First off - Happy Birthday to the ultimate Goddess of Female Empowerment - Beyonce, may we all one day feel this fierce!
And do you know what - why shouldn't we feel this fierce? Embodying someone or something is to express or personify its behaviours and characteristics and can actually be a very powerful way of boosting your confidence and self esteem. As a life coach for women, one of the tools I use with clients is to explore what it would feel like to embody either an icon such as Beyonce; or a Goddess or perhaps their future self to get them even closer to how they want to ultimately feel. Here are five reasons why it's such a powerful coaching tool:
It closes the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
We often think that when we get to a certain point in our future and have achieved the things we dream of - that is when we will feel happy, confident, wise, fitter etc. But if we embody that future state now, then we close the gap between where we are and where we want to be by bringing those feelings into the present.
It can make you feel confidence you didn't know you had.
Thinking "what would Beyonce do?" or "what would I do if I felt more confident?" can be the inspiration you need to actually feel more confident and do what ever it is you are shying away from.
I used to find myself in meetings full of intimidating people and stepping into the role of someone with more confidence and that act of embodying those behaviours had a profound effect. I sat up straighter; I held eye contact; I asked questions. It is very empowering to embody the behaviours of someone or something we find aspirational as it shows us that we have perhaps already a lot of those qualities already within us.
It can be inspiring when looking for empowerment.
Children do this all the time and we call it playing or play acting, so why do we give it up as adults when it has such powerful benefits? Play acting is a form or embodiment - "look at me - I'm a queen!" - and encourages us to consider what that looks and feels like - and it's the feels like bit which is important.
It can lead to us asking questions about thoughts and behaviours we have on auto pilot that perhaps do not serve us. It can also be a way of finding creative inspiration and looking at things from a different perspective - If you wouldn't put up with something as a Queen, why put up with it now?
It shuts down the "I will be happy only when I..." mindset.
Believing we can only be happy when we lose weight, get a new job, find our purpose in life has the side effect of suggesting that we need those external events to happen before we can find fulfilment - and that is a pretty sucky place to be.
That's like spending your life in the happiness waiting room - you can see it, but you are not allowed in just yet. But what if you embodied the feelings that you expect to come with that fulfilment now? What if you decided to instead of focusing on what you don't have, you focus on what you do have? Gratitude is a very accessible way to appreciate what you have now instead of waiting for something better to come along.
And the magic of being happy now - where you are and who you are - allows those goals and aspirations that you long for to actually become more accessible because you are more open. You shift the paradigm of believing happiness is something outside of you. It's simply the way the Universe works....
Last but not least - the science bit.
Now, I am the first to get all excited about anything spiritual and woo, but I'm also a huge geek so science gets my motor running too. And embodying does have science behind it. Now, in science, embodying is referred to as modelling and it can create a positive feedback loop that can rewire the brain through something called neuroplasticity. Cool right?
For example, if you are feeling anxious and embody what it would feel like to be a confident person, the way you hold your body; take deeper breaths; take the time to centre yourself and actually take control, the brain gets the message that everything is A-OK and lays off the panic button. Bonus feature - next time you are in that same situation, the brain already has a model of behaviour to work from (the cool, confident and calm you) and plays along as a default.
So where does the Goddess bit come in you ask? Well, this past year I have been exploring what it feels like to embody the Goddess Lilith as a representation of female empowerment. And my goodness, does she deliver! Lilith is all about sovereignty; autonomy; righteous justice and embracing female sensuality. She is the ultimate feminist and I love her story so much I have a new workshop offering all about her and how you can embody her so you can go from Good Girl to Goddess.