WORKPLACE SUCCESS / 18 March 20195 Ultra-Effective Ways to Work Smarter, not Harder
What is Charisma?
Have you ever thought about gravity? Gravity is always keeping us on the ground. You might even say that gravity is constantly pulling us to the ground; it means the same thing. You don’t really think about it, sometimes you don’t even realize it. Gravity is just there.
Charisma is much like gravity; they have their similarities. Much like how gravity pulls you down to the ground, charisma pulls you towards someone. You don’t really think about it, you don’t even realize it sometimes, but it does. It pulls you in. It pulls everyone in. One of the most interesting things about charisma though, is that unlike gravity, when it enters a room, everyone notices it, even if just for a brief moment. However, for that brief moment, maybe it’s a sudden rush of wind hitting your skin, maybe it’s a shining ray of light hitting the corner of your eye, but for that brief moment, something grabs your attention and you instantly look to see who caught it.
So the question is simply, how do you do that? How do you walk into a room and everyone notices you? How do you become charismatic?
I could sit here and tell you that it’s just something you’re born with. Not everyone can be charismatic, and not everyone is. That this isn’t necessarily a bad thing or a good thing, but that it’s just the way it is.
I could sit here and lie to you all day. But I won’t.
I like telling stories because stories can shine a different light on things, they can give you a different perspective.
I was working for my school in the dining halls. It wasn’t anything special, just a way to grab some extra cash. It was probably just a few weeks in and I had met just about anyone and everyone that I needed to. I met student supervisors, managers, and of course employees that I would work with on my shift. It was a few weeks into my new job when I started making headway with everyone. I was cracking jokes, getting my work done, and even being a little rebellious because it’s fun in a way that can’t really be explained.
I walked into the student supervisor’s office and I was talking with one of the student supervisors about jobs and my future and all that 3rd-year-of-college stuff.
She tells me, “I hate people like you.”
My immediate thought was, “Oh my god, she caught me stealing food.”
She goes on. “You’re such a charismatic person. You could get a job anywhere.”
… That was new.
Now don’t get me wrong here, I don’t even see myself as a charismatic person. I’m a guy who’s a little reserved at times, but I’m not a guy who’s afraid to be myself. But this was new. Charismatic is something that I’ve never heard anyone use to describe me.
While I was leaving, I was wracking my brain about it. Charismatic. I mean, that’s not a very common way to describe anyone. It just didn’t make sense.
I’m not going to tell you how I got to this answer, because I don’t think you want to hear a week’s worth of thoughts. So I’ll just tell you that I came up with an answer.
Charisma isn’t about who you are, but what you want to show people. Maybe it’s cliché to say what the backbone of charisma is, but that doesn’t make it any less wrong. Just because it’s a cliché doesn’t make it any less meaningful. They’re clichés for a reason. They problem behind clichés isn’t that they’re clichés, but because we forget what they truly mean. Charisma is no different. We just have to remember what it truly means to be charismatic.
There’s only one thing about charisma you need to understand to know what charisma is and how to be charismatic.
Oh what I could say about confidence. What people in general could say about it.
They say things like be brave.
Just be yourself.
But does anyone actually give useful advice about being confident? Better question: does anyone ever give new advice about being confident? Not really.
So now the new question is why? Why does no one give any new advice about being confident?
The answer is simple because we already know the answer. It’s been there but we just don’t see. In fact, I already told you it.
We just have to be ourselves.
So we have the answer, now let me give you the real problem about confidence. It’s about how we see it. We see confidence as going up to speak in front of thousands of people. We see confidence as raising your hand to point out that the professor with a masters degree in engineering made a mathematical error.
The problem with how we view confidence, is that we view it with things like bravery and courage when that is not what confidence is.
If you type in “confidence” into Google Search, it says that confidence is “the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust”. How did we confuse ‘bravery” and “courage” with that?
When we talk about what being confident really is, when we talk about it in its purest form, it’s the feeling or belief that we can rely on who we are, that we can rely on ourselves. We have firm trust in ourselves.
Now in order to do that, we to know exactly who we are.
That is where confidence comes from. Knowing exactly who we are. Understanding who we are. Accepting who we are.
Confidence is the belief that we can trust ourselves because we know exactly who we are, understand exactly who we are, and accept exactly who we are.
Being charismatic is about being confident, about trusting and accepting who you really are.
If you can’t do that, then why should anyone notice you?
Never Forget Who You Really Are
So there’s the secret. In its most basic form, the secret behind charisma is confidence.
The question now is pretty much what to do next.
What do you do so that the you shine the next time you walk into a room?
I could tell you on and on about how you just need to always be true to yourself and always remember what your true self is.
But aren’t you tired of hearing that? I’ll be honest, I’m tired of saying it. After all, those are some very common clichés.
But then again, they’re clichés. But unlike confidence, these aren’t too difficult to really understand.
I won’t tell you their true meaning since there’s no fun if I spoil every secret, so I’ll leave you with a little advice instead.
There are things about us, pieces about us, that we choose to leave behind at times. It’s not a bad thing. I think every year there’s a piece of me that I let go of. It can be something good or something completely horrible, but sometimes I’ll leave it because there’s no need for me to take it with me anymore.
My advice isn’t to keep every little piece about you, but to realize that regardless of how many pieces you leave, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve left those pieces behind, that you remember that they’re still a piece of you.
If you’re willing to remember every little piece you’ve left behind, if you’re willing to remember everything positive and everything negative, if you’re willing to accept every piece you’ve left as a part of you, then you’ll never forget who you are.
As long as you remember who you are, then you will always be confident.
You will always be charismatic.
So now, I only have one more question to ask you.
Which room do you want to enter?