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A Confident New Year

Oprah, has a great interview on her podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote, Eat Pray Love, a book that spent almost four years on the New York Times Best Seller list!

During their conversation Elizabeth says, “New Year’s Day is my favorite day of the year, because no matter how much you messed up the year before, they give you a brand new one, with no dings, no spills, no miles on it!” She laughs when she talks to the invisible “committee” saying, “I can’t believe you all are giving me another year. Didn’t you see what I did with the last one?”

I love that image of a brand-new year, with no penalties!

So, to celebrate our “clean slate” here are three skills to boost your confidence. Don’t look back. Instead,

# 1: Look up.

For the Ritz Carlton Hotels, that’s the “secret ingredient” of its success. The Ritz, franchised a policy, called, The 10/5 Way. Here’s how it works. If a Ritz employee is within 10 feet of a guest, they’re taught to Look up, make eye contact, & smile. If they’re within 5 feet, they’re taught to say, “Hello.”

Today, The 10/5 Way is practiced at companies around the world, like Disney and the Ochsner Health System in Louisiana. Ochsner trained 11,000 employees in The 10/5 Way & within a year, they had a 5% Increase in patient satisfaction, boost in patient referrals, and a $1.8M increase in revenue, which they attribute to looking people in the eye and saying, “Hi.”

# 2: Sit up.

Amy Cuddy is a well known Social Psychologist. And she calls slumping shoulders the Personal Powerlessness Pose. According to spine specialists, a typical texting position is the equivalent of putting a 60-pound weight on our neck. That’s roughly the weight of an 8-year old child! Sitting up with your shoulders back and your chin level, speaks confidence. And, if you’re introverted, sitting up is a great, NON-verbal way to feel and look confident.

# 3: Stand up.

Lady Gaga tells a tender story about the first time she collaborated with the elegant, legendary singer, Tony Bennett. It was the first day of recording, what would become their Grammy winning album called, “Cheek-to-Cheek.” Lady Gaga says, “When I walked into the studio, everyone, all the band members, stood up for me. I’ve never been treated that way.” That shows respect.

I encourage everyone to practice standing up for anyone who comes into a room. And since they say that “sitting is the new smoking,” standing up when someone comes over to your desk or enters your office is good for your health. In fact, a study published in the Annuals of Internal Medicine found, “no matter how much you exercise sitting for excessively long periods of time, is a risk factor, for early death.” So, stand up, live longer, and show respect.

There’s never been a more urgent time to model civility. I believe, when you treat someone decently, by looking up, sitting up, & standing up, it lifts BOTH of you up and that builds confidence.

For the next 30-days, practice ONE of these simple, powerful skills to boost your confidence and dignify other people. And, let’s join Elizabeth Gilbert in being thankful that “they’ve given us, a brand new one!”

Happy New Year everybody.

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