“Poise is a power derived from the Mastery of Self”
A woman who is poised is not easy to come by. Perhaps she was 30, 40, 50 + years ago. But such a woman is not too common these days. A feminine woman is often the epitome of grace, elegance and poise.
The definition of poise is: ‘A graceful and elegant bearing; composure of dignity and manner’.
The only negative thing about women who are traditionally poised, is that sometimes this poise tends to surface accompanied by a sense of rigidity. Femininity is not about being rigid, and no feminine woman should be tight and stringent in her manner and/or life. Some women who are traditionally ‘poised’ take themselves too seriously, and take the issue of poise too far.
Truly feminine women have a beautiful quality of spontaneity and freedom. Feminine energy flows with the energy of life. It is sometimes chaotic, sometimes calm, and at other times, even melancholy and dark. (read my article about feminine beauty)
“Composure”; being a part of the definition of poise, needs to be considered. Sometimes, people who are composed border on stoical; and this is not ideal. Yes, there is a time and place for composure – but it’s important not to take this overboard. Even if you are seeking to be poised, you can take the issue of composure lightly.
Feminine women are real – above all else. So whilst a woman needs to be composed at times, it’s important that she is able to go with the flow of life. Femininity also involves an element of irrationality – and some people (men and women included), make this wrong. It’s not wrong. Again, chaos is a typical trait of the feminine energy. This is where a woman’s ‘ocean of emotion’ comes in to it.
So, poise is important – but poise comes from a deeply assured sense of self, and authenticity. A woman who ‘needs’ to compose herself may have one too many unresolved contradictions and insecurities within her. There’s nothing wrong with this, but poise should not be taken to mean, or appear to be, a ‘forced’ sense of dignity, self-respect and elegance. (read my article about fake feminine)
So here are some steps to achieving instant poise:
1) Poise is, more than anything else, a result of plenty of self-confidence. Acknowledge that your purpose is not to ‘appear’ self-assured and poised, but to be truly and actually poised, from deep within – where you harbor an unshakable sense of certainty and self-confidence.
I do believe in the saying “fake it until you make it”. Because when you put yourself in the ‘state’ of doing something you don’t feel you actually know how to do, but ‘pretend’ as if you do – momentum ensues, and often, the ability to do the thing you want to do follows.
So if you do lack self-confidence, and aren’t so assured – think: ‘What would I do in this situation if I DID know what to do?’
Self-confidence is your friend when it comes to achieving poise. They go hand-in-hand. If you are self-confident, it’s much easier to go with the flow, be strong (in a feminine way) and become able to deal with any situation that arises. Particularly unfavorable situations, such as being late for a meeting, a friend betraying you, and being strong for others and having to show support and be relied upon when your own life seems like it’s falling apart.
Poise is about knowing your value despite the circumstances.
2) Face your fears and forgive yourself for past mistakes, no matter how big they are. Even a woman who has acted ‘cheap’ in the past can achieve poise.
A lot of women have done things in their past that they regret, that were less than graceful, respectable and poised – and as a result they “lock” themselves in to one particular identity – and therefore, so does everybody else! If you do it, so will everybody else. However, if you act like a graceful and elegant woman who is poised, and believe in it, other people will, too!
If anyone is going to give you respect (something that often ensues when you are a poised and graceful woman), you have to give it to yourself first, and you need to acknowledge your past mistakes, know that you are human and that most of us have a skeleton or two in our closet. I certainly have a couple.
But just because you did a certain thing in the past, or acted a certain way, or made a certain mistake – doesn’t preclude you from joining the ranks of poised and graceful ladies now, and in the future.
Forgive yourself – learn from your mistakes and ease in to grace, elegance and poise. No mistake or memory of a mistake in your life has truly earned its place until you learn from it and continue to love yourself despite. (read my article about how to to open up for love)
3) Be honest but not blunt. Care for other people, and consider others when you are asked for feedback, your opinion, or put in a difficult or challenging situation.If you have an urge to act impulsively (which is not always a bad thing, but it is when you’re going to be nasty, critical or inconsiderate of another person’s emotions) – wait a moment.
It is better to pause and think your actions and responses through than to act impulsively. Again, I love women who act impulsively and who are unpredictable – but there is a time for this. If you’re in a serious situation, such as in a work or corporate environment, or are put in a difficult position or awkward moment by friends, family or strangers, it’s important to think things through before you act and cause any extra problems for yourself and others.
Expressing your opinion is important, but it is imperative to do it with class, integrity and modesty.
4) Avoid a scarcity mindset. Have you ever gone to a food hall, or a food court, and it’s packed – you are looking for a seat, and you finally see one, so you calmly walk over with your plate of food – only to have some rude, crass and disrespectful person sprint to the seat before you?
Not only is it frustrating, but it’s just plain terrible behavior. It’s worse when you look at them in disbelief, and they act like they didn’t see you!
You don’t have to have no money to be poor. Poor, un-elegant people exist as a result of a poor mindset. A scarcity mindset. A scarcity mindset is the nemesis of grace and poise. A scarcity mindset often leads to desperation. And desperation isn’t a trait of poise. I know we’ve all felt desperate for something in our lives, but desperation born out of a scarcity mindset will destroy all efforts to achieve poise.
A scarcity mindset will also dispel a woman’s serenity and calmness; and as a result – how classy or poised she will become.
I’ll give you another example. You’re hopping on to a train, and you can see there are only a couple of seats left. You walk on calmly, – and before you know it, some arrogant and selfish person pushes you out the way to get to the seat first. This is not graceful. It is not poised. People like this don’t earn respect, they remain forgotten and in other people’s distant memory; deep in the dust.
The point is – there WILL be a seat available! Poise is about being at peace, knowing that there is enough to go around! Somebody else’s gain is not your loss!
A woman of poise makes a profound impact and commands respect at the highest level.
Even though these may be small, insignificant matters – every little bit counts. You must be poised even when there’s no-one around whom you are seeking to impress or please. Poise is unqualified. A poised woman lives it. And doesn’t act poised only when it benefits her.
Like any women who achieves true success and commands respect, achieving poise is the same – you have to consider others beyond yourself.
5) Correct your posture, if your posture is suffering. Most people need to get better posture. And I don’t blame them – it’s so easy to get terrible posture with our lifestyle these days. The traditional book-on-the-head strategy doesn’t work.
There are much better ways to improve your posture. It’s not something that can be taught very well through words, so if you are interested in a video on improving your posture, please see our videos and post on 3 Steps to Instant Good Posture.
6) For this point, I’d like to quote the amazing Coach John Wooden:
“You can’t let praise or Criticism get to you. It is a weakness to get caught up in either one”
Know your value. Be humble. Even if you are no.1 at something, we are always learning and should never assume that we are more ‘worthy’ than others. Part of knowing your value is knowing your abilities as well as your limitations. I do believe anyone can achieve anything they wish, but it’s important not to descend in to arrogance or egotism.
You may offer more value than others, and have better abilities, but any woman who tramples on others to feel better about herself, or to achieve an air or superiority, isn’t poised.
Arrogance destroys poise. It is not graceful, and neither is it elegant.
7) Model others. If there is a woman whom you consider to have great poise; look to her, figure out what it is that makes her so poised. Is it a special point of elegance that she has? Is it her ability to think before she acts?
Is it the way she holds herself? Poise consists of how one is presented to the world from the outside, as well as a person’s mindset.
Examples of women whom I think have great poise:
Natalie Portman – Despite her rap video. (Warning: foul language right here)
The late, extraordinarily beautiful soul, Audrey Hepburn
1. Poise comes through true, authentic inner confidence.
2. Face your fears and forgive yourself for past mistakes. Don’t get ‘locked’ in to a particular identity, or past identities.
3. Be honest but not blunt. Give real, good feedback, express your opinions with class and integrity.
4. Avoid a scarcity mindset.
5. Develop good posture.
6. Know your value, and be confident in your value.
7. Model others.
(A big Thank You to our loyal and lovely reader, Stefanie for the suggestion for this article.)
As always, offer your additions, objections or thoughts on this article, and share any examples you have of women who are poised, and whom you admire.