What is Standing Out Really About?
What sets great employees, executives and entrepreneurs
apart is their ability to positively influence and stand out in the crowd.
To fully show up and be your best self requires you to bring out more of who you really are. This calls on you to step into your personal power – to be conscious about your body language, tone of voice, connection with your audience and most importantly to be strongly rooted in your inherent value. For the majority of us we have been programmed that to be accepted, we must fit in. The truth is, being a contribution isn’t about conformity, it’s about bringing forth your unique ideas, personality, and authenticity no matter where you are.
“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”
Choosing to show people who you really are can feel vulnerable, especially if you’re an introvert, in a new role, or the only woman at the table.
Have you ever had a great idea, but the committee in your head told you it probably wasn’t all that great, you wouldn’t say it right or your audience wouldn’t get it? Or perhaps the energy in the room was so overpowering that you couldn’t find a good time to speak up then the meeting ended and the opportunity was gone? Or worse yet, because you waited, someone else spoke up with your brilliant idea and became the new hero? I can’t tell you how many times these things have happened to me in the past. There were countless moments when I didn’t connect with the valuable parts of myself before I spoke and it felt like I had a brick wall between me and my audience. The words didn’t flow from me or land with them. On the other hand, when I finally learned how to fully step into my authentic self and leadership presence I was able to tap into my worth, engage my audience and have them hanging onto every word.
Every moment you are in front of others is an opportunity
for you to stand in your conscious leadership presence and make a difference.
In Amy Cuddy’s book, Presence she refers to a research study – ‘The Trier Social Stress Test’ where participants were tasked to give a videotaped impromptu speech in front of a panel of judges. For most people, giving a speech in front of a friendly audience is nerve racking enough, but being judged adds an additional stressful component. The judges were told to be expressionless. After participants delivered their speech they were instructed to count backwards from 1,022 in increments of 13 while the judges barked at them to “hurry up”. If they made a mistake they had to start over. Urgh! This study was designed to maximize stress and create a social anxiety nightmare. Mission accomplished indeed! The speakers were segmented into two groups. One of the groups sat down and wrote for five minutes about a value that they didn’t identify with and the other group wrote about one of their important personal core values and why it mattered, like: family, being of service, creativity, health, etc. These values were not necessarily ones that would help them give a good talk.
Cortisol levels were measured before and after speaking. Cortisol levels determine the fight or flight response. When levels are high we have a very difficult time remaining calm, thinking clearly or feeling grounded and present. The results of the study were profound: The group that wrote about a value they didn’t identify with had a “significant” spike in cortisol, but what’s mind-blowing is that the group who did identify with a important core value had “no” spike at all.
Self-esteem emerges through the experience of having full access to one’s values,
traits and strengths and being able to genuinely express them.
Clarifying your values and why they matter aligns you with your true self-worth and is the first step in creating a more authentic presence. When you embody your inherent value and trust your sincerity will come through, you will make a bigger contribution wherever you go.
Engage with your finest authentic self just before your next courageous step and you’ll weaken the hold of potential social rejection and increase your receptivity to others. This allows you to be fully present and truly make an impact.
Isn’t that why you are here?
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