As an introvert, I’ve never enjoyed taking up space. In fact, I’ve often tried to shrink myself to appear smaller – especially when I was a self-conscious teen worried about my weight.
I would hunch my shoulders, suck in my belly, stoop low, and always sit in the quiet corner of cafés – out of the way. Hidden.
Over the years, as my business has grown and called me to step up and show myself more, I’ve gradually become more comfortable with taking up space in a room. In the world.
But on a recent trip overseas, I noticed I was being bumped into a lot: at the airport, in the street…and people often crept into my personal space (mind you, I was in Greece where culturally they stand a lot closer).
So I decided to focus again on taking up space.
Here’s how I do it:
- Get grounded in my body: feel gravity pulling my feet firmly to the ground.
- Connect to my breath: inhale for 4 counts, exhale for 6 counts. Focus on the breath moving in and out of my nose.
- Become aware of my body in space: sense the outline of my body in relation to the space all around me.
- Adopt a power pose: stand tall, shoulders back, hands on hips, chin high and smile. I am Wonder Woman!
- Hold that awareness and strong energy during the day.
- Practice standing my ground (instead of mumbling “sorry” and getting out of someone’s way). See how it feels to walk in a straight line on a crowded street, and observe the sea of people flow and move around you without any effort on your part. Make a point to take up space – more than you ordinarily would – and claim your place in the world.
- Reflect on how it feels in my journal.
To wrap up…
At first, standing tall and taking up space can feel strange – especially if it’s your first time practicing it. But keep going, and I believe you’ll begin to feel empowered as you unapologetically claim your space.
This isn’t about pretending to be an extrovert or enjoy crowded places when you don’t. It’s about being your strongest energy, while staying true to your nature.
You are meant to be here, in this time and place. So claim your space, sensitive soul. Be seen. And shine.