Embrace your inner tiger and increase your confidence
For more than two billion people across the globe, a brand new year is about to begin.
Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, begins with the new moon, which in 2022 occurs on the 1st February.
The Chinese lunar calendar follows a 12-year cycle, each year associated with a different animal. Depending on the year you were born, you could be a rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog or pig.
The animals of the zodiac have an important role within Chinese culture. According to belief, different animals have different personality traits, both good and bad, influencing your personality, career development and even love life.
To get a flavour of just how important the Chinese zodiac is, take a look at technologist ShaoLan Hseuh’s TED Talk. She explains how some Chinese people plan to have their babies around giving birth in a ‘good’ animal year.
In 2022, we enter the Year of the Tiger.
What are tiger personalities like?
In the Chinese zodiac, tiger personalities are fiery, fearless and revered for their courage. This year is the year of the ‘water tiger’, which is calm but ambitious and full of passion for achieving goals.
Famous tiger personalities include Usain Bolt, Lady Gaga, Leonardo Di Caprio, David Attenborough, Richard Branson and Rafael Nadal.
Whether you’re a follower of the Chinese zodiac or not, you can use the tiger personality to inspire you to be more confident in 2022.
Here are three ways to embrace your inner tiger in the New Year.
Unleash your inner courage and increase your confidence
Does the thought of giving a presentation or speech make you feel more like a nervous kitten than a fearless tiger? If so, you can use simple techniques to enable you to perform at your best.
Even when you know the content and structure of your presentation is brilliant, you may still lack confidence when it comes to delivering it. Nerves can take over and make you freeze, stumble or lose your way.
This perceived lack of confidence stems from your brain’s survival instinct, known as the “monkey mind”, which is there to protect us from painful situations. When you hear that little voice in your head telling you that you’re not good enough or that your presentation is going to go badly, – that’s your monkey mind trying to protect you from pain by stopping you altogether.
When you can quieten your monkey mind, you will find the courage to deliver your presentations confidently and without that nagging self-doubt. These three techniques can help soothe your monkey mind and allow you to perform at your best.
Leading and motivating
People born in tiger years are often considered great leaders and motivators.
Your work needs to start well before stepping into the meeting room or on stage if you want to motivate your audience. Think carefully about what you want your audience to get out of your presentation and, in particular, how you want the audience to feel about the information you’re giving.
If you position yourself as a mentor for your audience, rather than the hero with all of the answers, you’ll find they are much more engaged with your message, and you can develop deeper, more meaningful relationships. You can still be a strong leader who is in control of your presentation, but by showing that you understand your audience’s needs, you’ll be able to demonstrate that you can lead with compassion and understanding.
Don’t be an aggressive tiger!
Not all aspects of a tiger personality are desirable. Many Chinese regions see a sharp decline in the birth rate during tiger years due to the negative connotations of the tiger personality. People born in tiger years can be seen as strong-willed, stubborn and even aggressive when challenged.
Do you act like a tiger when challenged during your presentations?
Many of us do. When we feel attacked or criticised when faced with an objection, we may launch a counter-attack and try to close down the conversation or even ignore it altogether.
However, this is a sure-fire way to alienate your audience. Dismissing someone else’s point of view or argument in a meeting is not only disrespectful, but it can lead to an escalation of tension and potentially harm your reputation as a result.
Instead, if someone objects, stop speaking and let the other person do 80% of the talking to give them time to explain their point of view. Listen, empathise and ask questions to make sure people feel heard and provide yourself with valuable thinking time to deal with it in a much more collaborative way. You can find more great tips on dealing with objections on our blog here.
Find your inspiration from the Chinese zodiac
Every animal in the Chinese zodiac is associated with several positive personality traits, so why not look at the list and see which ones you’d like to embody in 2022?
Whether you want to be more courageous and confident like a tiger, more patient and diligent like a dog or even more charming and persuasive like a rat, we all can flex our personalities to enable us to increase our impact when we communicate – and our courses can help you to do just that.
Happy New Year! 恭喜發財