What does presence look like under pressure? Mastery, confidence, assurance, a commanding presence, steady as a rock. These are words we use to describe what we believe we see in people who are getting it right.
Take another perspective on presence under pressure. Runners are confident, right? What are they doing? Most of the time they’re falling. They’re off the ground, propelling themselves in a direction and headed for the ground. But they know this motion and what to do when falling.
If you watch a toddler learn to walk, you’ll see that they know that walking is also falling. It’s frightening and confusing and sometimes it causes pain. Here comes the floor again! They look for support, encouragement, and comfort.
If we want to be centered, present, steady, instead of being like a rock we can think about being like a runner. We could learn to fall in ways that no longer frighten us. But to do that, we need to practice falling, feeling frightened, and not panicking.