Charisma is Inside You
Each of our own distinguishing charisma factor comprises a synergy of talent, personal magnetism, empathy and passion that connects us to our ultimate goals. It may take some time to find, so you’ll need to be patient if you’re serious about discovering yourself. You need to plan out time to devote to the search and keep yourself motivated until you find that special component. Just know that the closer you get to it, the more positive energy you will feel encompassing you.
Are You Born With Charisma?
The question of whether charisma is an in-born trait or something that can be acquired has been long debated. It was once thought that charisma was a quality that was present only in people with blue blood, like royalty; others believed that only religious leaders and celebrities possessed it, something regarded as a divine gift not given to everybody. But this outlook, besides ignoring the facts of the matter, strikes me as defeatist. There is much that speaks to the contrary of this school of thought, and it’s my opinion that while some people do seem to have a knack for influencing others, charisma can be consciously enhanced.
If charisma is not inborn, then how can it be cultivated? Is charisma something that can be practiced?
Developing Charisma 1: The Magic of Learning and Change
Learning how to become charismatic is rarely painful, and often joyful. Learning how to become charismatic is a thrill, not a deprivation. Learning how to become charismatic is intrinsically rewarding in a way that avoiding ice cream, chocolate and your favorite desserts isn’t. There is no deprivation in becoming charismatic.
The problem with changing behaviors like eating, smoking and drinking, is that there is an initial period of deprivation and difficulty before you start seeing the results of your efforts. That’s not the case with learning to be charismatic. The journey is often joyous and rewarding from the very beginning. As your power, purpose and potential grow, there is not just a behavioral change but a spiritual one that echoes through your very soul.
Developing Charisma 2: Communication
The setting in which the message is delivered adds to the power of the message. You can give this speech at a Board meeting in front of a few people, or at a gathering of employees. However, the speech is more appropriate for a large gathering. In a smaller, more intimate setting you might take a different approach, speaking more directly to the people to develop a more personally meaningful message. Have you ever wondered why the final scene in so many movies take place in more public places rather than the intimacy of a small room?
A couple finally declaring their love for each other is much more powerful when done in public. There’s something more committed about it. It seems more real and powerful if hundreds of people are observing it.
Finally, the tools of charismatic communication apply to self-talk as well. You are the one who listens to yourself more than anyone else. How do you frame your thoughts? What would happen if you framed your ideas and thoughts in the inspirational ways described in this section?
Developing Charisma 3: Mindset
we need to recognize our strengths and our weaknesses, and be realistic about our talents, passions and opportunities. Yes, you could spend a lot of time becoming proficient at playing the trombone, but is that really where you want to spend your time and energy? With a growth mindset, it’s one thing to recognize that you have the potential to learn and develop a set of skills, but it is another to follow that particular path. That’s where passion and purpose come into play. Without them, you are not very likely to have the energy and drive needed to become proficient, let alone master, a specific talent.
The growth mindset, however, is still incredibly powerful. It means that developing a talent that is meaningful to you is always possible. And charismatic people teach and demonstrate that inspirational and empowering way of thinking—about anything.
The takeaway about mindset is that anything is possible, if you put your mind and heart to it. And your message is that, as a charismatic figure, you have applied it in your own life, overcoming obstacles along the way to achieve success.
Developing Charisma 4: Appearance
Posture is very important. Have you ever seen photos of people in the early part of the twentieth century, a hundred years ago? Ladies are walking with heads held high as are the men who more often than not are in top hats. You can’t wear a top hat if you’re slouching as we do today after years of sitting at desks and poring over computer screens. A hunched or slumped posture looks like defeat. It connotes someone who is carrying a heavy burden that they cannot effectively manage. On the contrary, an erect posture implies someone who is upright and in control. People who stand up tall are straight, not crooked.
Facial gestures amplify your words and intentions. They convey your energy, commitment and passion. Your smile radiates your compassion, understanding and even your sense of adventure.
Your eye-contact reflects your degree of openness and ability to listen when talking. Think about it. People who can’t look you in the eye are either afraid or have something to hide.
Developing Charisma 5: Emotional Intelligence
Emotions are also linked to perception. If you are feeling grumpy, depressed, or anxious, those moods will influence how you interpret the things that are going on around you. They will also influence your thoughts. If the person in the next cubicle is laughing and conveying energy and passion your mood will likely determine your perception. When you’re in a “good” mood, her laugh will be uplifting and precious, when you’re grumpy it will be annoying and disruptive.
So, emotional intelligence isn’t just about how you feel, it’s also about how you think.
There are numerous paths to successful emotional intelligence.
The first is to understand the role of emotions and the precious skill of recognizing and managing them.
The second principle is to practice good physical “relaxation” skills, like controlled breathing that can manage the physical changes that occur with many emotional states.
The third is to practice control of your consciousness, that allows you to recognize feelings but keep them under control. Mindfulness and meditation techniques are great at training your brain to do just that: recognize the moment but not get overwhelmed by it.
Developing Charisma 6: Healthy Lifestyles
There are many elements to a healthy lifestyle that give you energy, but the five key ones are: nutrition, exercise, stress management, sleep and stimulation.
The brain is energized and grows through stimulation. If you want to be a charismatic person who stimulates others, you must keep yourself stimulated. This means challenging yourself with tasks that push your limits and help you learn new skills.
Similarly, social stimulation is key for the charismatic person, because that is the context in which they spread their energy and vibe. Challenge is the key to growth. While doing crosswords and playing sudoku might be fun, the activities that help you grow are really challenging ones like learning a language or playing an instrument. Think how charismatic it is to be able to converse in several languages, or to be able to sit at a keyboard and play some delightful music.
Think of ways you can challenge yourself. What would you like to be able to do that you can’t do now, that would enhance your self-acceptance and inspire the admiration of others?
Developing Charisma 7: Virtues
Compassion will not only drive you to help others, it will enable them to see you as a caring person. Compassion means supporting people through understanding their situation and empowering them to adapt and overcome their problems.
Gratitude is a mindset. Each day remind yourself of the things in life you are grateful for. Imagine people around the world who don’t have the advantages that you have, like a roof over their heads, food, family, relationships, stability, etc.
Humility will allow others to see you as a warm person rather than just an egotist. It will allow you to connect authentically with people.
Acceptance is a crucial part of adaptation and thus charisma. Are there things that you have not accepted about your life? Perhaps you are in denial about your marriage, relationships, career, passion, meaning and life and haven’t accepted the reality of where you are.
Courage is a virtue. It allows you to remain authentic and accepting without fleeing because of fear. You can’t very easily be charismatic if you are a coward. Not that fear isn’t real, it is, but you need to prevent it from becoming a handicap in your development.
Honesty is critical. If you’re dishonest with others you are also likely to be dishonest with yourself, a recipe for disaster which will prevent you from being very effective at adopting many of the charisma skills and characteristics.
Patience is very definitely a virtue and is a sign of emotional control. It can be enhanced by mindfulness and meditation and is critical if you want to make considered and thoughtful decisions rather than impulsive choices.