One of the most potent “credibility builders” is our sense of belonging. What is that? Well, glad that you asked…To belong is the ability and capacity to embody or manifest in physical form without apology. There is so much apology in the way that we behave with others and in the world that you’d think apology is where we actually live.
Every day, we typically embody physical traits as well as other qualities such as mental, emotional and spiritual attitudes. Our sense of belonging is what is most visible to others on first approach…Oh boy do we take that for granted! It literally sets the tone for what follows regardless of what other unique credibility elements are at play, such as style, poise, voice tone, speaking, intention, dress, etc. In spite of our deeply engrained spiritual beliefs, we collectively trust what we can see. Show me and I’ll believe it kind of engrained.
In my experience, a lack of confidence is mainly rooted in our early misadventures in belonging. I don’t belong, I don’t fit in, I don’t get it, I don’t understand, I am not worthy, I am not able, I don’t know, etc., can be quite traumatic and devastating, yet honest missteps in belonging. As we face public speaking or challenging communication situations, these early memories creep back up into our consciousness, and often end up running the show.
Belonging and approval are intimately connected. In public, if you belong to your physical and emotional self, you will not seek approval as a validation process. Your performance no longer depends on it! Conversely, our need for approval increases as our sense of belonging decreases. It usually starts in the body and expresses itself as a loss of: balance, gravity, coordination, breathing, postures, gestures, movement, voice tone, stance, attitude, clarity, emotional strength, actions and intentions, heart, presence, space, use of objects, etc. By re-embodying these physical elements first, you begin restoring your sense of belonging. It works every time!
Our sense of belonging orchestrates most of the affect we have on others. Within more embodied communication models, we learn to become accountable for how we are received by others through our sense of belonging. It magically puts everyone at ease. It is our reliable sense of belonging that allows us to develop a solid technique for being in relationship and communicating with well-earned confidence.
Be yourself so you can love yourself!