There are many self-help resources to assist you in reaching your goals: between life coaches, online resources, and books galore it can be overwhelming. Thankfully, self-help topics based on research have become more available, such as vulnerability, shame, guilt, and presence. We can now draw from these efficacious resources.
Amy Cuddy is the author of the book “Presence,” and presented a popular TED Talk, “Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are.” Her research suggests that powerlessness disconnects us from ourselves making it difficult to truly be authentically present. Her definition of presence is, “the state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express our true thoughts, feelings, values, and potential.”
Amy Cuddy’s research shows that power is presence. With that being said, the opposite of power is powerlessness or the disbelief that you have power. This is why it’s very important to implement your goals with power. The question is: How do you go about doing this?
Stay in tune with yourself
Being present comes and goes. It’s something we have to wake up each day and intentionally choose. Whatever helps you stay in tune with yourself, do that before moving forward with your goals. Talk therapy, journaling, talking to friends, exercising, etc. all are possible ways to help keep you present. Choose to not rush through your day, but make every day count and make every day meaningful.
Collaborate with others
If you think about how you’ve gotten this far in life, it’s likely due to a team of caring and intelligent people. We don’t always have to reach our goals alone. Think about asking a friend or several friends to join you in reaching your goals and don’t be afraid to reach out to others for advice while you’re reaching goals. People can provide a healthy amount of encouragement and accountability. Open yourself up to others for feedback and help.
Put yourself out there
I’m talking about butterflies in your stomach. Reach the goals that make you terrified. Face your fears so that you have one less fear in your life. Over the last three years I’ve faced many of my fears. Abandonment, drowning, being alone, sacrificing too much for the unknown, not being successful enough, etc. and each time I face one of these fears, I feel more and more presence. I feel and think in a grounded way in almost every decision I make. The power is ingrained in who I am, not just what I do.
Practice healthy boundaries
As I get older I realize how messed up life can really be for me and everyone else. It’s imperative to learn how to be empathetic without internalizing other people’s pain and drama. This starts with creating healthy boundaries through being an excellent listener, using your body language and empathetic skills to relay that you care, but remaining removed from the situation.
In other words, you choose not to feed into workplace, family, or friend gossip because gossip is toxic. Gossip can create inauthentic and untrue perceptions of situations, others, and us. These false perceptions can alter our presence making it difficult to stay centered and reach our goals from a place of power. Obviously gossip can also be a band aid for a much needed difficult conversation. Choose to stay true to you and others.
Amy Cuddy writes, “It’s about being present in the moments that most challenge us. It’s also about trusting that those moments build upon themselves as we nudge ourselves forward, reinforcing our thinking, feelings, and physiology. Ultimately these moments can change our lives.”