Our Roots and our Wings together give us the safety and confidence to explore our full potential. Wear Your Wings is an easy, repeatable technique that you can use at home or ‘in the moment’ to access your inner confidence and potential. Let Dr Soracha Cashman explain how it’s done.
“Zwei Dinge sollen Kinder von ihren Eltern bekommen: Wurzeln und Flügel.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
About 200 years ago Goethe, a German author, wrote that children should be nurtured to grow both roots and wings. As a psychologist, I believe that we need to regularly revisit our roots and wings as adults to ensure both are still giving us the benefit we need from them.
Strong roots allow for the development of wings
A child who feels a deep sense of belonging, feels safe and confident and certain that even adversity can be overcome. Strong roots allow for the development of wings, because they create the groundedness needed to feel able to take risks and to explore the world beyond our comfort zones. Roots give a sense of belonging, and wings, a sense of autonomy and potential; these are what we need to become well-rounded, productive and happy adults.
This is true of us all at every stage of our personal development; if our roots are in rocky ground, it’s harder to find the balance and bravery to spread our wings and take flight. Think of a plant; if we feed and water it, it is more likely to grow a deep solid root system that will sustain it through all weather, and every challenge, and, when the circumstances are right, allow it to flower into its potential.
Wear Your Wings Confidence Tool
As a Cognitive Psychologist, and a Leadership and Resilience Coach, I’m known for two things:
- I help people grow their confidence to embrace their pivotal career moments; and
- I use a coaching approach rooted in contemporary neuroscience, mindful well-being and personal transformation.
One of my favourite poets, Emily Dickinson, wrote:
“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
I read it as a child, and hope has been a core value of mine ever since. It was this idea of hope being the possibility that your soul could take flight, that lead me to the Wear Your Wings Confidence Tool that I have used with many hundreds of clients over the years.
It is a tool that I’ve used one to one in coaching sessions, in learning groups during organisational development, and from up on stage to big seminar audiences. It is a tool that people repeatedly comment on in messages to me long after our coaching relationship has naturally ended. It is a tool that I know has inspired many women to remember their confidence in moments of challenge or focus. We’ll share the process here for you, as it is a tool you can learn and use anywhere you are. Give it a go, and let us know how it landed with you in the comments below.
Confidence requires the conviction, belief and feeling that things will work out well for us, because we are: Willing to step up to the challenge; Capable of excellence in multiple situations; Worthy of a shot at success!
Confidence is experience AND choice
Although confidence is built upon through experience, it is also about choice. We need to choose to believe and feel that we are willing, capable and worthy of confidence. To build confidence in ourselves, our skills and our interactions, there are a number of ways we can work on the cornerstones of confidence: Authenticity, Action and Adaptability. We do this through coaching, mentoring and short programmes of personal development. But there are also quick and easy techniques we can practice at home and use in the moment to bolster ourselves and face that presentation, that meeting, or that situation. And the Wear Your Wings tool is one of these.
The Wear Your Wings technique is easy, and private, and repeatable, and you can do it right now while you’re sitting there reading this. You can teach it to your children, and your friends. It seems silly at the start, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes fun and it works!
Projecting confidence is a combination of mindset and movement.
- What would I have to think about myself to be more confident?
- How would I have to stand? Walk? Speak? Greet people?
- What would I have to notice? Practice? Believe?
These are the questions we need to answer in order to project confidence. These are the answers that help us manifest confidence. And, over years of using it, I have found the Wear Your Wings technique reinforces many of the answers we need.
Our wings represent confidence, inner strength and power. We get to have the most wonderful wings we can imagine. Our wings are as big, or as vibrant, as we want them to be. When we wear our wings, we stand straighter, we speak surer, we think clearer and we deliver with confidence.
How to get yourself a pair of wings:
Imagine yourself wearing wings, you may want to close you eyes to see them, or draw them to envision them. Not the tiny fancy-dress gauze fairy wings we see small children wear at Hallowe’en, but adult sized wings, sprouting from your shoulder blades, or worn like a weighty backpack.
The first time I did this, I did feel a little silly. It will pass. Your wings will help you tap into your inner well of confidence and power. It’s worth a moment of feeling silly! Play with your posture a little; how would you want to hold yourself with confidence? How would Confident You take up space? Let the weight of your wings shift you into that position.
Take a moment to design your wings, let them grow, change shape, re-colour and become yours. Mine are huge white swan wings, spanning 8 feet either side of me and heavy enough that when I spread them, their weight pulls my shoulders back and down, releasing tension from my neck and pushing my chest open allowing me to breathe deeper and project my voice further and louder.
I have had clients with pink angel wings, red dragon wings, golden eagle wings, silver Pegasus wings, giant bat wings. I’ve had clients have their kids design them wings. It doesn’t matter what wings you want, as long as creating them makes you smile!
Add some positive meanings to your choice of wings. My swan wings represent things to me. Swans are graceful and elegant, characteristics that I don’t naturally possess but that I want to channel when presenting live on stage. They are powerful, loyal and protective: characteristics that I do possess and want to honour.
I’ve had clients choose owl wings for wisdom, angel wings for protection, dragon wings for fiery strength. Whatever meaning you wish to imbue your wings with, do so. Whatever you want wearing your wings to mean to you. Choose it. Allow them be the embodiment of the Confident You that you want to be.
Open your wings. I like to do this physically. I stand, brace myself (because they’re heavy) and open my wings, allowing my shoulders to feel their substance and weight. I visualise the space they take up, feel how they move with me as I cross a room, listen to the sounds they make as they create breezes.
Practice being confident in your wings. Let them be your confidence crutch on the days you need one. Get used to how it feels to spread your wings in different situations. Use your wings in those moments when you need a boost of confidence, to embody the strongest, bravest, most Confident You.
…and now you’re ready to wear them!
When I stand on stage, wings outstretched, I take up more room. I fill the space and hold the attention of my audience. They can’t see my wings, but their presence, and my knowledge of their presence, gives me Presence. When you find yourself in a situation, in need of more confidence, put on your wings. Allow yourself to take up more space. Be the winged, wonderous, more Confident You.
And don’t be afraid to take flight!
Dr Soracha Cashman is a Cognitive Psychologist, Leadership Coach and Resilience Expert. She is honoured to have coached one of our founders, Kelly Whalley, in the past, and is one of our network of expert coaches and mentors here at Find Your Wings. Find her on Our Team page.
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