10 Tips to Carry Yourself with Confidence

10 Tips to Carry Yourself with Confidence

I’m willing to bet that you’ve heard about the importance of first impressions. Whether it be walking into the job interview, meeting a prospective client, or giving a presentation to a group of people (even virtually!). How you walk into the room, make eye contact, the tone of your voice, and how well you listen, can all have a huge impact on creating a positive first impression. When you have self-confidence, the vibe you give off makes people feel at ease because they believe you know what you are doing. No one wants to hire someone or work with someone who makes them question whether or not they’ll be able to do what they say they are going to do.

Potential attackers use these same observation techniques to select their victim, but in reverse. They are looking for someone who doesn’t appear to have self-confidence. Someone who is distracted or looks afraid. Attackers do not want to select someone who looks like they will make noise to alert others or someone who gives off the vibe, “not me, not today”.

So, you’ve committed to carrying yourself with confidence, but what exactly does that mean? Here are 10 tips that apply to your career AND your personal safety.

  1. Know your strengths

When you know your strengths, it builds your confidence. If you’re not sure what your top strengths are, ask 5 people who truly know you and who you respect. A great resource that you can use to self-evaluate your strengths is taking a CliftonStrengths online assessment. Are you really good at reading body language? Practice guessing the mood of people you see as you go about your day. Consider this your excuse to people watch!

  1. Work on your appearance

How you walk and the way you dress not only makes a first impression on others, it can affect how you feel about yourself too. Whether at work or going out in a social setting, when your clothes fit perfectly and the whole outfit feels Pinterest worthy, you feel confident. Start with investing in at least one custom tailored outfit made specifically for you. Make sure you can move freely and comfortably.

  1. Be aware of your weaknesses

Having self-confidence means being aware of your weak points too. When someone refuses to acknowledge traits they need to work on, their work and personal relationships suffer. You cannot grow and improve yourself if you refuse to acknowledge your weaknesses.

  1. Move your body

Choose a physical activity you enjoy and do it on a regular basis. Don’t quit before you start because you’ve “never been the athletic type”. Take an honest self-assessment of your current physical state and pick one thing to do every day to improve it. Maybe it’s walking to the mailbox instead of grabbing the mail out your car window. Maybe it’s setting a regular walking date with a friend instead of meeting somewhere to sit and talk.

  1. Practice good communication

Being able to communicate effectively is crucial in both your work and personal life. Understand your emotions and where they come from, be able to articulate your feelings clearly and concisely, and practice active listening. If you have a different opinion on how to solve a problem at work, speak up and share your idea. If someone is bothering you because they are saying something inappropriate or standing too close to you, stay calm and speak up.

  1. Relax

Take deep breaths when you start to feel nervous or stressed. Do a power pose, take 5 seconds to remind yourself of your strengths, and stop overthinking all the possible outcomes of a situation. Focus on what you can control- you and your actions. Worrying about whether your presentation will be well received before you log on to the Zoom call will only hinder you. You may appear nervous and your voice might shake. That is not the first impression you want to give. When you are walking to your car after work or running errands, stay off your phone and scan your environment. Even better, have a flashlight in your hand and use it, especially after dark.

  1. Eyes up

Look people in the eyes when you meet them. It lets them know your attention is focused on being present with them. They will feel seen and heard and be much more receptive to listening to what you have to say too. It is not a staring contest though! If you are starting to work on making eye contact with people, look at the bridge of their nose. When you walk down the street, look around at others in your area. Potential attackers do not want you to see them approach. If you make even brief eye contact with them, they know you’ve seen them. You have just told them you’re confident in knowing who and what is in your environment and they won’t have the element of surprise.

  1. Stand tall

Your body language sends an especially important message to others. That’s why the power pose works so well. This is not a superficial tip! Straighten your spine, pull your shoulders back, and keep your head up. Plus, your chiropractor will be happy with your improved posture.

  1. Listen to your intuition

All your senses are constantly taking in information and feeding that information to your subconscious. When your subconscious decides something deserves more attention, it sends a signal to your consciousness via intuition. There are many ways your intuition will communicate with you and it’s not always with fear. Sometimes it’s a nagging suspicion you’ll be working late because you overheard co-workers talking about a problem they’ve discovered. Start paying attention to what your intuition is telling you about little things. The better you understand your intuition signals, the more confidence you’ll have in trusting the signals will come through for the big things.

  1. Consider a Personal Protection Device

What if you find yourself in a challenging situation? One of the best ways to alert anyone that you need help is a personal alarm. Mace® Brand personal alarms are easy to carry and send out a loud shriek with the touch of a button. They also have a built-in whistle that makes alerting someone easy. The alarms are legal in all 50 states, and are a popular choice for teenagers. It’s always best to be prepared and empower your loved ones with a non-lethal form of Mace personal protection.

Remember that building your self-confidence takes time. Everyone has struggled with their self-confidence at some point in their life. It’s not just you! Start building your confidence by picking one habit to practice every day. As you get better at the one habit, let the sense of accomplishment propel you to take the next step.

No matter who you are or where you are starting from, you can do this. By using your fears as motivation to better yourself, you build resilience too. You know you have overcome challenges in the past, and you will overcome challenges in the future. When you carry yourself with that knowledge, you will shine with confidence.

“Use action to cure fear and gain confidence.”

-David Schwartz, Magic of Thinking Big

Don’t Wait For Something To Happen

Don’t Wait For Something To Happen

Learning how to be more situationally aware is not about learning a new life skill, it’s about using life skills you already possess, from the perspective of personal safety.

“Having awareness means using your senses and intuition to notice something is off in your environment. Then, understanding what that means to you and your safety. Lastly, taking action to preserve your safety.”

-Kelly Sayre

Last week, there was a bank robbery and hostage situation in Central MN. It started in the middle of a weekday afternoon. There are not a lot of details being shared yet, but two points I felt compelled to write about for this week’s blog.

First, the suspect displayed erratic behavior in the bank lobby before the situation escalated.

During presentations, I stress the importance of noticing anomalies in your environment. A person displaying behaviors that do not match the baseline. Behaviors you would not normally expect to see in the environment. Anomalies can also be objects you would not normally expect to see in an area, but for the purposes of this post, I’m going to focus on behaviors.

Think about what type of behaviors you would normally expect to see while visiting your bank. People are generally quiet, almost in a library-type way. Due to the private nature of personal finances and the importance of security, bank employees and patrons tend to speak in hushed tones. The amount of distance for personal space is also increased, even pre-pandemic. No one wants someone looking over their shoulder at personal identification information or bank account numbers.

Behaviors that would be considered anomalies would be the opposite of what I described above. Someone being loud, getting too close to other patrons of the bank, pacing around instead of patiently waiting to meet with a bank employee.

No matter what type of environment you’re in, if someone’s behavior is an anomaly from the baseline, pay attention. If any of your intuition alarms start going off, leave the area immediately. There is absolutely no reason to stick around to see IF something bad is going to happen. None.

Stay calm and get to safety (leave the environment). Even if you read the behaviors wrong, you’re still safe. If you stay in the environment because you aren’t quite sure the person’s behaviors are threatening, it can get worse real fast. There’s nothing cool or fancy about getting to safety. Hollywood doesn’t make money off showing people avoiding dangerous situations. But real life isn’t Hollywood.

“You don’t have to be right, but I’d hate for you to be wrong.”

-Tammy McCracken

Second, when there is an active situation where lives are in danger, do not GO TO the scene to spectate.

In today’s world, real-time information and updates are shared immediately and broadcast all over the world via the internet. As someone who spends a good chunk of time studying violence and pre-threat indicators, I understand the curiosity when a situation is happening. I talk about the importance of being curious about your environment in order to stay present and notice anomalies. But that’s when you’re already in the environment. Being curious does not mean you should stop what you’re doing, get closer to the scene, and take a seat on the grass. (Yes, there literally were gawkers at the bank situation).

As I mentioned above, when a situation is happening in real-time, it can get much worse real fast. Law enforcement should not have to worry about keeping “spectators” safe. Victims of a situation don’t want to feel like people are watching events unfold, while eating popcorn and drinking a soda, when they’re having one of the worst days of their life. And, the suspect or suspects, may actually feel motivated to cause more damage to increase the perception that they are a “badass”.

Situational awareness is being present, staying curious about your environment, and taking action to get to safety the moment your intuition tells you it’s time to leave.

You already have the life skills needed to keep yourself and loved ones safe. Don’t fight your intuition because you want front row seats to the action. You may end up being a victim to that action.

“This life’s hard, but it’s harder if you’re stupid.”

-George V. Higgins

Fear Mongering and Click Bait

Fear Mongering and Click Bait

Last week, an article was shared with me about an alleged Tik Tok video declaring April 24th National Rape Day. In doing a quick online search, there were quite a few articles talking about this alleged video.

When something gets shared with me, whether it’s a video, article, picture, or a personal account of a woman being attacked, I try to get as much information as I can. I want to learn the details, in order to pull out lessons that will help other woman stay safer. It’s not about figuring out what the victim did wrong. It’s about looking at the tactics or methods used by the predator, and sharing that information so everyone can learn to recognize early warning signs.

In every attack from one human to another (or group of people), there are pre-threat indicators. The indicators are not always recognized, either because the victim does not consciously observe them and misses their intuition signals, or a third party doesn’t recognize the indicators for what they are. Again-this is not a blame game, it’s a lack of knowledge on threat assessment.

The alleged Tik Tok video would be considered a pre-threat indicator. Except, no one could find the video. A friend of DAG, whose job is in crisis management and threat assessment, had his entire team scouring the web for this video. They couldn’t find it. What they did find was a post on social media talking about the alleged video. From that post, mainstream media took it as fact (without verifying there was an actual video), and used fear mongering as click bait.

Now, some could argue that the public needs to be made aware of any and all threats of violence, in order to protect themselves. I disagree.

Real and viable threats? Yes-those need to be brought to the attention of the right people to avoid violence if at all possible.

Fear mongering and scare tactics to get clicks, likes, and shares? Nope.

Not only do scare tactics make the situation worse, it can be re-traumatizing for anyone who has experienced that type of violence in the past. Instead of sharing knowledge to empower women in their personal safety (ex: here’s the warning signs to watch for and options to get safe), it causes panic and anxiety.

What is the most important thing to do when your intuition alarm bells start going off? Stay calm and decide on a course of action that keeps your safety the #1 priority.

How can you build confidence in your personal safety skills? Here’s 4 things to start with…

  1. Get on The Diamond Arrow Group’s email, follow DAG on Facebook and Instagram, and connect with Kelly on LinkedIn. (Share our info with others!)
  2. Practice simple daily habits to increase your situational awareness skills. (Watch this video for ideas.)
  3. Gather a group of friends or family and take self-defense classes. (Are you in central MN? Here’s a FREE class with 500rising instructors next month.)
  4. Research self-defense tools and figure out what would work best for you and your lifestyle. (Don’t know where to start? Email me.)

I don’t want you to live your life in fear of the “what ifs”. There are so many cool people to meet, so many cool places to travel to, and so many cool adventures to experience.

A diamond through an arrow symbolizes courage moving forward. Let me help you build confidence in your personal safety skills so you can live life on your terms.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

-Mary Oliver