For Subscribers

To Take More Risks, Reframe Your Flaws as the 'Juicy Stuff'

Lessons on vulnerability from a Buddhist nun, Brené Brown and the CEO of Sweetgreen

learn more about Frances Dodds

By Frances Dodds • Jan 22, 2020

NiseriN | Getty Images

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In Western society, we often classify things in black or white: Good or bad, strength or weakness, success or failure. But in Tibetan Buddhism, there's a saying: The peacock eats poison and that's what makes the colors of its tail so brilliant. In the metaphor, "poison" refers to all the particular characteristics that trip us up as we strive to be better. We're conditioned to disparage these parts of ourselves as flaws or shortcomings, but Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön offers another take. She simply calls this "the messy stuff." Or sometimes, even better: "The juicy stuff."

In her book Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living, Chödrön writes, "In the Buddhist teachings, the messy stuff is called "klesha,' which means poison. Boiling it all down to the simplest possible formula, there are three main poisons: passion, aggression and ignorance. We could talk about these in different ways—for example, craving, aversion, and "couldn't care less.' Addictions of all kinds come under the category of craving, which is wanting, wanting, wanting—feeling that we have to have some kind of resolution. Aversion encompasses violence, rage, hatred and negativity of all kinds, as well as garden-variety irritation. And ignorance? Nowadays it's usually called denial."

Continue reading this article — and all of our other premium content with Entrepreneur+

For just $5, get access to a ton of exclusive content and resources that will help grow your entrepreneurial mindset. You’ll find:

  • Exclusive content from our network of today’s leading CEOs and business strategists
  • Receive our flagship Entrepreneur Magazine - free!
  • No more ads, and get access to the Entrepreneur+ homepage
  • Free E-books written by our staff and other industry thought leaders

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Business News

Frontier Airlines Just Announced Its All-You-Can-Fly Summer Pass for $399. What's the Catch?

As travel begins to pick up, the airline hopes unlimited travel will jumpstart its business.

Growing a Business

5 Trends Redefining Business For Entrepreneurs

It could be another difficult year for entrepreneurs and business owners, but with a little preparation and commitment, you can put yourself in a position to come out on top.

Franchise

The Only 6 Strategies You Need If You Want Your Food Franchise to Thrive

In a time of complicated supply chains and rising food costs, you need to implement these tips if you want your franchise brand to grow.

Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.