We’ve been talking lately about the powerful concept of presence, and what it can mean to confidently bring your “full self” and attention to your interactions, endeavors and challenges. In my last post, I referenced the recently released book, aptly entitled Presence, by Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist on the faculty at Harvard Business School. Cuddy’s work offers a variety of methods for redirecting our attention to the present moment, and building our confidence and sense of personal power once we get there.
This weekend, your mindfulness challenge is to be a poser. I actually mean that literally, and not at all figuratively, because the posing you’re going to do is about getting real. You might not initially believe it’s real if you’ve been doubting your awesomeness lately, but it is. You don’t need anything new or different than what you already have for this one, but when it’s over, you should certainly feel both.
Great news – the whole challenge is fun, from start to finish. First, you get screen time! I hereby give you permission to stare at a device. Don’t get used to it, because this is not about to become the mindfulness norm (although there is some great mindfulness tech out there). This is quality programming. You’re going to find about 20 minutes (after your 10-15 of mindfulness!) to watch Cuddy’s 2012 TED Talk, or if you’ve seen it already, this pre-cursor to it from the PopTech 2011 conference. Learn some “power poses.” Then, (both Cuddy and I recommend) in the privacy of your own space, give them a try.
Ideally, you might give this a shot before you head out to do something that makes you a little anxious. I know it’s the weekend, but maybe you have a first date, tough team meeting, community leadership role, or even an ambitious workout that you’d like to ace in these next few days. Maybe you’re traveling, and that makes you a little jittery. If not, doesn’t matter – you can do this anyway. Pick a pose, rock it for two whole minutes, and see what happens. Your mindfulness training will help you notice the physiological changes you may experience. The idea is to connect to your body and allow yourself to take up more space – to actually become bigger – and to see what effect doing so has on your internal terrain. Couple this with some intentional breathing, and you may just have yourself a new prep strategy for future challenges.
What’s the point of having an inner superhero if no one ever gets to meet them?
“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A.A. Milne (creator of “Winnie the Pooh”)
Photo credit: Ryan McGuire