Oct 312012
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walk with confidence
When I was young, my dad would grab my shoulders, pull them back, and say, “Boy, stop slouching. Pull your shoulders back.” It was a constant reminder he gave me. I lacked the confidence to walk tall and look up because of the limitations I set on myself as a young boy. But, my dad was always there to give me a boost of confidence.

I remember when he would pick me up from baseball practices.  I would be sluggishly walking up to the car then at some point make eye contact with him.  “Pull your shoulders back,” I could hear him say in my head.  I puffed my chest up and walked tall.

In Hawaii, this is known as – Ku Kanaka. Stand tall.

How Do You Walk?

I’m always observing others around me, especially their walk and how they hold themselves.  You can really get a sense of a person’s mana from observing them.  I was taught by my dad and grandpa to always be aware of my surroundings.

I notice the different ways people walk and the body languages all around.  There are always those who walked like I used to – shoulders slouched, looking down at the ground, and at a slower pace.  Others walked tall, ku kanaka, and looked straight ahead ready for anything the world threw at them.

The people I admire the most have this ku kanaka walk; my parents and grandparents.

What do you do when you are walking towards a person? We all have these moments.  You walk directly towards them and it always turns in to some sort of game of who gives in.  It’s like ‘mental chicken’.  The person who loses averts their eyes in a different direction.

The way you hold yourself has a direct link to how you view yourself.  When I came across these thoughts, I began to think of the people I’ve met and also my progression in the simple act of walking.

Those who feel they are inferior, have low self-esteem, and think negatively of themselves will be those who walk staring at the ground with their shoulder slouched forward.  The more confident and optimistic people will be those who walk looking straight ahead and their shoulders held back – ku kanaka.

How to Ku Kanaka

For some it can be a big challenge to walk tall.  Now, there’s a difference between walking with confidence and arrogance:

Arrogance – when someone thinks less of others which in turn makes them feel superior.

Confidence – when someone is competent from the inside out and they have a goal to use their talents and skills to benefit others.

If you believe you have trouble walking around without keeping your eyes glued to the ground, try this simple exercise:

  • Go to a park where there is little to no people.You have to do one thing. Strut.  I mean it.  Take a walk around the park with your shoulders pulled back, chest up, and eyes up fixated straight ahead.  You can even think to yourself, “I am a badass.” There’s a good chance you are smiling and feel an uplift in your spirit. Imagine yourself walking with this feeling every where you go.

I know. It’s easier when there are no people around.  But at least you took a small step towards building confidence.

Let’s try the next step with this exercise.

It won’t be an easy step for everyone right off the back to walk around with your head held high everywhere you go.

Here’s the exercise: Walk confidently when you are in a comfortable setting – maybe in your workplace, amongst friends, around the city where you feel most comfortable.

It may be just walking down the hallway and fighting the urge of averting your eyes away. When you make it to the end of the hallway with confidence, celebrate this accomplishment.  Pat yourself on the back.  Tell yourself good job.  You have just made a deposit in your mana account.

3 Tips on How to Walk Confidently

1.  Say Hello. Sometimes it’s awkward to walk pass a person, especially in an uncrowded area, while looking straight a head and not saying anything.  Give them a smile and say hello.  Be friendly.

2.  Smile. I see so many people walking around with frowns. Why such a sad face? It is impossible to hold a frown and actually feel happy.  Try it.  I bet the frown will quickly turn in to a smile. Lose yourself in thought about something happy which makes you smile.  When I’m lost in thought, I really don’t care what other people are thinking.  They either think I’m crazy or wonder what I’m thinking about.

3.  Take in your environment. What ever you do, don’t look down.  Look at the sky, look up in the trees, look over at the birds flying, then when a person or group gets closer to you – look at them.  Smile and say hello.

Please take these thoughts with you the next time you go out for a walk.  Take a seat somewhere and observe how others walk and hold themselves.  Reflect on your walk.

How do you walk? Do you think a person’s walk reflects how they feel about themselves?

If this has helped you in anyway I would greatly appreciate your feedback and thoughts.  My goal is to add value to your life, and I hope my site has been doing just that for you.

Mahalo.  Aloha. A hui hou.

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