Ever notice how the more you want something, the further away it seems to get? In fact, sometimes the just the act of trying seems to make things worse than if you had done nothing. That’s why we have expressions like “trying too hard” and “get out of your own way.” How come some people have it so easy? What is their secret?
Is there a secret?
When it comes to improving relationships, it’s folly to act as if we were human robots. Sure, there are emotional capabilities and skills that can be taught and improved upon. I’m not saying we shouldn’t strive to grow and learn.
When it comes to something as complicated, rich and dynamic as human relationships, you cannot program a natural response.
Once your conscious mind is engaged and you are trying to apply a strategy, your actions will be too slow or too stilted to be truly effective. It’s like how you can tell when someone is trying to butter you up because they want something from you. You don’t need to be a championship poker player to read that from a person. It’s just in our DNA that we have this little sensor that chirps, “danger, danger!”
Here’s the key.
Think about any top-level performer you admire in any field or pursuit in life. They don’t have to be a professional or famous. Someone who you consider one of the best at what they do, whether it is being a parent or a Formula 1 driver.
Consider this. When they are in a situation where they need to perform, they are not thinking about how to perform. They are not thinking about what specific skills to deploy. They already possess the skills and experience accumulated from a lifetime of learning. They effortlessly deploy exactly the skill that is needed at exactly the right moment, quite unconsciously. This is because they are the person they need to be already. All they need to perform at a high level is be in the right state of being.
When you struggle, you drown; when you relax, you float.
—Unknown via Tiffany Ann-Beverlin
This is why we have expressions like “in the zone” or “he’s unconscious” or “on cruise control.”
So to go back to the original question. How does someone make charisma look so easy? The answer is that they are not trying. They are just in the right state of being where they can be their most charismatic and are just reacting to what is presented to them in the right way at the right moment. This state of being is a relaxed one which facilitates everything being absorbed and enables words and actions to flow readily. It’s very much like watching a virtuoso musician, athlete or dancer. They just flow.
However, consider this. It’s not the skill level they possess that makes it look easy. If you see a virtuouso panic or choke under the pressure, they are underperforming relative to their ability.
What’s the difference?
The difference is for one reason or another, they were prevented from entering, the relaxed, high-performing state of being they usually inhabit during their typically great performances.
It’s exactly the same principle for you with regards to charisma. The best part is, you already have everything you need. You just need to unlock it.