What Will Your Presence Bring You?
Here we are: 2020! Someone recently mentioned that we are as close, time-wise, to 2050 as we are to 1990 and my brain shattered into a million tiny pieces. In spite of the evidence, I’m pretty sure 1990 was still just ten years ago…
But yes, here we are, with a brand new year—a brand new decade, even—full of possibilities. What are you going to fill YOUR year with? What would YOU like to attract?
Maybe this year you want to improve a relationship. Or maybe you want a promotion. A new car? A garden? To travel? Whatever your goal or intention or “word of the year” is, if you want to get something out of 2020, you’re going to have to put something into it: YOU.
Who you are and how you present yourself—your Presence—impacts how your year will go. As I’ve said before, everything you want in life requires communication to achieve. You have to interact with someone at some point to get what you want. Does your Presence create barriers or does it boost your chances?
The first step to making sure that your Presence helps you, instead of hindering you, is to know how you want to be. When you think of your goals, what kind of person would achieve them? What will others need to see in you? How will they need to feel when you’re around? What will your Presence attract?
The second step is to intentionally convey the Presence you want. You send messages all the time with your voice tone, posture, facial expressions, and even your breathing patterns. Do those messages accurately communicate who and how you are? You have so many options! It’s easy to fall into a default way of being and communicating. Yet sometimes, you’ll want to convey credibility and confidence. Other times, focused determination. You may also want to convey openness, calm assurance, intensity, or cheerfulness. All of these are communicated nonverbally. Start by knowing how you want to be, and then act on it.
You get back what you give. When you communicate credibility, others are more likely to trust you. When you communicate openness, others are more likely to talk to you. When you communicate lightheartedness, others are more likely to loosen up a little, too. Choose what is best for the situation, the people you’re with, and YOU. Then communicating Presence will bring you exactly what you’re looking for.
One day, I was feeling particularly energetic and upbeat. On my way to the grocery store that day, I decided to purposefully practice communicating a warm, joyful presence.
Everyone was so HAPPY! I got so many smiles and nods! A few quipped jokes as we (strangers!) passed each other on the aisles. One young woman actually stopped me and said, “You have a very welcoming face.”
Generally, when I’m at the grocery store, I’m on a mission, and the LAST thing I want is to talk to people I don’t even know. If I have any presence at all that others might notice, it communicates, “I’m not here to make new buddies.” It is a closed, focused Presence. There’s a time and a place for that.
But on that day, I cleared my mind of the clutter and chaos, stayed present, used open body language, claimed space, and related to the grocery shoppers around me. I communicated a warm, joyful Presence and you know what I got in return? Warmth and joy.
I don’t do that all the time (it takes energy). And sure, not everyone responds in kind. You won’t get a 100% response rate. But in Dan & Chip Heath’s book Made to Stick they cite a study which showed that how we communicate to others signals to them how we expect them to respond. In other words, your Presence influences your reception.
So, what does your Presence attract? What will it bring you this year?
The good news is that your Presence is entirely under your control. So, choose. What do you want? BE it and you will GET it.