Tip One – Focus on you message, rather than your hair-do.
‘You will become way less concerned about with what other people think of you when you realise how seldom they do’ wrote David Foster Wallace in his book, ‘Infinite Jest’. Yet, we worry what the boss thought about our contribution to the meeting this morning or whether we’ll be able to make a good impression on that new client this afternoon. You may have been belly-aching about whether the presentation you gave last Friday was received well, or did you came across as risk averse? Every one of these ‘worry parcels’ has the same content- you’re focussing on your image rather than your contribution. To put it another way – you’re worrying about the one thing you cannot control rather than engaging with the very thing you can. Dr Wayne Dyer had a phrase that I borrow frequently; ‘What you think about me is none of my business’. That’s not to say that I don’t care at all about what you think of me – but that I care much more about what you think of my message, and whether I’ve communicated it in the most impactful way that I can. If I was to focus on what you think of me, rather than the message, then my language would develop a falseness about it- I’d be unconsciously trying to show you how intelligent I am, how thoughtful, how likeable – and my message would suffer as a result. As would my authenticity. I believe that genuine confidence arises only when we are authentic, when we aren’t engaging in ‘impression management’ but rather releasing ourselves from the good opinion of others so that we can really be ourselves. We are then able to hold on to our ‘power,’ without giving it away at the whim of a raised eyebrow from the person on the other side of the desk – or the lectern.
Tip Two – Get your thinking sorted out.
I imagine that, like me, you talk to yourself. I’m not suggesting that you wander down the corridor at work, berating yourself aloud; I’m talking about the running commentary that goes on in your head like irritating elevator music. Your inner critic judges, criticises and mocks. Please don’t believe everything you think – it’s often just old, outdated mental conditioning that hasn’t kept up to date with what you’re now capable of. You can easily turn the volume down on the voice of your inner critic or, better still, do a job swap – inner critic for inner champion. Tell the inner critic to get packing. Replace that voice with the inner cheerleader; not a sycophant – but a supportive inner voice that will help you to be the best of which you are capable in every moment of today.
Tip Three – Work on presence.
Being present has the effect of slowing down your thinking and enhancing your presence.That in turn enhances your power, and allows you to rest in the moment and truly listen and reflect so that you can access your inner wisdom – rather than have your mind fighting on different fronts. Take a deep breath and see the light in the room, feel the temperature, hear the voice of the person you’re engaging with and take another deep breath. Expand in to the space that you are occupying and focus on what contribution you can uniquely bring to this interaction. And enjoy.
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