How to boost your confidence in minutes with Power Posing!

I just revisited Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on power posing—it has almost 24 million views! That’s pretty powerful in itself!

Cuddy’s video demonstrates how our body language not only influences how others see us; it also influences how we see ourselves.

She illustrates how having a posture of power—standing tall, legs apart, hands on hips, a la Wonder Woman or Superman–can actually impact our levels of confidence and success.

This talk—and Cuddy’s work—is so powerful, that I’ve shared with many people I’ve coached who need a big dose of self-assurance before an important event.

Trust me—and them–it works!

So, before your next meeting, interview, pitch or presentation, take a look, and power up!:

http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html

 

If you had more confidence, what would you be doing differently at work?

Question of confidence

Would you ask for that raise you’ve always wanted?

Would you tell a lazy co-worker he’s not pulling his weight?

Or, would you finally look for a better job—one that pays you what you’re worth?

Well—whatever it is: Do it.  Don’t wait.

Don’t wait until you have enough confidence.

Confidence only comes when you stop asking questions and start taking action.

It comes when you stop fearing and start doing.

That’s how you build a better career. That’s how you build a better life.

More importantly: that’s how you build a more confident you!

 

 

Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan

Remember: Nothing is permanent.

I’m sitting here, looking out my office window at the snow coming down—again!

Everywhere I look–Facebook, Twitter, TV—people are focused on how horrible it all is and how exhausting. “Nightmare commute!” “I’m sooo over it!” “I hate winter!”

Yes– most New Yorkers are itching for Spring. (including this New Yorker!)

But, here’s the thing about bad times—they pass.

In a few weeks, New York will look like this:

all things pass--including the bad

It is this way with all things.

You just need to be patient.

After all–nothing is permanent—including stormy times.

 

Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan

The confidence to persevere!

the power of perseverance

I noticed this President’s Day post again recently, and wanted to share it as we head into the holiday weekend. It’s a wonderful reminder of the power of confidence and perseverance:

“He failed in business in ’31.
He was defeated for state legislator in ’32.
He tried another business in ’33. It failed.
His fiancée died in ’35.
He had a nervous breakdown in ’36.
In ’43 he ran for congress and was defeated.
He tried again in ’48 and was defeated again.
He tried running for the Senate in ’55. He lost.
The next year he ran for Vice President and lost.
In ’59 he ran for the Senate again and was defeated.

In 1860, the man who signed his name A. Lincoln, was elected the 16th President of the United States.

The difference between history’s boldest accomplishments and its most staggering failures is often, simply, the diligent will to persevere.”

We all gain confidence in the doing: In going forward and taking risks, and getting back up when we fail.

I hope this inspires you to do the same in your career!

Happy President’s Day!

Cheers,

Michelle

Quote of the Week…

“I’m old-school. I don’t have Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I still write in a notebook.”Angelina Jolie

Interesting.

I read this quote in an interview Jolie did with People magazine.

Many might criticize her for not being up-to-date with technology, but she seems to be doing just fine without it.

Here’s the thing: I know many people who are doing just fine without it. After all, technology is meant to enhance our lives, not detract—or distract us—from it.

This very topic came up when I was coaching my friend recently on her organizing skills. She was very comfortable keeping a paper calendar and a to-do list. This part of her life was the one area that was actually working well for her.  When it came to her schedule, she felt in control and confident.

However, she also felt pressure from her friends and colleagues that she should be using apps and a smartphone to keep track of her appointments. She hated the thought. I recommended she use whatever worked best for her.

We all need systems we trust—that make us feel good and in control—regardless of what’s new and trending.

Like Angelina Jolie, many people may find success with a system all their own.

And, regardless of advances in technology, may be doing just fine without it.

 

Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan

30-Second Cure for Anxiety: Mantras at Work!

30-second cure for anxiety

Anxiety can strike no matter where you are and no matter what you’re doing.

It can be agony, especially when it happens at work, where you want to appear in control.

Where you need to be professional, not panicked.

Most anxiety is caused by the way you think—particularly by thinking negatively, mostly about yourself.

However, just as you can talk yourself into an anxious state, you can talk yourself into a calm one too.

One way to do this is by using a mantra: A phrase that you create and repeat often, that speaks to you in a relaxing and empowering way.

For instance: “I am calm, confident, safe and secure.”

It has to be something positive. A thought you can believe. Something that makes you feel good about yourself.

It’s what you say when you talk to yourself that can make all the difference between panic and power.

When your thoughts start to spin out of control, having a mantra is one way of regaining control.

So—what is your mantra going to be, hmmm…or it it ommmm?

Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan

When was the last time you rebooted your self esteem?

During a snowstorm on Sunday, we lost our phone, TV and internet in the middle of the night.

On Monday, we finally scheduled a service call, after trying everything we could to reboot our devices. As the weather in New York has been pretty treacherous these last few weeks, there was a long wait for a technician to come to the house.

Finally, today was the day!

While I waited for the technician’s arrival, I found myself sifting through old paper files and appointment books. I found a calendar from 2004 with a list of all the things that I was grateful for (luckily—it was pretty long), and another list with 17 things in my life I wanted/needed to change.

It surprised to me to realize that I had successfully changed 12 things on that list over the last 11 years. I also realized that 2 of the items will never change, which left me with just 3 things on my list–a very short list indeed!

However, at first, I just focused on the 3 items I hadn’t changed. I felt disappointed at myself.

And then, I stopped and realized the importance of achieving the other 12.

I went from criticizing myself to savoring the moment, to celebrating who I am and how far I’ve come.

It’s funny how easily we can focus first on what’s wrong, and not applaud what’s right.

We all need to take time and realize that we are much more accomplished and successful than we ever give ourselves credit for. To take time to reflect on what has changed for the good, and to celebrate who we are, and how far we’ve come.

Sometimes, it’s not just our devices that need rebooting.

It’s our self esteem as well.

 

 

Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan

 

So….what did you get from the monster? Turning horror into humor!

Yesterday was one of those hectic, crazy work days, where nothing seemed to be going right. Add to that the cold, wintry weather we’re experiencing here in New York, and I had myself my own little horror story.

After going to bed early and exhausted, I woke up this morning to a nasty, outside temperature of 12 degrees, with a wind-chill whipping around my house of -1!

While watching the news—most of it depressing—I decided to do a little channel-surfing.

And, what do I find at 6:30 am? Young Frankenstein!—Mel Brooks’ zany spoof of the classic horror story.

Here I was, with a steaming cup of tea warming my hands, laughing out loud at the comedic genius of Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Teri Garr, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, and one of my all-time favorites: Marty Feldman!

marty feldman

My husband joined me a little while later, and we both found ourselves….well…in stitches!

So, on those days when you feel like work is becoming your own little horror story, it’s time to inject some comedy into your life.

Laugh, like we did, until it hurts!

“Ah! Sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found you!….”

LOL!

Cheers,

Michelle

 

 

Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan

 

Young Frankenstein and image of Marty Feldman as Igor, copyright 20th Century Fox

Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life lyrics by Rida Johnson Young

Calming yourself in a storm.

calming ourselves in a storm

“Like most things in life, it’s the stories we tell ourselves that get in our way.”

I wrote this line a long time ago, and thought about it this morning.

We were expecting a huge storm in New York City yesterday. Of course, the media amped up the anticipatory anxiety big time. And, with the help of social media, the fear snowballed out of control.

I listened for 10 minutes and then turned everything off. I had had enough crazy-making.

Many of us don’t need help to feel anxious. We can do this easily all by ourselves.

We can also speak to ourselves in a way that helps us to think and act calmly.

So, I decided on a few things I had to do to prepare for the storm, and got to everything on my list. I felt great: Ready and relaxed.

We all have to be able to do this for ourselves, with any storm we face in our lives.

How we talk to ourselves is key to how we feel and act.

If it were up to the media, our stories would be filled with drama.

But, we can tell ourselves a different story—one that’s filled with calm and peace.

We choose what we think and how we act.

What’s your story going to be?

 

Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan

 

How a small shift in perception can bring big changes!

how a small shift in perception can bring big changes

The other day, I went out to lunch with my mom and my niece. We went to a cozy little place that serves tea in china cups, and has comfy little pillows in the booths and on the chairs.  Over our meal, we shared different perspectives about age. After all, we had 3 generations sitting at this table.

I had recently passed a milestone birthday, and was feeling rather old. However, my mom—who is in her 80s—sees me as young.

She sees herself as old.

As we were in the middle of our discussion, an elderly woman walked into the restaurant, and sat at the table next to us. She leaned towards my mom, and asked:

“Young lady, could you pass me one of those pillows?”

Turns out, this lady is 101.

That changed all our perspectives. My mom was thrilled to be called “young” again, and I was thrilled to feel even younger!

It’s amazing what can happen the instant your perception is changed! And, you can do this for yourself—you don’t need to wait for someone to do it for you.

By seeing yourself from a different perspective, you can make yourself feel like a whole lot better….and, if you’re lucky, a whole lot younger. ;-)

 

Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan