body language

  • Launching a Dream

    July 11, 2021 marks the day that I will actually launch a dream (and I’ve had many so this is a really big deal – to me anyway.) Although I’m one of those people that thinks there’s magic in double numbers, I didn’t pick the date. In fact, until today, I thought my launch date was July 16. I’m clearly not one for setting clearly defined goals or writing down deadlines as my editor at Canadian Firefighter will attest to. Thanks for not writing me off, Laura!

    https://courses.introvertacademy.ca/courses/body-language-badassery

    The Back Story

    Four years ago, I left my job to forge a new path with little more than the soft voice in my heart leading the way. I had no game plan, no strategy or tactics, no map. Heck, I didn’t even know for sure what I wanted to do or where I was headed.

    The only thing I did know was that I hated the feeling of being boxed in, which is what I always felt when I worked for someone else. I resented having to get up and be somewhere at a set time, and I felt trapped in any workplace, as if I was selling my soul for a paycheck. I was trading my precious time for the almighty dollar and it wasn’t a worthy trade in my mind.

    I didn’t hate my jobs, in fact, I had jobs I absolutely loved when I started them, but I always seemed to end up in the same place disillusioned place somewhere between “this isn’t IT” and, “I don’t know what IT is, but this doesn’t feel like it’s IT.”

    Fast Forward 3 Years

    After wandering somewhat aimlessly, blowing through my savings and racking up the online courses (thanks to my course addiction and always thinking THIS will be the course that launches me into the stratosphere as a coach and speaker) I wound up back at the job that I’d left in the first place.

    Happy to have a sense of purpose and a steady income again, I settled into my renewed role. Actually, that’s a lie. I threw myself into my role and overworked myself into burnout. Again and again. It took me about 8 months to finally clue in that this was a pattern and to finally get off the roller coaster, set boundaries and develop a more sane approach to work.

    While I was distracted by my new mission of finding that illustrious work life balance, the dream that I’d shelved started to whisper in my ear.

    I ignored it. “Not now.” I whispered back. “Maybe not ever.”

    I had a job I enjoyed, I was making decent money, I got to work from home and travel to teach. What more could I want? I was content doing what I was doing.

    Or was I?

    Here I Go Again

    I spent three years trying to get that dream of mine off the ground. I had some success but nothing earth shattering and I was hesitant to put the time and energy into it again. Building your own business is a character builder and not for the faint of heart, which is why I didn’t think it was for me (despite the quietly stubborn resistance to being confined to anything that felt remotely like a box.

    However, the whisper refused to be silenced. I took the dream down off the shelf and blew the dust of the last year from it.

    As if by magic, a program appeared before my eyes in my FB feed with a trusted and hugely successful female entrepreneur and before I knew it, I’d invested in a 3 month journey and another shot at launching my dream.

    But here’s where the story changes – I actually did something with this course. I created something I’m very proud of and that I poured a ton of time, energy, insight and love into and I saw the damn dream through to completion for once!

    Whether you know me from my entrepreneurial journey, my writing, through the fire service or are a longtime friend, you’ve likely seen my posts or read my ramblings about my fascination with body language. I can’t help but be excited as I launch my first online course for women that teaches them how to harness the power of their body language.

    This isn’t just a course teaching women how to harness the power of their body language though, it’s about teaching them to harness their innate power!

    If you’d like to join the adventure, click here!

    I can’t wait to see you on the inside of my newly created INTROVERT ACADEMY and my first launch of Body Language Badassery – 6 weeks to unshakeable confidence!

    If I can tap into my inner badass, anyone can! Body language awareness was the key to this introvert finally feeling comfortable and confident in her own skin.

    https://courses.introvertacademy.ca/courses/body-language-badassery

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  • 4 Ways To Develop A Positive Attitude Towards Life

    The way you view life impacts your experience of it and developing a positive attitude towards it rests within your grasp.

    If you’re one of the people that tends to have a less than positive attitude towards life or believe that it’s tough to change your habits, keep reading because I have good news for you.

    Here are four simple things that you can do to help you develop a positive attitude and mindset.

    How to Have a Positive Attitude

    Image Source – Pixabay CCO License

    1. Try Meditation 

    Letting go of negative thoughts and outside stress is an important part of developing a positive attitude towards life, and meditation is one of the best ways I know of to do that. When you meditate on a regular basis, you develop the ability to be present and allow thoughts to pass without judgment. When negative thoughts arise, you’ll be less likely to latch on to them and give them free reign over your actions and decisions. Instead, you will find that you are able to allow space for them to arise without attachment and as an added bonus, they’ll eventually show up less often. 

    Meditation is such an effective stress reliever, it is recommended by mental health professionals as an alternative  to medication. If you find the idea a bit daunting, or are someone who likes step by step guidance, you may want to check out this mindfulness journal. It teaches you the basic brain science of meditation and offers great tips on how to be more mindful. Your thoughts will soon start to shift and you will begin to notice more of a positive attitude and less of a negative one. 

    2. Improve Your Body Language 

    Your body language impacts everything from your mindset and attitude to the way you interact and communicate with others, but many of us don’t give it a second thought. Picture this for a moment – or better yet, try it; stand up, put your hands in your pockets, slouch your shoulders and walk around hunched over with poor posture. Chances are, you won’t be feeling energetic or enthusiastic and quite likely feel like a bit of a schlep. Now if you take your hands out of your pockets, shoulders back and down, chest open and stand tall, you will feel more confident and positive. Changing your body language may seem like a minor thing, but it makes such a huge difference to a positive attitude and the way that you approach life. 

    Superman's Positive Attitude

    3. Practice Gratitude 

    Gratitude is a powerful thing, and most of us do not practice it as much as we should. It’s easy to focus on all of the difficult things in our lives and to take the good things for granted, but this leads to a negative mindset. It also becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because you get what you focus on. It’s important that you take time to think about all of the amazing things in your life, like your friends and family.

    If you need help with your gratitude practice, here’s 8 Ways To Have More Gratitude Every Day. When good things happen to you, even small things like somebody doing you a favour, allow for the grace and space to express sincere gratitude and you will feel a profound shift in attitude and perspective. When you direct your focus onto all of the positive things in life, you will experience a deeper level of appreciation and happiness.

    Positive Attitude Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

    4. Spend Time With Positive People 

    According to motivational speaker Jim Rohn, you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with, although I’ve recently read research that suggests your behaviour is affected by everyone you interact with to some degree, even friends of friends that you don’t even really know! The attitudes of those around us have a huge effect, and if you spend time with negative people, you will be influenced by them. It can be difficult to distance yourself from difficult people at work and/or negative family members, but here’s a great article that offers help, Remove Toxic People From Your Life in 9 Steps.

    If you can remove the negative influences in your life and surround yourself with positive people, it will be a lot easier to maintain a positive attitude. Keep in mind all of your connections on social media and the impact they’re having on you as well.

    Changing your mindset through meditation, having an awareness of your body language, practicing gratitude and surrounding yourself with positive people will most definitely change your attitude and your life. 

    Photo by Olia Nayda on Unsplash Positive Attitude

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  • What Richard Branson’s Body Language Told Me About Him

    What Richard Branson’s Body Language Told Me About Him

    I tuned into BT this morning (Breakfast Television for those of you reading this who aren’t from Ontario, Canada) to see how the Raptors made out last night. I’m not a huge basketball fan but when our country has made it this far into the finals, you gotta jump on the bandwagon.

    BT Hosts Dina Pugliese and Roger Peterson
    BT Hosts Dina Pugliese and Roger Peterson

    When I heard Dina Pugliese mention that Richard Branson was about to make a huge announcement on the next segment, I said to my husband, “I wonder what he’s doing in Toronto?”. Turns out he was announcing, or rather introducing, the captain of his new cruise ship – a female, and a Canadian! Both very cool, in my opinion.

    Photo credit – https://torontosun.com/news/local-news/roger-petersen-new-breakfast-television-co-host

    What I Knew About Richard Branson Before Watching Him On BT

    I knew two things about Richard Branson.

    1. He’s famous
    2. He’s a billionaire

    Make that three. I know he owns Virgin. That’s really all I know about the man. I don’t even know what Virgin is aside from a mobile company and a cruise ship line. This blog isn’t about what he’s known for, or at least, what I know about him. It’s about the amazing fact I discovered about him this morning, and then confirmed with a quick google search.

    Within the first two seconds of watching the interview on BT this morning, his body language conveyed something astounding about him.

    What Sir Richard and I Have in Common

    “OMG, He’s an introvert!” I blurted out to no one in particular, although my husband was right beside me.

    Image result for Richard Branson
    Image result for Richard Branson
    Photo credit: https://www.mumbrella.asia

    Why was I shocked by this revelation?

    I would never have expected someone of his fame, fortune and sheer genius to be an innie like me. Although, now that I think about it, many visionaries are indeed introverts.  We’re naturally inclined to spend much time of our time in our head imagining, daydreaming and often catastrophizing. When I went back and watched the video again while writing this blog, I saw that he evens talks about being 27 and envisioning a cruise line for 30 year olds. As the years passed, the age increased as he joked about, but he’s making it happen. Talk about the power of visualization! Clearly Sir Richard has harnessed the power of his imagination for the good.

    As a proud introvert, I’m aware of a handful of famous people that share this personality trait and I’m always pleasantly surprised to find living examples of people who appear to live in the limelight but actually reside in the quiet of an introverted world.

    What Richard Branson’s Body Language Told Me About Him

    If you’ve read this far, you’re likely asking, “OK Jen, so what did you see?” Well, I’m glad you asked. There were a couple of dead giveaways and this is precisely why I geek out on body language science and the human behaviour behind it. Especially when it comes to introverts because I know the struggle.

    1. His posture – he didn’t take up space the way I’d assume someone of his caliber to. I’m in no way questioning his caliber (obviously, I mean, it is Sir Richard Branson afterall!) However, I could tell he was slightly uncomfortable with the interview, for whatever reason. We of the innie nature prefer not to be the center of attention and tend to fall to the “less is better” mindset, whether it’s with our body positioning or our words.
    2. His hands – they were clasped together on his lap, and even between his legs at one point. He did do some gesturing with his hands to further illustrate what he was saying, but then his hands would return to a more comfortable position for him. As introvert’s, we love, love, LOVE to share what we’re passionate about, yet hate to take up people’s time or feel we’re imposing in any way. Another key point with his hands was that he was rubbing them on his legs intermittently. This is done to calm nerves and/or anxiety and is known as self-soothing.

      Richard Branson on BT Toronto
      Richard Branson on BT Toronto
    3. His words – Although everything he said was right on point with the purpose of the interview, our body language makes up 60-93% of our communication and is 12-13 times more powerful than what we say. So a lot of what was conveyed wasn’t through his words, but even the hand on the captain’s (Wendy Williams) shoulder as he talked about her spoke volumes about his genuine fondness and respect for her. Introvert’s (and most people for that matter) communicate more fluently when not in an interview or a stress inducing interaction (which being the center of attention often is for introverts as mentioned above).
    4. His exit – CLASSIC introvert move…a unique and unusual end to a conversation. It’s one of my greatest struggles – how to end a conversation. It always feels uncomfortable because I’m never sure when the best time is to end and interaction. I laughed out loud when he walked in front of the camera, and even harder when host Roger Peterson says laughing, “I don’t think we’ve ever ended an interview this way! Check out the look on Roger’s face – it’s called a surprise microexpression lol.
    Richard Branson Interview on BT Toronto
    Richard Branson Interview on BT Toronto
    Click on either picture for the link to the video

    Why He’s My New Favourite Person

    The moment I realized that he was an introvert, my heart lept with joy. Sounds cheesy but it’s totally true.

    To see a man of his fame and fortune show the world that he’s indeed just like the rest of us makes my heart smile. He’s an inspiration to millions and which will now include a collective of introverts who dream the way he does, but didn’t believe they could accomplish what he has, until the moment they saw this interview.

    For all of my fellow innies, I raise my coffee cup to you, and in the name of Sir Richard Branson, for inspiring those of us struggling to make our way in the extroverted world we live in.

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  • Increase Your Confidence by Tapping Into the Power of Body Language

    Tap Into the Power of Body Language to Increase Your Confidence

    let go of what's holding her back

    Is something holding you back when it comes to feeling and looking confident? What if I told you there’s an easy way to boost your confidence? A pain-free, drug-free, cost-free way to change your thoughts, your feelings and your physiology.

    From Shy Girl to Own Your Damn Self Girl

    I grew up shy and introverted, darn near afraid of my own shadow. I longed to feel comfortable in my own skin and experience the joy of the ever elusive confidence code. Everyone else around me appeared to have been given the combination I somehow missed out on. Fast forward to last year when I signed on with Vanessa Van Edwards and her Science of People team to become certified as a Body Language Trainer. I couldn’t have known how one decision would change the trajectory of my life.

    What Changed for Me?

    Everyone has experienced confidence at some point in their life. It may feel like those experiences were few and far between but that’s only because you’ve trained yourself to dismiss them. It’s basic programming. If you suffer from a lack of confidence, it’s largely because you’ve trained yourself to focus on situations when/where you didn’t feel confident, and then you end up feeling like those far outweigh the former. You’re definitely not alone in this and it’s definitely holding you back from showing the world the beautiful, awesome, confident & capable person that you really are.

    Through body language training, I learned to create confidence (yes, you can learn to create it on demand) and I learned to tap into my confidence (yes, you do have it and yes, you can learn to tap into yours too).

    It all comes down to two things; your body and your mind. Super shocker there, right!?

    Confidence

    What’s Holding You Back

    Your body and your mind, or your actions and your thoughts, or your movement and your mindset – whatever way you want to look at it – that is what’s holding you back. One could argue that those two things are behind everything you achieve, or don’t achieve, in your life, but we’ll apply it to your level of confidence for today.

    We all talk to ourselves (as many as 50,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day) and if those are critical and negative, you’re definitely holding yourself back. Just think of how much you could accomplish if you’re thoughts were predominantly positive!

    YOUR FIRST STEP in letting go of what’s holding you back is to take stock of how friendly that voice in your head is. Pay attention to it and start to interrupt it and replace it with positive thoughts. If that’s a stretch, at least go for a neutral replacement thought. It takes practice like anything else, especially if you’re spent a lifetime of not paying attention to how you talk to yourself.

    THE SECOND STEP is to pay attention to what your body is doing, otherwise known as your body language.

    Tap Into the Power of Your Body Language

    One of the easiest and most powerful tools that I use to let go of what’s holding me back is…..drumroll please…..my posture.

    Carrying yourself in a certain way (shoulders back, abdomen in, spine aligned) exudes confidence and an affable demeanour. Compare that image to the posture of (most of us) slouched over our cell phones, appearing apathetic and bored. And we spend so much of our time in this position!!!

    slumped body language

    A study in Health Psychology found that people who feel stressed can kick their negative mood and even boost their self-esteem by sitting upright. Other research found that good posture was associated with better body image among people with depression. (*I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression in the past and I can attest to posture being an easy go-to to help shift how I’m thinking and feeling.)

    It’s the easiest tool I know to help you with your confidence and it works regardless of whether you’re sitting or standing.

    YOU Are What’s Holding You Back

    Not intentionally, perhaps, but it definitely comes down to you. Your thoughts and your actions are both well within your control. Before you get upset with me, I know that it is not at all easy to get control of your thoughts (I’ve battled many, demons and they were ALL in my own head – anxiety & depression, remember?) That’s precisely how I know what I’m talking about. The good news is, you can learn to take control over your thoughts, and even easier, take control over your body.

    Use your body to interrupt the self-limiting thoughts.

    If you spend way too much time in your head ruminating and over thinking, it’s supremely difficult to get ahold of your train of thought when it’s ferociously derailing. This is how, and why, adjusting your posture is so effective. Get out of your head and into your body.

    Feeling unmotivated, sad, discouraged, afraid? Sit up straight, lift your chin, pull your shoulders back and for heaven’s sake, soften your jaw! We hold sooo much tension in our jaw and in our shoulders. Now just take a moment and really pay attention to how much better this feels than slouched over.

    Now keep doing it. Keep coming back to it. As often as you think of it, straighten up. Even if you’re just watching tv, or driving somewhere.

    Continuously checking in on your posture is a game changer!

    As much as I’d love to, I can’t snap my fingers and give you confidence. But YOU can develop it. Keep practicing it. Work on changing how you hold your body in any and all situations. You don’t get a six-pack by doing one sit up. Like any other muscle you work to develop, using your posture to your advantage takes practice, but it’s the easiest thing with the greatest leverage I’ve ever found.

    Try it out and let me know how it worked for you!

     

    Jen xo

     

     

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