Do you ever “people watch?” I do. If I’m stuck waiting somewhere, it’s a great pastime.
A couple weeks ago, I arrived early to a meeting and was sitting in my car reading. It must have been a shift change or something because there were lots of people exiting the building. Not in mass, but every few minutes someone would exit the building or walk past my car. Having great peripheral vision, every movement caught my eye.
As I glanced up to see various people walking, I began to notice the way they were walking.
I saw many people walking at a middle speed looking down at their feet. Sure they looked up every now and then to make sure they weren’t going to get hit by a car in the parking lot, but most people were looking at the ground.
Then I saw this one guy, in a yellow shirt, exit the building walked very confidently. He was walking at a brisk pace, but he didn’t seem to be in a hurry. His head was up, he was looking around. He even smiled and waved at a couple different people. I would guess he knew them, but maybe not. The way he walked got me to thinking, and watching others more intentionally.
Still, most of the people who exited the building were walking rather ho-hum, looking down. I did see two women walk across the parking lot. One walked pretty confidently, not quite as boldly as the man I saw, but she did pretty well. The other one started out of the building looking at her phone. Then she started to get a confident walk. Then, she ruined it. Yup, she got the ol’ “I’ve been practicing this” hip swing going. I wasn’t impressed.
Anyway, I started thinking about what impression our walk gives others. I would suggest that the man in the yellow shirt and the woman who walked boldly are probably self-aware, self-confident, positive people. The other folks, shuffling out, eyes to the ground, looking like they carry the burdens of the world, were either having a bad day or aren’t particularly aware of the negative vibe they are giving off.
Have you ever thought about how others see you? Are you carrying yourself as you truly are? How is your walk these days?
If you walk like most of the people I saw, maybe it’s time to pick your head up and look life in the eye. If you have a bad day every once in a while, that’s understandable, but if every day seems like a bad day maybe it’s time to talk to someone about how to get your positivity back.
The first step in change is awareness. Check your walk, and then step out boldly, joyfully, and walk confidently!