I am a big fan of Project Runway and more recently of Under the Gunn; which just finished its first season. The attraction to these shows is multifaceted, partly because the level of creativity is so high, partly as I see some of the challenges as a metaphor for daily life (but that’s another blog), and in large part due to Tim Gunn. He serves as a mentor and displays many admirable traits, including direct honest communication that is compassionate, and an unwavering belief in people’s abilities. Perhaps what I love most of all is his catch phrase “Make it work,” on the shows the phrase is referring to the outfits the designers are creating. However I started thinking about this lovely phrase and realized it really can pertain to our day to day lives. As a coach I observe that people don’t give themselves the space to “make it work,” they tell themselves things like “make it perfect” or “do it right the first time.” If more often we just encouraged ourselves and others to simply “make it work” no matter what or how that looks, we might be more willing to try things. I think “make it work” is about being okay with the possibility of making a mistake, of creating something not “perfect.” Overall “make it work” is about showing up, being seen and putting oneself out there. It is so simple, compassionate, elegant, and yes hard.
I am not the only person to arrive at this interpretation of “make it work”; I came across a lovely blog post by Randi Zinn she got to spend a day with Tim Gunn and in her post about her experiences (link to Randi’s blog here) she made note of “Tim’s 10 tid-bits worth sharing” the first of which was this:
1. Make It Work- Of course I had to include this one. But I realized that Tim means it way beyond your outfit. He truly believes in making your life work for you and if it doesn’t, figure out how. In other words: create your own vision based on who you really are.
I read that and thought YES YES YES! So much of my work with clients is exactly that, figuring out how to make their lives work for them and to embrace their authentic selves. So go forth and figure out how to “Make it Work!”