Stand Tall

"Stand Tall, Stand Proud.
Know that you are unique and magnificent.
You do not need the approval of others."
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Dear >You,

How would you react to seeing yourself walking down the street? Would you notice yourself, would you say "hi", would you give a once-over and make a quick judgment? 

I decided to play around with my "street impressions" recently, and, based on my findings, you may want to consider experimenting yourself. 

It started when I opted to walk, instead of taking public transportation, to my Italian language classes.  I hoofed it 30 minutes each way, five days a week, for five weeks (and, coincidentally, now I speak Italian like a five-year-old. Go figure.) At some point early in my casual meanderings, I started to notice how I walked differently depending on how "done up" I was.  Days where I wore skirts and sassy boots, I felt my flair come on and my "looky here" walk come out. In fact, on these days people responded by paying attention to me, which in turn made me feel more confident, which in turn made people take notice, which encouraged my confidence, and so on. You get the picture.

It was then that I started noticing how others walked and how I felt about their "projected walks".  It became really clear, quite quickly, that people who walked tall gave off an air of "I have it together."

In my ensuing experiment, I deliberately walked tall with steady shoulders (rather regally), regardless of my outfit, and noticed any reactions from strangers on the street. Some of you may find this visual funny, considering I am only 5'2", but hang on...pause and consider the amazing Prince.

I have to be honest: I was astonished at the response.  No matter my level of poshness in attire, the "stand tall and walk steady" gait not only increased my sense of self-respect, it attracted respect from others; people made more room when passing instead of brushing up against me, they smiled more, and they seemed generally more positive.

There are plenty of studies to suggest that body language accounts for 70% of our communications, I had just never considered the language you convey before opening your mouth.  It has also relatively recently surfaced that researchers have found that your physical expressions affect your mood: If you hold your arms up in an expression of victory, it releases more good feeling chemicals.  If you smile it can actually make you feel more happy. So maybe that saying "fake it until you make it" has a little more to it that we thought!

I certainly felt great doing it... and who wouldn't like a little trick to boosting themselves from time to time.

Stand Tall for Yourself. 

Give it a whirl: 
For one week stand tall and walk with
your shoulders steady. Let me know
how others respond!


With Encouraging Height,

The Coaching Process: Step 1

When you want make a change in life or work, getting to know how you are unique, special, and gifted is a great first step.