Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges - Deepstash

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Be You, Be Bold, Be Positively Fearless. Be Present.

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges

by Amy Cuddy


1.88K reads

Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges

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?

  • If you want...


We convince by our presence.

Defining 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...

The Elements of Presence

Self-assured enthusiasm is a strong indicator of success. This quality predicts:

  • Drive
  • Willingness to work hard
  • Initiative
  • Persistence in the face of obstacles
  • Enhanced mental activity
  • Creativity
  • The ability to identify good oppo...

Presence Is Positive Self-Confidence

Presence emerges when we feel personally powerful.

  • Through small tweaks in our body language and mindsets, we can self-induce presence.
  • Presence is confidence without arrogance.

Presence manifests itself in two ways:

  • We communica...

Presence Is An Inward Trait

  • A bit of quiet goes a long way towards being present.
  • Focus more on the impression you are making in yourself and less on the impression you are making on others.
  • Confidence is often confused with cockiness.
  • True confidence stems from real love and leads to a long-ter...

The Synchronous Self

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 em...

Faking It Vs being Authentic

  • Emotion is authentic, negative or positive.
  • Lying or being inauthentic is hard work.
  • Truth reveals itself more clearly through our actions than through our words.
  • The body says what words cannot.
  • Presence stems from believing our own stories.
  •  It is th...

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:


Your Life Story

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 th...

Acting with Presence

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.

  • When a ...

Stop Preaching, Start Listening: How Presence Begets Presence

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:

  • Can I trust this person?
  • Can I respect thi...

Warmth Vs Competence

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.

  • More warm than competent = lovable fools
  • More competent than warm = competen...

Trust Through Presence

  • Trust is the conduit of influence.
  • The only way to establish real trust is by being present.
  • Presence is the medium through which trust develops and ideas travel.
  • Without trust your great ideas are impotent.

The Art Of Real Listening

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 happ...

How Powerlessness Shackles the Self (and How Power Sets It Free)

  • When we feel powerful we feel free, in control, un-threatened and safe. As a result, we are unrestricted.
  • Powerlessness activates a psychological and physical inhibition system.
  • Power makes us approach.
  • Powerlessness makes us avoid.

Personal Power Vs Social Power

Social Power is characterized by:

  • Ability to exert dominance.
  • To influence or control the behaviour of others.
  • Earned and expressed through disproportionate control over valued resources.
  • Social power is limited, requires some kind of control ov...


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 Vs Powerless

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 fe...

Slouching, Steepling, and Body Language

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 do...

Yoga And Breathing Exercises

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.


  • The way you carry yourself is a source of personal power. The kind of power that is the key to presence.
  • Expanding your body expands your mind and allows you to be present.
  • We pose in a powerless way much more often than we think.
  • High power poses are expansive and op...

The Way You Speak Matters

  • Powerful people speak more slowly.
  • Slow speech demonstrates a kind of openness.
  • In speaking slowly one indicates that he or she has no fear of interruption.
  • Speaking slowly allows us time to communicate clearly.
  • Expanding your body brings you to the present an...

Pose for Presence

  • Notice situations and people that trigger powerless body language.
  • Prepare with big poses.
  • In the morning practice, your favourite poses for a couple of minutes to start the day.
  • Lists specific tips on preparation before public speaking.
  • Stand at work instead ...

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