At events, I often hear: “You are always so positive!” and: “It’s always great to have your smile in the room.” Someone recently said, “I thought there was something special about you because you smiled at every single person when they got up to introduce themselves.” The truth is, it’s more FUN to be around people who smile more. It’s definitely more fun to be around myself when I do.
I am German, and we can be brutally blunt and serious. The good thing about this is when we smile, you can be sure it’s real. A fake smile wouldn’t work anyway. People feel can feel it. A sincere smile comes from within, and it takes practice to offer an abundance of natural smiles – a product of our positive YES energy and an intentional mindset in which we know and use our power.
My life has been one of adventure and hasn’t always been one of smiles and laughter. It’s been the typical bed of roses: lots of flowers, lots of thorns. In the past, I didn’t have the tools to cut the thorns away. But now I do. We all do.
For me, some of these tools have been holistic modalities that have changed my life. I’m fascinated with understanding the subconscious mind and how it controls our lives if we don’t learn how to reprogram it in a way that serves our goals. I consciously pay attention to my state of mind and the effect it has on others – even and especially when it isn’t easy. I constantly work to positively reframe my mind and know I will continue doing this all my life. This is about identifying limiting, disempowering thoughts, beliefs, and emotions, and replacing them with positive ones. (It’s a bit like updating your computer software on an ongoing basis).
For example, if you worry too much or frequently find yourself struggling with fear, here’s a tip: Whenever a limiting thought sneaks into your mind, turn it around. Let’s say you have a challenging meeting coming up. And here comes the thought: “It may not work out; they may not like what I have to say…” The fastest way to turn this thought around is by asking a positive “what if” question: “What if they actually like my idea? What if I have the power to help them see the benefit of my suggestion?” Your subconscious mind reacts more benevolently to a question than to an affirmative statement. Why? It rejects affirmations that are not supported by your belief system. With a question you open up a possibility. And if you add a smile, this tiny physiological change sends a signal to your brain that tells you to be happy, and that in itself is empowering… because when we feel better, we can accomplish more. Experiment with it!
Dance is another way to power up. It lifts me up and brings me joy. And it helps me be present in my body. Being fully present in our bodies is key for a compelling, confident presence. We can literally em-body confidence. I do this through power dancing (based on Amy Cuddy’s power posing). As a dancer, I prefer moving to music than holding a pose. Adding the joy factor of music is even more energizing; dancing and singing release oxytocin, a hormone that alleviates stress and anxiety. I use big, expansive movements. Try it. Put on your favorite song, and fly into the sky! It’s a great way to tap into your power.
There are so many more resources to get grounded, energized, and clear in your mindset, and I love sharing them. This passion inspired me to start my transformational coaching business to help other women step into their best selves… and into their role as leaders.
As leaders, we women can make a bigger impact for ourselves and everyone around us. I whole-heartedly believe that world peace will depend on whether we take the leap to “take the lead,” and that’s why I feel so strongly about bringing more women to the top in organizations and in society.
When I had the chance to work with Take The Lead as one of their inaugural trainers, I didn’t hesitate for a minute. I can see how these Power Tools allow women to enjoy the benefits that come with equality (newly acquired freedom and more financial power). And, take “Sister Courage” for example, a teaching of Power Tool #7: Take Action, Create a Movement – this reminds women to pull other women and girls along with them. Once we dive into the 9 Leadership Power Tools in a dedicated way and integrate them into our daily practice, it’s easier to take focused action towards our vision for our own lives and for an ideal world, where women and men hold equal power. In this world, all of us can thrive as a result of mutual respect, balanced leadership, and a more harmonious and joyful life experience for all.
For the most part, my transformational coaching programs for individuals and groups are completely customized. I bring in Take The Lead’s 9 Leadership Power Tools to Advance Your Career to equip women with the tools they need to assume full responsibility for their lives, be successful, and take the lead for female advancement.
A richer creativity pool fueled by more diversity leads to forms of progress for the entire wo/mankind that we can’t even imagine yet, and I look forward to being surprised. As we work together to get there, treat yourself and others to a smile! The kind that comes from your heart.