn from, so I made the information pretty.  In a constant attempt to beautify, the “pretty papers” turned into programs, helped clients to visualize and stay focused and it made the health professionals look professional and ahead of the rest.  What doctor/chiropractor or health coach was offering health coaching in a friendly manner besides those working with our programs.

At the time, everyone was working with Word documents, and they thought I was nuts when I came out with powerpoints…the thing was, PowerPoints were easier to work with and edit, they converted well to PDF’s, and they had multiple uses.  Our programs doubled as presentations.

When our programs got so big, we created a delivery platform.  In a surprise twist, health coaches didn’t attach it to their website; they made it their website. Those sites seemed pretty ugly to me – so we recreated it, and I hired graphic designers and battled the developer to use a beautiful theme, and won.

Not everyone likes the same thing. By working with our coaches to narrow their niche and identify their ideal client, as well as to tune into their brand, we have gorgeous websites now.  The real beauty is more in the visual wayfinding than the colors and graphics. When someone comes to a good health coaching website, they know exactly what to do!  They are visually led step by step to get the help they came to the coach’s site for in the first place.

Making Peace With Our Shadow

If you’ve ever encountered any of Debbie Ford’s work, you may get where I’m going with this.  When we can take our biggest failings and turn them into something worthwhile and even good, we’ve made peace with our shadow.

Once we realize that even our biggest flaws can also be our greatest assets, we’ve truly made the most of our blessings.

I imagine Tony was right. As aging is creeping around the corner, I’ll have to reconcile to wrinkles and sagging skin and thinning straggly hair.  I’m not sure how that is going to work, but I bet there’s a health coach out there somewhere who specializes in that.

What is beautiful to you?  Share below in the comments.


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