I don’t know about you, but I always think of the perfect thing to say after the moment has passed and I’d seem like a psycho with a time delay if I said, “Hey, remember that time you said that thing about elephants?” So, it occurred to me about 24 hours after I hit post last week that I talked about turning on your charm, but I never told you how I do it or how you can do it or really anything. Well, fear not because today I’m going to share with you the secrets of bringing it and owning it.
Before I start, a disclaimer. While I was editing this post (yes, I actually edit sometimes), I thought, “Wow, I make it sound super easy.” But even I fall down at this sometimes. Yesterday I had an event where I had to turn it on and when I left the house I was all hyped up. Then, I drove past the entrance to where I was supposed to go. “No problem. I’ll just turn around.” I was in downtown Chicago and that is easier said then done. After twenty five minutes of random turning, almost causing major collisions, and trying to look at the GPS on my phone, I finally got there…15 minutes late. The weather was bad, so they started late anyway, but I was rattled. Then the nerves kicked in on top of that and I realized that in a room full of 300+ people, I didn’t know a single soul. I tried, but I don’t think I ever got it back to the level I wanted it. But those 300+ people don’t know me either, so hopefully they didn’t realize I was off my game. In short, using your charm takes practice, which, evidently, I need more of.
To refresh, “it” is that indefinable quality that gets someone noticed. Everyone has it to some degree and, despite what you may think, it can be developed. “Beth, surely you jest! I’m about as charming as a muskrat!” you may be thinking, but it’s true. Plus have you ever seen a muskrat? They are pretty cute. Today’s post requires a little audience participation (I usually hate that, too, but just go with it). Think of a time you felt on top of the world. You wanted to burst into song and twirl around on a mountain top like an escaped mental patient! Someone (probably me) could have sneered “What the hell is s/he so freakin’ happy about?” and it would have made not one shred of difference in your mood.
No one can be that freakin’ happy all the time. People get sick, bash their car door into yours, eat your chips and don’t replace them (that was probably me, too), etc. But there are moments, both professional and personal, that it would be nice to be able to turn on the charm. By doing that exercise in the previous paragraph you’ve already done part of it- call up those awesome feelings. Sometimes it’s tough to call those feelings back to the surface. In The Charisma Myth (I refer to this book a lot because it’s great), the author gives a fantastic tip to change your mood- make a playlist. I am sure everyone has a song or ten that instantly lifts your mood. If you are like me, the songs border on slightly embarrassing to completely mortifying (I’d tell you my songs, but no one should ever mention LMFAO and John Lee Hooker in the same sentence), but the good thing is that no one has to know about it, but you….or the people you tell on your blog.
The next thing is to add a trigger. A trigger is exactly what it sounds like- a cue that tells your mind that it’s time to call up those feelings. It should be something you will remember easily. Something visual, like a switch going into the on position or a lightbulb going from dark to light. Or it can be something physical, like snapping your fingers or doing finger guns. Anything you want. BUT for a while you’re going to have to consciously do both- trigger and the feelings, because your mind has to get used to associating them together. After a time, you’ll just have to activate your trigger. Every time you feel yourself slipping, activate your trigger again.
Part of your charm is owning it. What does that mean? In the simplest terms possible, owning it is being comfortable with yourself. I don’t mean being defensive (“This is just how I am! Deal with it!”) or apologizing for what you are (“Sorry I’m awesome!”) or seeking validation (“I’m awesome! Right?”). Anyone who tries those paths is trying to convince themselves more then you and comes off as desperate. Think of it this way- you are either left or right handed (unless you are one of those ambidextrous freaks*). Since it’s not something you can change, you accept it as neither good nor bad. It just is. So, to me, owning it is about embracing everything you are- flaws and all- realizing you are not defined by them. You are perfectly imperfect and without those imperfections, you wouldn’t be who you are.
So go and practice your charm, you hot stack of pancakes!
*hopefully you laughed at that and don’t come after me with both hands