(Photographer: almighty shirlaf)
How to draw out your Presence
When it comes to Presence, what are your thoughts? I think many of us believe we don’t have enough of it. There’s a lot that prevents us from having Presence, isn’t there? Like shyness, social anxiety, performance anxiety, impostor syndrome, fear of public speaking, low self-confidence, lack of confidence in leadership skills, etc. Presence only seems to come to those “lucky”, “talented” or “gifted” ones. Like performers, speakers or leaders of all kinds.
Is Presence limited to only those in specific professions or roles? Or those with special inborn qualities? I don’t think so; I believe everyone has Presence. I’m purposely adding a capital P to distinguish it from just physically being there.
(Photographer: Sirli Raitma)
What is Presence
Let’s think of all the people we admire, famous or not. They have something in common, don’t they? While you might have other ideas in addition to mine, here are some of my observations:
- They have an aura that radiates even without speaking
- It’s an attractive vibe
- It draws attention and admiration
- It commands respect
- People with Presence are quietly confident
- Their words carry weight
- They’re authentic and genuine
- They’re comfortable in their own skin
- We instinctively trust them
- They’re often role models
I think Presence is our true, unique essence that naturally shines through when we’re calmly confident about who we are. When we’re in this state, our Presence can be an inspiration for others.
(Photographer: Mihaela Noroc)
What you can do to draw out your Presence
As we all know, being calmly confident and having Presence is easier said than done! We’ve got so much noise on the inside and outside that clouds our perception of ourselves, keeping us small, preventing us from expressing our essence.
To deal with this noise, we can start by getting to know ourselves better: our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, habits, wants, needs, values, strengths. I like to call this self-literacy.
Why is it good to cultivate this? Well, the more we know ourselves, the better we get at shifting our perspectives, setting boundaries, or letting go. You could call this self-management, or even energy management. Because this isn’t just about managing what affects your energy levels, it’s also about managing the energy you project (that’s an advanced level of working on your Presence!).
Here are some practices I’ve shared in past posts that can help you draw out your Presence:
1) Write a narrative about your life
What made you become the person you are today? Writing out the events that shaped your life into a story can help you see where you developed negative narratives that are holding you back. If you don’t like writing, you could record yourself speaking. The point is to put your story into words as if you’re telling it to someone.
What do you notice about your life story? Do you feel ashamed by any failures, choices, or violations of boundaries? Then let’s rewrite it. What lessons did they teach you? What can you stay instead so you feel more empowered by your story? Something to note: pain builds character just as much as success does, maybe even more. So tap into your courage and try to embrace it; you may feel quite proud of yourself when you do.
2) Use curiosity
Did you know that curiosity is a strength? And that we all have it in us? If you don’t believe me, just go back in time to when you were very young and remember how innocently curious you were. Yes, maybe your curiosity got you into trouble… you might have been punished and learned that curiosity was bad. That in itself is a new awareness. Use curiosity to find out more about what happened to you. Remember to withhold all judgment as you do this! This is the time for exploration, not self-critique or blame.
3) Practice self compassion
Is it hard to be curious, though? That’s understandable if you’re in a place of apathy or numbness. You may not have any room for compassion because your cup is empty. So this would be a good opportunity to start refilling your cup.
Here is a Loving Kindness meditation that I’ve adapted from my FB group co-host who shared it with me (she adapted it from Mindworks.org). If you find the full meditation challenging, just do the sections that feel comfortable to you. The purpose is to replenish yourself first.
As you get to know yourself better, you’ll probably want to know how to manage the inner and outer noise better. So that you can remain grounded in your essence and start expressing more Presence.
To support you on this end, I’ll be offering workshops to teach self-help tools and exercises that are easy to do. Those details will be shared in my monthly newsletter, so if you’d like to stay updated please subscribe from the bottom of the page!
(Photographer: Derek Winchester)
Why Presence is so important to me
I believe from the bottom of my heart that each one of us is like a diamond. Some are already cut and polished so they’re sparkling with light. Others are in the process of being polished so their brightness is emerging. And others have yet to be cut; they might not even be aware that they’ve got a diamond hidden in their core. Our diamonds come in all different properties; no two are alike.
Unfortunately, with the world being a harsh place, we might believe it’s safer to keep the diamond hidden by rough stone. Or not shine too brightly out of fear of disrupting the status quo. Or feel like we don’t deserve to let it be seen. Then no one can benefit from our Presence. This is such a shame!
We already have enough negativity, pessimism, indifference, distrust, righteousness, divisiveness, judgement, anger, fear, shame, jealousy and greed in the world to last for generations. These destructive forces are here to stay… that’s the reality we face.
To counter this force, we need more positivity, optimism, passion, laughter, joy, hope, faith, trust, compassion, kindness, cooperation and understanding. To uplift not only ourselves but also others. By letting our Presence shine, we can share our gifts with the people around us and the wider world as we grow. Together, we’ll create ripples of positive change. Humanity needs more of us to!
So, to those of you who are hiding your unique Presence out of fear of being seen, I invite you to consider this: what could change if you started expressing your Presence? If you’re on the way toward developing more Presence, I hope you feel inspired to let it shine even more! The world is waiting for you💗
If you have more thoughts about this topic, I would be happy to hear from you! Please feel free to reach out to me here.