"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to the grave with the song still in them."
Henry David Thoreau
This quote makes me sad. Mostly because I think it is probably true. The mass of men - and women - go to their grave with the song still in them. I want to inspire people to stand up and sing their song!
Why don't most people sing their song? Why do they lead lives of quiet desperation?
Is It Because They Lack Confidence To Do It?
There are loads of ways you can pretend to have confidence - to fake it 'til you make it! There are workarounds that might give you a bit of a boost - wearing those heels, or a particular outfit perhaps. But what if you could develop complete inner confidence so that you could shine regardless of where you were, what you wore, or who you were with?
How do you develop confidence like that? Well, here are my 5 tips that have worked for me
5 Tips For Developing Awesome Confidence
1. Know Your 'Why'. What is your vision, your mission or your purpose? If you have ever had an absolute mission you will know how focussed and unstoppable you can be. If you have never experienced this, think about the vision that Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Angeline Jolie, even Madonna (I love her, but some people don't) have. They know exactly what they want from life, what their mission is, what song they must sing - And they damn well sing it, don't they? Finding your purpose is massive. Having a vision for how you want your future to look, why you are doing what you are doing, who you would like to help or inspire are all reasons 'Why'. What is yours?
2. Follow Your Intuition. I know, I talk about this a lot, and there are many reasons why that is. When you trust in your intuition, you just know that the right people, places and things will appear, as if by magic. Ladies, when we work with our intuition we stand in our power - we engage with one of our feminine superpowers! And it is amazing. We can feel guided, lucky, safe, on track, and ultimately confident.
3. Breathe! Take a breath before you walk into a room. Breathe deeply before you have to stand up and speak. Breathe from your belly - that means not holding your stomach in by the way - allowing your lungs to fill properly. Breathing is especially important if you have to present, or even just do a 60 second pitch at a business event. If you know how to breathe correctly - allowing your stomach muscles to relax on the in breathe, and then using them to help actively expel the air as you speak and exhale, you will also sound more confident and be able to project your voice further. Your voice will sound more full and rounded rather than wispy or quiet.
4. Energy. You need enough energy to keep yourself full of life and vigour, this is really practical and also a bit more esoteric. This is a vast subject but think about enough sleep, good exercise and fresh air (get those happy hormones flooding your bloodstream), great nutrition, quiet time, and what ever else you need to ensure you are at your optimum. But also understand how to ground your energy to help with confidence in the moment. It can be as simple as planting your feet firmly and evenly distributing your weight rather than standing (wobbling) on one leg - especially if you're in heels ladies! Bend your knees slightly and just imagine roots coming out of the soles of your feet. This sinks your energy in to your lower body and helps you to be present in the room. Excellent just before speaking or, if you feel a little overwhelmed go in to the toilets and do it before going back to the event!
5. Posture. Posture can have two different meanings here. The way you stand physically, and your approach or attitude. When you believe in what you are doing (see point no. 1) and you have the right energy, and trust your intuition, you will have a positive approach and attitude, and people can sense that. In terms of physical posture, stand tall, ground your energy (see above), shoulders back, engage your core (that's your stomach muscles if you're not sure) and lift your head (as though someone is pulling a strand of your hair from the top of your scalp so that you extend your neck, keeping your chin level with the floor). When you stand tall and confident, it is almost impossible to feel un-confident. And if you start to slip into that feeling I can almost guarantee that your posture has slipped. Think of old TV clips of soldiers on parade
Each of these will give you a confidence boost, but used consistently over time, and combined together you will find such inner strength that you will feel confident in almost every situation.
Please don't lead your life in quiet desperation, please discover what song you are supposed to be singing and start to share it with the world. Even if it is just with those closest to you. Don't go to your grave with your song still inside.