Putting yourself out there, and stepping out of your comfort zone makes many people feel anxious and nervous. If you suffer with anxiety or panic attacks, or you are more shy and introvert in nature, this kind of situation can quickly put you in a STATE OF FEAR.

So I’ve created the 5 “B”s to brand and emBOLDen you.

When you feel threatened or scared, your body’s stress response — often called the “fight or flight” response — is triggered. When you are fearful, this triggers the release of cortisol, which on a long-term basis can be harmful to your mental, cognitive, emotional and physical health and well-being. How do you move from fear to a happier, and more confident place?

Changing state is just about shaking yourself out of one way of thinking, and quickly you can move into a different mental space. My toddler can go from tears and tantrums to smiles at the sight of his Thomas the Tank Engine. If toddlers can do it, surely we can change states quickly too, and indeed we can…

If you were busy working and feeling stressed, and a delivery came for a beautiful bouquet of flowers from a dear friend, you would quickly smile, and feel so loved! Your state would immediately change.

So when you’re on your way to do that presentation, or important meeting then put yourself in a good state. If you’re driving play some music you love, and if you’re travelling on public transport, then listen to music on your headphones. And then BOOGIE! Dancing or jiggling in your seat makes you feel happy, and connects you with happy times. You instantly relax and your stress levels by lowering cortisol. 

When you get to the venue where you’re going to present yourself, or network, go to the BATHROOM…. And when you’re in there, stretch out and make yourself as BIG AS POSSIBLE. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy says in her TED talk that standing in a posture of confidence and “power posing” with your arms outstretched – even when you don’t feel confident — can impact testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even affect our chances for success. 

Ever really thought about the phrase… it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it… well, it’s really true.

Professor Albert Mehrabian carried out some research in 1971 that found that only 7 percent of communication is verbal…. That means that the words are only a tiny fraction of what we hear, and non-verbal communication – our BODY LANGUAGE – is much more important. He found that 93 percent of communication is all about our tone of voice, and our reading of body language.

How we communicate:

  • 7%: Words (what’s actually said)
  • 38%: Tone of voice (how we say the words)
  • 55%: Body Language

When you’re going to your meeting, or about to do that Facebook live remember to BREATHE!

Too much of the time we forget to breathe, and instead shallow breathe. This can make us come across as out of breath and anxious in meetings and less confident. Practice yoga breathing deep down into the lungs, and you can make the everyday act of breathing into something that reduces cortisol levels.

The final thing to remember when you give that presentation or sell yourself is to BE YOURSELF. People recognise authenticity, and respond to it. If you’re nervous, say, “ooh sorry, I feel a touch nervous”, and people like your honesty. And then you blow them away with your confident and polished presentation.

Here’s my 5 ‘B’s to BRAND and emBOLDen you

  • BOOGIE – dance to release the stress hormone cortisol
  • BATHROOM – stretch out to make yourself as big as possible, and set yourself up for success.
  • BODY LANGUAGE – remember just 7 percent of communication is what you say, the rest is how you say it, and how you present yourself
  • BREATHE – breathing deeply can quite literally breathe out your stress
  • BE YOUR BEST SELF – be authentic, and your audience will love you.

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