Q&A: How to Be a Force to be Reckoned With?

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Question: How do you make sure that you are perceived as a force to be reckoned with? Some people just have a presence in a room and it’s felt by everyone without a doubt. How do you achieve that?

Sounds good doesn’t it? Having people notice you. Attracting people towards you. Becoming a force to be reckoned with.

But, if I might answer a question with a question – do you want to be a force to be reckoned with, or perceived as a force to be reckoned with?

Maybe it’s just semantics, but if your goal is to be perceived as the kind of person who has presence and charisma then your focus is in the wrong place. People will perceive whatever the hell they want, and spending your effort and energy on having people perceive you in a certain way is sure to leave you exhausted, frustrated and empty.

It’s a hollow aim, focused on what others think about you rather than how you feel about yourself.

Real confidence comes from the inside-out, not the outside-in. Seems to me that the people referred to in the question have reached a point where they:

  • accept who they are, warts and all, and stop beating themselves up for any weaknesses or for their “darker”, less desirable parts
  • understand and honour what matters to them most
  • shift their decision-making behind the things in themselves, in other people or out there in the world that matter the most
  • prioritise being who they are over fitting in or pleasing everyone
  • recognise that they’re simultaneously a work in progress and whole, without the need to prove anything

What these qualities (and many more) lead to is a sense of congruence. A sense that someone is whole, together, flowing.

That’s what those people have, and that’s the aim here. It’s everything to do inner work, and nothing to do with how someone else judges your insides from the outside.

Reaching that point is a process of acceptance and integration of who you are and what matters to you—bringing all the pieces together— and also letting go of the expectations and drives that get in the way of that (messy stuff like fitting in, staying safe, people-pleasing, second-guessing, etc).

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