I’m So Over the Posturing

Alexia Career Advice, Communication, Happiness, Leadership, Money Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 9.48.34 AMCan I share a secret with you?

I don’t naturally have good posture. I love this picture of me from when I was 5 or 6 months pregnant. I’m doing my thing…and my shoulders are unapologetically crooked.

Despite starting ballet classes at 4 and dancing at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School as a tween, I’m typically my most comfortable when my back is propped up in bed with a pillow or I’m sitting cross-legged on the floor, hunched a bit over my laptop.

A family member once told me as a girl, “nobody will take you seriously unless you have good posture.” While I actually have no relationship with this family member anymore (for reasons that have nothing to do with his beliefs on my posture), his words have haunted me throughout my life.

I’ve been complimented dozens of times for my “great posture.” And to be sure, a long neck and open chest have their place. On stage. In a negotiation. But—if posture is always born of pretense rather than from genuine confidence, a solidified sense of self-worth and authenticity—it can be problematic.

Yes, I’m speaking as much from personal as I am from professional experience. For years I suffered from intense shoulder pain, at least in part, from unnaturally performing the part of confident communicator.

My identity has evolved a lot over the last year and a half as a new mom—and as a corporate consultant who is now playing in the online self-development space. To support my transitions, I’ve enjoyed immersing myself in a lot of expert’s newsletters and promotional campaigns.

And even as my success has undeniably scaled, at moments so quickly it makes me quaver, so much of what I’ve been reading has been making me feel slimy. Not because the copy isn’t smart or at times super clever. Rather, because I can’t help imagine myself reading it a few years ago and thinking, “This would have made me feel really, really lousy about myself. It would have thrown me into feeling sucker punched by the inevitable self-comparisons I would have drawn.”

The curious part of me may enjoy hearing how someone went from being $50K in debt to making $500,000 in a year. Or how someone quadrupled her list through such and such list building strategy. Or [insert brag of your choosing].

But I find the “I came from modest beginnings” to the “I’m now so special” over sharing counter productive to lifting other people up and into their greatness.

This kind of communication happens in my corporate life as well. Plenty of leaders do the ‘humble brag’ in hopes of inspiring their managers or employees to up their game. And I’ve seen it work. At least for a time. Until people realize they haven’t transformed their sense of self and have reverted back into old habits and behaviors. And in many cases, did not develop the skills necessary to catalyze an enriched sense of self.

What might happen if we allowed ourselves to be comfortable sharing the less sensational highs and lows of our experiences—be it in our online or face-to-face communication, or in our presentations and workshops?

I’m still processing my takeaways from my MasterTreat a couple of weekends ago. One of my many discoveries is that when you live and learn with a group of people over a few days, when they see you in your mouth guard and fury sheep pajama bottoms at the start and end of the day, there’s not a lot of room for posturing. And it’s so flippin’ refreshing.

It gives us license to have real, soul-centered conversations about where we are. About what’s working. About what’s not. And it enables us to hold ourselves to our own, individualized high standard of excellence—without feeling like everyone else is ‘crushing it’ because of some secret posture they’ve developed that we must too.

And it’s through eliminating the posturing that we give ourselves the ability to stand tall, and sing our song in our real voice.

Over the next few weeks, I’ve got some fun and effective opportunities for you to continue to hone your message and align it with opportunities that let you shine. Your way.

In chronological order…

  1. I’m excited to present my live, virtual training, Boost Your Financial Bottom Line Through Speaking on Tuesday, March 31. I’ll be sharing how to create multiple streams of meaningful speaking revenue, the exact materials you need to get on the speaking circuit and how to build your platform as a speaker—without feeling like you have to compromise your message or your integrity. I’m giving away one speaking strategy consult during each of the presentations (12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern + 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern) – which I haven’t done in years even though my spotlight speaking mentorship is currently full. I just know that too many bright, necessary voices are mired in confusion about how to start, how to scale and how to sustainably monetize. And I want to change that. Register for the webinar here.
  1. Between planning 10 face-to-face session days each year for my Influencer Academy and my recent MasterTreat (and a new one coming in October 2015), my head is frequently steeped in designing, delivering and facilitating transformational, content-rich events. Powerful events don’t just pack a room, they change a room. Whether you are on stage or in the center of a room leading, it’s a phenomenal feeling to be the catalyst for your audience members’ or participants’ learning and growing. I want that for you too, which is why I said YES! to being a part of Tai Aracen’s Million Dollar Events Summit. Tai has brought together a powerhouse group of experts, including yours truly, to share with you how to host successful events that IMPACT, CONNECT and increase your PROFITS! Whether your goal is a small VIP retreat, an online virtual event,or huge multi-day conference, through the summit you will learn how to tap into the unique potential of hosting your own events. Register for the summit here.
  1. Finally, save the date—April 13 at 12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern—for a webinar I’m hosting with Natalie Sisson, The Suitcase Entrepreneur, on How to Build a Lifestyle of Freedom Through Speaking. I’ll be sharing more details as this date approaches, but I’m too excited for this event not to at least announce it today.

Let’s take responsibility for sitting, standing and living in a posture that feels good for our bodies—and that invites other people to feel good in theirs.