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Our bodies can influence our brains and behaviour.
Presence stems from believing in and trusting yourself. Your presence is your real honest, feelings, values and abilities.
If you don’t trust yourself, how can others trust you?
We convince by our presence.
Presence is the state of being able to comfortably express our thoughts. It’s not a permanent mode of being – it comes and goes, moment to moment.
When we feel present, our speech, facial expressions and movements align. It’s what makes us compelling. We are no longer fighting ourselves, we are being ourselves.
Self-assured enthusiasm is a strong indicator of success. This quality predicts:
This is contagious and spreads confidence, passion and commitment to people who work for and with them. These traits can’t easily be faked either.
Presence emerges when we feel personally powerful.
Presence manifests itself in two ways:
Alignment: emotions, thoughts, physical and facial expressions, and behaviours must be in harmony.
If our actions are not consistent with our values, we won’t feel true to ourselves.
There is strong cross-cultural support for the universality of these nine emotions:
What is the authentic self?
Self-affirmation is the practice of clarifying your story to yourself, allowing you to trust that who you are will come through naturally in what you say and do.
It is about reminding ourselves what matters most to us.
Examine a list of common core values:
Select the one or two closest to the core of who they are, then write a short essay about why the value is important and a particular time it was important.
Four common narrative themes in elderly people who recall their life stories:
Agency: people felt they were in control of their lives
Communion: people describe their lives as being about relationships
Redemption: people felt that challenges had improved their attitudes or conferred wisdom in someway
Contamination: people felt that positive beginnings had turned toward negative endings
By finding, believing, expressing and then engaging our authentic best selves, especially if we do it right before our biggest challenges, we reduce our anxiety about social rejections and increase our openness to others, and that allows us to be fully present.
Often our default behaviour when approaching people is trying to demonstrate our own power and control.
How people judge each other in first encounters.
When we meet someone new we quickly answer two questions:
Approach others with kindness instead of toughness.
We usually think a person we have just meant is either more warm than competent, or more competent than warm, but not both in equal measure.
We classify new acquaintances into types.
We don’t judge the two equally. Most people prioritize warmth over competence.
Your chance of being seen as an unlikeable but effective leader is about 1 in 2,000.
When you listen to someone it is the most profound act of human respect.
Real listening can’t happen unless we have a sincere desire to understand what we are hearing.
To listen we need to overcome our fear of silence and space.
When to stop talking and listen, here is what happens:
Social Power is characterized by:
If we start with personal power, we may increase our social power without trying
Personal power is about having the confidence to act based on one's own beliefs, attitudes and values, and having to sense that one's actions will be effective.
Powerful people think and act in a way that leads to retention and acquisition of power.
Power can often activate at a non-conscious level.
Briefly saying words that connote power like control, command and authority and make you feel present and powerful.
The feeling of power can be summoned by little nudges.
Powerlessness impairs thought and planning.
Powerlessness induces goal neglect. The general phenomenon of failing to remain focused on a goal prevents you from executing the necessary task.
Powerlessness makes us self-absorbed.
Power expands our body language. Likewise, our body language can influence and expand our feelings of personal power.
Our voices communicate power.
Powerful people make more eye contact while they are speaking.
When we feel powerful we speak more slowly and take more time, we don’t rush and aren’t afraid to pause. We feel entitled to the time we are using.
When people speak at a low pitch they are judged to be powerful by strangers.
We want power to, not power over.
Several scientific experiments lead them to believe that smiling does impact emotions and make a person happier. Our body, breath and movement play a huge role in how we feel.
Train yourself through breathing. Inhale quickly and exhale slowly.
Benefits of the breathing exercise:
International aid/development worker
Be You, Be Bold, Be Positively Fearless. Be Present.
View all Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges Book Summaries
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Chip Heath, Dan Heath
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