Have you ever experienced a challenging situation that caused you so much fear that you failed to deliver your very best? Perhaps it was an important job interview, a presentation to senior management, or a difficult conversation with your boss?
It’s safe to say that we all have experienced challenging situations that despite our best efforts resulted in a less than stellar performance. Sometimes our fear becomes so great that we just can’t seem to get past it no matter how hard we try. The fear turns into dread as we cast our thoughts to the future and make predictions about a negative outcome. This fear can rob us of our personal power and leave us feeling like we don’t deserve what we are trying so hard to get.
But what about those challenging situations that you faced that resulted in a positive outcome. Were you better prepared? Were you excited about the challenge? Did you care less about the outcome and more about delivering your message in a way that you wanted it heard? I suspect that the answer to all of the above is a resounding yes! But I also suspect that the real answer lies in the fact that you were true to who you are. You behaved in a way that revealed your authentic self. You felt powerful because you believed in what you were saying and were not focused on what others were thinking of you.
I’ve coached hundreds of clients who have come to me seeking advice on how best to prepare for an important job interview, and one of the most important pieces of advice that I give is to be true to who you are. Yes, you have to prepare, that’s always the first step in getting ready for an important job interview. It’s also important to view the interview as a two-way conversation, one in which you get to share your skills and experiences and let them know how excited you are about the opportunity. Focusing on how you can offer value to the organization is extremely important and stating that clearly and concisely will often set you apart from the rest of the candidates. But most importantly, being true to who you are gives you the power to deliver your message in a way that only you can do. The rest is out of your hands. The only thing you have power over is you, your thoughts, and your behavior.
So how can you turn more of those challenging situations into positive outcomes? How can you push through the fear in the moments that really count? I’d like to suggest that you take a look at the TED talk below given by Harvard Professor, Amy Cuddy, titled: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are. She provides insight into the science behind power posing, a step toward harnessing presence to gain back our personal power and deliver positive results. Give it a try and let me know if it worked for you. Let’s gain back our power and show the world what we’re made of!
To gain additional insight into this topic, read Amy Cuddy’s newly released book, Presence – Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges.