A woman who is poised is not easy to come by. Perhaps she was 30, 40, 50 + years ago. But such a woman is not too common these days.
An embodied feminine woman is often the epitome of grace, elegance and poise.
The definition of poise is:
Calm confidence in a person’s way of behaving, or a quality of grace.
Poise is also defined as:
The state of being balanced.
The only negative thing about women who are “traditionally” poised, is that sometimes this poise tends to be accompanied by a sense of rigidity.
This rigidity is not really poise. And it doesn’t accomplish the balance that is required when one is aiming to be poised and graceful.
Some women who are traditionally ‘poised’ take themselves too seriously, and take the issue of poise too far.
Remember that if you want to be a poised and graceful woman, you still need to maintain your femininity.
Femininity is not about being rigid, and no feminine woman should be tight and stringent in her manner and/or life, unless she really needs to be.
Truly feminine women have a beautiful quality of spontaneity and freedom.
What Is The Real Meaning Of Graceful and Poised?
It seems to me that the definition of poise has also evolved. When I wrote this article ten years ago and looked up the definition of poise, poise meant that you had a sense of “Composure” about you.
I think the idea of composure can lead us astray, and that the concept of “balance” or the state of being “balanced” is a much better definition to work with.
The idea of composure implies that you should be in control and appear to feel nothing.
Sometimes, people who are “composed” border on stoical; and this is not always ideal.
Stoicism is a wonderful trait to have in the right context and at the right times. In fact, stoicism has gotten humanity through a lot of suffering and tough times.
However, in normal day to day life, there’s no need to STRIVE to be stoical, unless you’re interacting with someone whom you know you cannot trust.
If you are interacting with someone you cannot trust, and you don’t want them to know about your feelings or vulnerability, it makes complete sense to be stoical.
So of course, there is a time and place for composure, but it’s important not to take this overboard.
Even if you are seeking to be poised, you can take the issue of composure lightly.
How To Be Graceful And Poised Yet Still Feminine?
Feminine women are real above all else.
So whilst a woman needs to be composed at times, it’s important that she is able to go with the flow of life.
Femininity also involves an element of irrationality, and some people (men and women included), make this trait of feminine energy wrong.
It’s not wrong. In fact, “irrationality” or chaos is a typical trait of the feminine energy. This is where a woman’s ‘ocean of emotion’ comes in to it…
When a woman is embodied (ie: she is not always zoned out and disconnected from her body due to extensive trauma), she naturally seems irrational from the masculine person’s perspective.
This is because the feminine body is not a vehicle of consistency. Women have cycles and their emotions change according to the people and the world around them.
So, how does being feminine go together with the idea of poise and grace?
Poise comes from a deeply assured sense of self and authenticity. This authenticity is not possible if a woman is disembodied.
Believe it or not, your femininity and being graceful and poised go hand in hand.
So, to achieve the balanced nature and the confidence that is necessary in order to be a graceful woman, you need to re-sensitise your body, connect to yourself, and allow yourself to feel your emotions authentically.
If you don’t do this first, then you can never achieve that sense of balance in your personality.
So, grieve your past pains and hurts first, and don’t try to ‘force’ poise and gracefulness within yourself.
It’s nice to be a confident woman, but most women try too hard to be confident.
How do they try?
They try to control things more. They’re desperate to seem to have it all together, and in an effort to appear that way, they unknowingly fake confidence.
And that’s not authenticity at work, wouldn’t you agree?
In fact, confidence has nothing to do with controlling yourself or your life all the time. It’s counter-productive for the woman who wants to be poised and graceful.
So the idea of poise should not be taken to mean a ‘forced’ sense of dignity, confidence self-respect and elegance. (read my article about fake femininity.)
Confidence and poise go hand in hand, but confidence comes from being a woman of value.
Here are the steps to achieving instant poise:
1: Achieve authentic confidence. (Poise is a result of plenty of self-confidence).
Acknowledge that your purpose is not to ‘appear’ self-assured and poised, but to be truly and actually poised, from deep within – where you harbor an unshakable sense of certainty and self-confidence.
If you do lack self-confidence, think:
‘What would I do in this situation if I DID know what to do?’
Self-confidence is your friend when it comes to achieving poise.
If you are self-confident, it’s much easier to go with the flow, be strong (in a feminine way) and become able to deal with any situation that arises.
Poise is about knowing your value despite the circumstances.
But to have that value, you need to focus on bringing value to the people around you.
When you can bring value to the metaphorical table, you will easily achieve that elusive sense of confidence that is essential for grace and poise.
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2: Face your fears and forgive yourself for past mistakes, no matter how big they are.
Even a woman who has acted ‘cheap’ in the past can achieve poise.
A lot of women have done things in their past that they regret, that were less than graceful, respectable and poised – and as a result they “lock” themselves in to one particular identity.
If you lock yourself into one identity, then guess what other people who know you will do? They will see you as only this one kind of person too!
However, if you act like a graceful and elegant woman who is poised, and believe in it, other people will, too!
If anyone is going to give you respect (something that often ensues when you are a poised and graceful woman), you have to give it to yourself first.
You need to acknowledge your past mistakes, know that you are human and that most of us have a skeleton or two in our closet.
But just because you did a certain thing in the past, acted a certain way, or made a certain mistake, doesn’t preclude you from joining the ranks of poised and graceful ladies now.
Forgive yourself – learn from your mistakes and ease in to grace, elegance and poise.
No mistake in your life has truly earned its place until you learn from it and continue to love yourself despite the mistake.
3: Be honest but not blunt.
Care for other people, and consider others when you are asked for feedback, your opinion, or put in a difficult or challenging situation.
If you have an urge to act impulsively – pause and wait a moment.
It is better to pause and think your actions and responses through than to act impulsively.
I love women who are a little unpredictable – but there is a time for this.
If you’re in a serious situation, such as in a work or corporate environment, or if you are put in a difficult position socially, it’s important to think things through before you act.
If you don’t, you could cause more extra problems for yourself and others.
Expressing your opinion is important, but it is imperative to do it with class, integrity and modesty.
4: Identify where you have a scarcity mindset, and re-assess its place in your life.
Have you ever gone to a food hall or a food court when it’s packed? Most of us have, right?
Have you ever gone looking for a seat at a table to eat, and you finally see one, so you calmly walk over with your plate of food, only to have some rude and disrespectful person sprint to the seat before you?
(And act like they didn’t see you there?)
Not only is it frustrating, but it’s just plain terrible behaviour. It’s worse when you look at them in disbelief, and they act like they didn’t see you!
That kind of person knows tables at a busy food court are scarce, but the difference between that person and a poised and graceful person, is that they don’t have the ability to see past the immediate moment.
Sure, there aren’t enough seats, but if you are a graceful and poised person, surely you’d be resourceful and calm enough to solve your problem in other ways, true?
You don’t have to have no money to be poor.
Poor, un-elegant people exist as a result of a poor mindset.
A scarcity mindset is the nemesis of grace and poise, especially when it is not necessary.
A scarcity mindset often leads to desperation. And desperation isn’t a trait of poise.
I know we’ve all felt desperate for something in our lives, but acting desperate because you’re not aware of the toll that your scarcity mindset is taking, will destroy all efforts to achieve poise.
Now, a scarcity mindset is not all bad.
It can allow you to address problems swiftly and achieve things you want to achieve in the short-term.
But in a world where plenty is available, acting from scarcity may hinder your own sense of resourcefulness.
When your sense of resourcefulness is lacking, then you will show up as a person who lacks grace, class, and patience.
This leads you to lose the ability to have poise.
Too much time spent in a scarcity mindset will also dispel a woman’s serenity and calmness; and as a result – how classy or poised she will become.
I’ll give you another example.
You’re hopping on to a train, and you can see there are only a couple of seats left.
You walk on calmly, and before you know it, some arrogant and selfish person pushes you out the way to get to the seat first.
This is not graceful. It is not poised. People like this don’t earn respect, they are annoying at best.
The point is – there WILL be a seat available eventually! And if there isn’t, then aren’t you resourceful enough to stand, or perhaps ask someone nicely for a seat if you are disabled or feeling ill?
Poise is about being at peace, knowing that there is enough to go around!
Somebody else’s gain is not your loss!
A woman of poise makes a profound impact and commands respect at the highest level.
Even though these may be small, insignificant matters – every little bit counts.
You must be poised even when there’s no-one around whom you are seeking to impress or please.
Poise is unqualified. A poised woman lives it. And doesn’t act poised only when it benefits her.
Like any women who achieves true success and commands respect, achieving poise is the same – you have to consider others beyond yourself.
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5: Correct your posture, if your posture is suffering.
Most people need to get better posture. And I don’t blame them – it’s so easy to get terrible posture with our lifestyle these days.
The traditional walking with a book-on-the-head strategy doesn’t work.
There are much better ways to improve your posture.
It’s not something that can be taught very well through words, so if you are interested in a video on improving your posture, please see our videos and post on 3 Steps to Instant Good Posture.
6: Know that receiving praise or criticism from others isn’t always that great.
Sure, praise is nice, and in fact, feminine women grow in their femininity through praise.
But don’t become reliant on other people’s praise or criticism! People can be fickle, and it matters not what they think. It matters more how you feel within yourself!
For this point, I’d like to quote the amazing Coach John Wooden:
“You can’t let praise or Criticism get to you. It is a weakness to get caught up in either one”
Know your value. Appreciate others’ praise and/or criticsm, but don’t take it to heart.
Even if you are no.1 at something and everyone is always praising you about it, we are always learning and should never assume that we are more ‘worthy’ than others.
Part of knowing your value is knowing your abilities as well as your limitations. I do believe anyone can achieve anything they wish, but it’s important not to descend in to arrogance or egotism.
Arrogance destroys poise. It is not graceful, and neither is it elegant.
7: Model others who are already graceful and poised.
If there is a woman whom you consider to have great poise; look to her, figure out what it is that makes her so poised.
Is it a special point of elegance that she has? Is it her ability to think before she acts?
Is it the way she holds herself?
Is it that she’s incredibly feminine and embodied?
Poise consists of how one is presented to the world from the outside, as well as a person’s mindset.
Possible examples of women whom I think have great poise:
1. Poise comes through true, authentic inner confidence.
2. Face your fears and forgive yourself for past mistakes. Don’t get ‘locked’ in to a particular identity, or past identities.
3. Be honest but not blunt. Give real, good feedback, express your opinions with class and integrity.
4. Avoid a scarcity mindset.
5. Develop good posture.
6. Know your value, and be confident in your value.
7. Model others.
(A big Thank You to our loyal and lovely reader, Stefanie for the suggestion for this article.)
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As always, offer your additions, objections or thoughts on this article, and share any examples you have of women who are poised, and whom you admire.
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