New Year’s is all about resolutions. It’s a time to reflect on all you’ve learnt and where you want to go next. 2015 was a year of serious growth for me. 2016 will be a year of Standing Tall.
The Year I will Own My Presence
‘Stand Tall’ first came to me as my ‘shiny goal’ during the Moe Coaching training course I completed last July. I had been primarily focusing on how I could stand my ground and remain confident when speaking to those opposing my ideas. However, even then I felt there was more to it. I spent the rest of 2015 refining what it meant to me, quickly discovering that it speaks to many different aspects of my life and is manifested in different ways.
First, I will Stand Tall, literally, and own my presence.
At 5ft9/1.75m I am not particularly short. However, over the past few years, I have found myself slouching, shrinking. Between (wonderful) short friends, lower levels of confidence, and the desire to fit in, I found myself (mostly) subconsciously making myself smaller, diminishing my presence, conforming, trying not to stand out. The connection between body language and mental states is not lost on me. Nor is the resulting back ache. So now I am working to reverse that trend. I am standing upright, confident, holding my space, and being brave enough to stand tall and proud.
“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” — Marianne Williamson
Second, to Stand Tall is to own my views, my opinions and my values.
Previously, I shied away from clearly articulating by beliefs. This partly resulted from conforming with those around, not valuing my own opinions, and the ever present fear of sounding stupid! However, it is when I embody these values and beliefs the best version of myself shines through. I know that many of them are still in development. I believe, and hope, that they always will be, as I continue to question my assumptions and learn. So this year I am focusing on developing them, articulating them, and giving them the value and importance they deserve — allowing me to stand tall, with my feet firmly grounded in meaningful values.
Third, I am going to Stand Tall to those in my way, most notably myself.
“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” — Ayn Rand
I have spent so long looking for permission and acceptance to be myself, but life is not about getting permission, but about doing it. Armed with a greater clarity, self belief and values, I am more ready to discuss and present and move past those who oppose, question, judge, and doubt me, including me. I acknowledge that I was often my biggest enemy, projected my own doubts and concerns onto those around me. When I let that go, I see just how blessed I am to have the support that I need to excel. So I am choosing to Stand Tall and take action.
Fourth, it’s about Standing Tall in front of a crowd.
As I continue to explore different career journeys, I am becoming increasingly drawn to that of facilitating/teaching/coaching. Most of these involve standing in front of people. So in 2016 I will seek out the opportunities to explore this in more detail, strengthen my skills, and Stand Tall in front of the crowds.
Ultimately, Standing Tall keeps my head in the clouds and my feet in the ground.
“Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it…” — Wilfred Peterson
It allows me to dream big, imagine, create and be inspired, all the while keeping me grounded in reality, feet on the ground, ready to take action.
How am I going to do this?
There is no point of a resolution if you have no plan to put it into action! So the following are some of the ways I will working towards Standing Tall.
- I will be working on key exercises that strengthen my back and improve my posture, and breaking out of the terrible ways I sit in the office. I will also ask those around me to call me out on it!
- I’m finally starting to blog. This will force me to write out my thoughts, my ideas. I will not be worried about writing the ‘perfect blog’. I may be starting small, starting imperfectly. But I’m starting. This blog is ultimately more for myself than anyone else, but as a sign of valuing my words, I will be sharing them with you…whoever you are reading them.
- This year is about taking action. I will stop over thinking things and actually get moving. I am also focusing on sending out a more positive confident energy, fully in the knowledge that that is what I will get back in return.
- I am looking for opportunities to facilitate workshops and trainings to practice standing tall in front of people. One such opportunity will be during an Incitement event coming to London soon — watch this space.
- Finally, I am continuing to surround myself with those who inspire me to Stand Tall. I continue to dream big, and to keep trying.
What about you?
To thank you for reading all this, I have a call to action for you — go, stand in front of a mirror, smile, grow that few inches taller, fill out the space that your body owns and let your spirit, your energy, radiate out of that to fill all the space around you. Now take that person out into the world.
“So stand (tall) and make mountains jealous of how much you’ve grown” — Shane Koyczan