A breathtaking venue and a marquis full of beautiful glamorous people. I paused to skim the room; Red carpet looks of gowns and black ties, saris and bandgalas.
Striking as a whole from afar. As I moved in I noticed a marked difference. Some exuded warmth, confidence, and an authentic personality. Some displayed hesitation, distraction and a need to ‘fit-in’.
What is it that makes the former come across with a certain magnetism, standing tall, self-assured, with a forth-coming energy, whilst the latter, although impeccable in appearance, lack a certain punch or dynamism, coming across as skeptical and unsure, diluting the overall impact of their exquisite look.
Presence is much more than what is on the outside; the clothes we wear or how articulately we speak. It is the inner ‘knowing’, a healthy pride, a compassionate outlook and a courageous character that must first be felt, in order to be converted into the outward persona and behavior.
How do we arrive at who we really are? We are so conditioned from an early age with beliefs, perspectives and judgements from external influences. We rarely question them, but instead follow and honor these beliefs to keep us rooted and give us a sense of belonging. True belonging is when we belong to ourselves. As life sends us situations that need us to respond and act, we make choices. The consequence of those choices help us reflect on what really matters to us, drives us, gives us happiness and meaning. Through this journey we define our truer values, those we want to live by, stand by. And this gives us a glimpse into who we are. As we further expand on this way of being, we find ourselves more. This gives birth to our authentic presence.
As we become more comfortable with who we are, we learn to recognize our self-worth. We go from the competitive to the creative, because we now understand our story, our narrative, and our actions. We recognize our intention and accept that we are enough in who we are. This sense of self-respect shows up in our body language, in the tone, pace and pitch of our voice, and in our interaction with others. There is a composure and calm that replaces anxiousness and flurry. The reality and the ‘feeling’ of self-worth shows up in the way of a more self-assured presence
Much of not having a presence, being authentic, comfortable in our own skin comes from not having the courage to take bold steps, to stand up for the things we most value, or to speak up and express ourselves truly and fully. As we define our values (self-identification), and see our self-worth (noteworthiness), we build up courage within. We are more willing to take bold steps, voice our opinions, even if it goes against what others expect of us. Inner courage is liberating. It is not about being brash, loud or inconsiderate. It is about an inner composure to support what matters most to us, what is non-negotiable, and this gives birth to a more powerful presence.
It takes courage to be forgiving, and it takes even more courage to be forgiving of ourselves. Our inner critic works hard to keep un entangled in the fury of not being good enough, successful enough, of not matching up. Being kinder to ourselves allows us to move from dwelling on what is not to pursuing what could be. We look forward not back. We are not longer caught up in self-remorse, regret or destruction but rather a re-build or a better us. Additionally this allows us an open mind to not judge ourselves constantly, but objectively look at how we can turn our weakness into a strength, and do likewise for others, giving birth to a warm presence.
Confidence is a skill, a muscle to build. The more it is exercised the more it is cultivated, and visible. It changes how we interact, work, speak, and most importantly, our state of mind. As we build inner courage, a sense of self-worth, and a connection with people, there are subtle shifts in how we feel about ourselves. The feeling of confidence creeps into our very being. And as we start to exercise that confidence, we feel it grow. If we falter, we take the help of inner courage, noteworthiness and kindness to ourselves. It is an innate natural effortless confidence that shows forth, even in our worst moments, giving birth to a tenacious presence.
The inner presence builds as we grow through the steps of self-identification, noteworthiness, self love, self confidence and inner courage. This shows up on the outside in our postures, gestures, expressions, our voice, the way we speak, in the words we choose, in the way we dress, and in the way we handle our life’s situations. The combination of the above is what leads to that X-factor that is so alluring, so inviting, so irresistible in a person, and as we move forward on this journey, we see this gut and mind presence become visible on the outside; the journey from inner authentic presence to powerful outward projection
Live a full life, with confidence, dignity and gratitude