Conquer Career Opportunities with Confidence
Strategies for Thriving in Make or Break Moments
Picture this: Amy Cuddy, the now renowned Harvard Business School professor, social psychologist, author, and TED speaker, was freshly out of grad school and looking for her first professional position when she found herself in an elevator among a group of esteemed professors. It was a perfect opportunity to share her groundbreaking ideas, make an impression and secure a prestigious faculty position. Yet, despite years of preparation, the significance of the opportunity overwhelmed her. As the elevator doors closed, she struggled to find her words, stumbling through her pitch in a disastrous fashion. In just two minutes, the potential for a game-changing opportunity slipped through her fingers. She had totally blown it.
In her book "Presence," Cuddy delves into the factors that derail us in such critical moments. With great insight- and lots of personal experience- she reveals how attuning ourselves to our authentic selves can be the key to navigating these challenges successfully. Cuddy encourages us to embrace presence by embodying our genuine best selves and projecting that authenticity to the world.
Just like Amy, I recently found myself presented with an extraordinary career opportunity, one that thrilled me, but also filled me with a sense of dread. The weight of expectation and the potential unlock for future opportunities weighed heavily on me. Determined to push past my paralysis, I consulted the exceptional women in my life—women who have conquered the grandest stages—for guidance on preparing for this significant moment. Their advice, like Cuddy’s, proved to be transformative, and I know it will help you as well.
One of the most valuable pieces of advice I received was from my friend who is a mindset coach. She encouraged me to envision the best version of myself in my upcoming situation and consider what that version would think, feel, and do. She emphasized the importance of not just visualizing success but fully embodying the emotions and sensations that come with it. This visualization exercise became a daily practice for me, allowing me to tap into my inner strength and align my mind and heart towards achieving greatness.
Another dear friend, who happens to be a high-profile keynote speaker, emphasized the critical role of preparation in alleviating anxiety. She urged me to leave no stone unturned in preparing for the event. However, when it was “showtime”, she reminded me to shift my focus away from myself. Instead of overthinking every word and action, she encouraged me to direct my attention towards filling my heart with generosity and delivering my best self to the audience. This shift in perspective highlighted the true power that lies in giving wholeheartedly
Gratitude was the advice of yet another remarkable woman who works with some of the biggest celebrities in the world. She revealed that whenever faced with an exciting yet daunting opportunity, she centers herself in gratitude. By imagining how many people would love to be in her shoes, she finds the strength and perspective needed to rise above any challenge. Gratitude becomes her guiding light, allowing her to navigate the path with grace and resilience.
Furthermore, an actress friend of mine who recently endured a series of nerve-wracking series of auditions for a role she deeply desired empathized with my situation. She shared how bringing her most professional self to every encounter while also preparing, meditating and praying helped her to nail it. She demonstrated to me the power of dedication and faith.
Armed with these transformative insights, I approached my opportunity with a newfound sense of calm and confidence. Visualization, thorough preparation, wholehearted giving, gratitude, and even moments of prayer became my tools for success.
I will be able to divulge my exciting opportunity soon. In the meantime, I want to hear from you! Share with us the tools and strategies that have helped you feel ready for those important interviews, presentations, or media appearances. Our community is all about sharing and learning from each other. Together, we can create a toolbox of invaluable strategies that empower each and every one of us to conquer any challenge that comes our way.