One of the competencies that comes up in leadership coaching is the development of executive presence. My definition of executive presence is the quality of the energy that you generate in any interaction with others.
I believe presence is first and foremost energetic and originates internally, in how you perceive yourself, and manifests to the external world through your body, language and actions.
To do that you have to have a strong sense of self and self confidence. Self confidence is something that builds upon itself. The more successes you have the more self -confidence you gain.
But there are times when you don't succeed. Those are the times where you need to find ways to maintain your self-confidence despite your failures. Your failures do not define you any more than your successes define you. Yet how often do you give up your power to failures allowing them to create doubt and self criticism?
Confidence is both an "inner game" and an "outer game".
As an inner game, there are internal thoughts and feelings that you can identify that sustain your confidence. As an outer game, you can use your body and your energy to project confidence that can be seen by others.
The ten affirmations that follow are both inner and outer game changers. Use these affirmations when you are not feeling so successful and regardless of what is happening, you will maintain your self-confidence.
Inner Game: My thinking and beliefs drive my confidence in myself.
• I am competent in my skills, talents, abilities.
• I believe in my mission, purpose, vision and business.
• I am an A player.
• I am worthy and deserving.
• I understand, embrace and project my value and worthiness.
Outer Game: My body and energy management generate more confidence.
• I stand in a position that creates a sense of presence in the room.
• I manage my energy, centered in my power place (dantien) envisioning a circle of energy projecting out from me into the room.
• I manage the tone and pace of my speaking.
• I use positive, concise, definitive language (versus tentative language) to express my ideas and thoughts.
• I am direct in making requests and agreements.
And when you do begin to doubt yourself, as we all do at times, remember to shift your thoughts from negative to positive. As an example, from "I don't know how to do this." to "I'm a quick learner and have mastered difficult situations in the past."
Also, use your body to instill confidence. Stand up straight, take up space and do what Amy Cuddy refers to in her popular TED talk: The Superwoman Stance.
Shifting your mindset and your body stance actually changes your physiology and makes you more resilient and confident. Try these recommendations next time doubt creeps in and by practicing these you will soon be able to master your confidence level.
Alicia M. Rodriguez is founder of Sophia Associates Inc., an international executive and leadership coaching practice. We work with visionary leaders, executive women, social and creative entrepreneurs and change agents. Subscribe to Touchpoints, a short one minute read will provide you with information to help you stay attuned to new leadership thinking and with access to special offers that are only shared with subscribers. Visit Our Archive for previous Touchpoints.
Contact Alicia at firstname.lastname@example.org or @aliciarod on Twitter