I attended a Women’s Business conference recently where I had the opportunity to meet women from many areas of the business world. We gathered in a large conference room which was full of buzzing energy. As usual I began my habit of observing the group and of sensing other’s energies. I doubled my efforts as we were being asked to pair up for an exercise to search out who I would pair up with.

Sitting two chairs down from me was a woman who sent off a clear vibration of “leave me alone”. I am pretty in-tune to this sort of thing but even the less energy sensitive would have picked up on her signals. And she was to be my partner in the exercise which was to share what we felt our life purpose was.

Having worked to identify and refine my life purpose in the past few years, I had a ready response but I did over hear several others saying how difficult it was to be this open. So I wondered how my partner would respond to this request. She surprised me with how freely she shared. She felt her life purpose was to learn to open up to others, in her words “to bond”. She then clarified that she wasn’t a “people person”. I became curious and I wondered to myself, “OK universe, were you putting this women in my path for a reason?”

At lunch I was eating with two other women who left early to see an exhibit. At the next table eating alone, was my partner from the sharing exercise. I approached her saying, “I am going to help you fulfill you life purpose”. As lunch progressed I could see and feel her let down her guard and to open up. Her face transformed from stoic to soft, her smile from tight to open, and her words from clipped to gentle. I could see and feel her inner beauty. This was such a wonderful experience that I am compelled to share it with all of you today.

This false impression she posed struck me because I have been that “leave me alone” woman myself. I used to do it quite a bit in the past when I was more guarded and anxious about letting others in. I was a champ at this type of self-imposed isolation and I am sure it left others with a sour impression of who I was.

What does that guardedness say to others? How much of my life did I want to live in this state? What was I afraid of? Having intimate experience breaking through this myself I could provide all of you some tips on how to become more inviting and open and less guarded.

10 tips to leave an inviting impression:

  • Recognize when you become guarded to see if there is a pattern or triggered event that you respond to.
  • Think of what kind of impression you want to leave on yourself, and then ask yourself what kind of impression you leave with someone who doesn’t know you.
  • Gain awareness that you are shutting others out by checking in with body changes you may experience.
  • Ask yourself if you feeling a sense of fluttering in your gut, heaviness in your chest, tightness in your throat? These are all typical areas of holding that our body experiences when we shut down to ourselves or others.
  • What message are you telling yourself when this happens? Do you feel others are judging you or are you really judging yourself?
  • Ask yourself what really is the truth; this false belief or something else.
  • Give yourself an affirmation about who you really are and what your truth really is, such as:

“I am a woman who others are drawn to because I am open and inviting”   or

“Others want to spend time with me because I am interesting and fun”.

  • Initiate; don’t wait for others to greet you. Give eye contact and an open smile to see what kind of response you will get.
  • Start small. Greet someone in your line at the grocery store or bank and work up to greeting a new person at a wedding or conference.
  • Congratulate yourself when you go out of your comfort zone by being more inviting. This will help fuel you to the next level.

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