Monday, August 17, 2009

Building Charisma Through Confidence

It is safe to say that individuals who convey great charisma are extremely confident. They exude a self- assurance that transcends the challenges that ordinary people face. We all have track records where incidents occurred where we were uncertain about the outcome, which caused anxiety. The fact that we persevered, never giving into the fear of the unknown, created a pattern of confidence. This pattern of successes paved the way for greater confidence and eventually greater charisma. Catching the winning touchdown in football, scoring higher than anticipated on a standardized test and asking that extremely desirable person out on a date are all part of your track record for building confidence.

To be more confident and thus increase your charisma, it is imperative that you begin listing the major successes in your life. This is not an exercise merely to engage you in activity, but a reminder of what is necessary in gaining the charisma that you seek. One of the biggest maladies that individuals suffer from is amnesia. We often forget our successes opting to focus on the times when we experienced fear and setbacks. We can easily remember the times when things did not go our way, the times when we were disappointed for not performing at our peak level. Amazingly, our mind has a vivid memory of these shortcomings, but experience ambiguity when remembering our successes. The mind as a life preserver seeks to protect us from impending danger. Quite often, those closest to us, in their attempts to protect us, also influence us to be fearful. These messages do not come infrequently, but constantly. The difference between those who feel the fear and are debilitated by it and those who overcome it lie in their ability to act courageously. Thus feeling the fear and persisting in spite of it.

In mathematics, we learned that one plus one equals two. In the concepts that lead to great charisma, the equation is experience plus courage equals confidence. It takes courage to step away from mediocre thinking in creating the person you want to become. We are often plagued by childhood fears, which play out in our adulthood. Most often, we can trace any insecurity, inadequacy or fear to an experience that left an indelible mark in our minds. In coping with traumatic experiences, we push the negative experience deep into our psyche, which comes out in some form of behavior. Courage allows us to face our personal challenges and override the messages we have internalized as well as put situations that were out of our control into proper perspective. The charismatic person is not devoid of these experiences or more than human, but he or she has become proficient in dealing with internal and external challenges deliberately. It is this ability to be bold and courageous that increases their charisma. How many times have you heard a speaker, businessperson or facilitator reveal a personal experience that you felt you could not reveal to a room full of strangers? How did you feel about her candor? Under most situations, it drew you closer to her because she was allowing herself to become vulnerable. Western culture has a scattered viewpoint about sensitivity and vulnerability, because we mistrust the next person to act according to their higher selves and our best interest. Couple this with our unwillingness to take risks and remember past successes and we have the making of an individual who has handicapped herself from becoming charismatic.

The predominate reason you need confidence to become more charismatic is because you have to embrace vulnerability in order to connect with others to inspire them to act. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is popular and is characterized as charismatic because she takes her audience through a range of emotions when sharing her vulnerabilities. Your inner strength increases by directly facing potentially embarrassing experiences without expending unnecessary energy on who might find out. Vulnerability allows you to take control from others and maintain it for yourself.

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