“Presence stems from believing in and trusting yourself — your real, honest feelings, values, and abilities.”—Amy Cuddy, Presence
What is this elusive quality called presence that people desire?
Firstly, let’s define presence. Have you been at a social gathering and met someone who exuded a mysterious quality? Perhaps it was an attractive feature, a distinguished grace or a peaceful nature which drew you to them.
Maybe it was something elusive you are unable to measure? They are comfortable in their surroundings and move about as if floating on thin air, while exuding an unmistakable charm.
People with presence have an inner radiance and comfortable within themselves. They seldom walk or move in haste. Their gestures are timed and controlled, as if rehearsed. They rarely seek approval, yet others seek approval from them.
I’ve witnessed many people exude presence. Upon reflection, they are genuine in many ways.
So how does one create presence?
Why would you want presence, anyway?
I’m glad you asked.
Presence is the outward reflection of your inner world. It advises others you’re in control of your life.
People fall into one of two categories—leaders or followers. If you’re a leader, you’re fortunate to inspire others to revealing their uniqueness. If you’re a follower, you are privy to being the recipient of such leadership.
“Through self-nudges, small tweaks in our body language and mind-sets, we can achieve presence.”—Amy Cuddy, Presence
There is nothing wrong being a follower, let’s make that distinction. I’ve looked up to several great leaders in the past, all of whom I refer to being secondary mentors.
Psychologists suggest that when you recognise a quality in another person you admire, you possess that quality within yourself. So presence is recognising a hidden quality which seeks expression.
Below are three qualities for creating presence in your life. It takes time and patience to create presence. You cannot rush the process any more than nurturing a child.
You cannot wake up one day with more presence. You fill your way into it like water filling a bath tub.
- Know Thyself
To know yourself, you discover what you’re capable of. You realise your hidden talents, your flaws, your genius and magnificence. For example if you are shy, cultivating presence may be more challenging than an extrovert. Identifying your shyness might involve a commitment to developing your inner leader and allowing your light to shine.
I’m not advocating shy people are socially immature. I’m suggesting shyness and leadership don’t go hand in hand. As someone who speaks on stage, I experience shyness when I meet people in social settings, not being infront of an audience. I am more relaxed these days and am comfortable with the person I am interacting with. This has taken a great deal of commitment from my part to step out of my comfort zone.
- Presence Arises In The Moment
Presence occurs when you’re engaged in the moment. You don’t get out of bed, attend a party and turn on presence. Actors, models and singers might, though I assure you they retreat into silence the moment they are away from the attention. You cannot put up a facade and stage presence. The key to gaining presence is being receptive in the moment. Detach from fear and anxiety which helps you recognise opportunities. You are not a victim to your past or a slave to the future.
- Self-Awareness and Inner Wisdom.
Self-awareness and inner wisdom means accessing your inner teacher. Have you ever sensed something calling you to take action? A quiet whisper echoing from within? Perhaps you took inspired action with no prior knowledge of the situation. You may find yourself in a new place, meeting someone random and oblivious to how you got there. You may dial the wrong number and wind up speaking to someone you haven’t spoken to in years.
These are situations when you accessed your inner guide, otherwise known as intuition. This wisdom knows no bounds nor limitations, yet has the answers to your questions. When you work with this knowledge, you access spirit which are waiting to be revealed. As you become adept drawing on your inner wisdom, others see the beauty emanating from your soul nature. You become the lighthouse others are attracted to.
So, incorporate these points into your life and be being patient if it takes you time to develop presence.
Don’t be surprised if you make mistakes. Be kind to yourself—you’re learning, growing and evolving.
There are no such things as failure, only the opportunity to grow: mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
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