While you don’t need to shout the loudest, being an introvert at work can all too often lead to feelings of frustration and lost opportunities; that promotion you didn’t feel you were good enough for or not speaking up in a meeting when you had something of worth to add.
These moments can lead to Imposter Syndrome, that feeling that you’re a 'fraud' and someone will find you out. If this all sounds familiar, there are ways to stop it holding you back. Designed by TRESemmé and the International Center for Research on Women, the Presence MasterClass™ is a free online resource for women everywhere. It provides the tools to boost your self-confidence, tackle Imposter Syndrome and truly power your presence in the workplace – whether you identify as an introvert or not.
For Brooke Bailey, 27, who is a self-confessed introvert when it comes to work despite her profession as a songwriter and performer, taking part in a live version of the TRESemmé Presence MasterClass™ earlier this year was a journey that took her from self-doubt to a renewed presence, confidently owning her achievements.
With the skills she learned and advice she took away from the series of workshops and sessions, Brooke has propelled herself towards the key steps needed to achieve her goals: presenting her most confident self during important meetings and negotiations, as well as following her dreams of providing mentoring for children interested in music.
Here Brooke shares her MasterClass diary, from the moment she applied to today. Everything she learned is available to you too via the online Presence MasterClass™.
I took the leap and applied for the live version of the Presence MasterClass. In the past I’ve shied away from opportunities lie this. My sister passed away a month before my GCSEs so I didn’t sit many of them, which has created inferior feelings towards anything career-related. As a songwriter, I wasn’t sure if I’d be a suitable candidate but it seemed like such a unique opportunity, so I thought what is there to lose? I want to delve into an area I’ve neglected for so long.
I described two 'pivotal' moments for the application. Firstly, to gain the experience and the confidence to be able to give it all I’ve got in meetings with publishers. Secondly, I’ve realised that my people skills are quite good, and with the techniques I’ve learned for collaboration, I want to put them together and mentor kids that are interested in music.
I’ve been picked for the Presence MasterClass – I don’t believe it! Almost 1,000 people applied and I’m one of 30 women to have been chosen.
22nd – 24th May
We went straight into the first workshop as soon as we arrived at the MasterClass. It was daunting because we didn’t really know each other, but people were honest and genuine from the start.
One exercise I really enjoyed was when we had to sit in a circle and write down our biggest fears on a sticky note and put it in a box. Each person picked one that wasn’t theirs and read it out, explaining what they thought the person that wrote it was feeling. When mine was read out, my belly flipped. I’d written about my fear that people don’t know what I’m talking about and not coming across with clarity in the things that I say. What they pulled out of it was fear of rejection; I hadn’t really looked at it from that angle before.
I also really enjoyed the 60 Minute Career Coach session because I’ve never really worked on SMART goals. It’s weird how powerful it is sitting down, writing out your goals and putting a timeframe on them.
Exercises like goal-setting seem like a chore, but you have to really think about what you want and I think that’s another way of gaining self-confidence: you’re showing that you really care about your future and where you’re at.
One of the things that I felt I needed to change in order for my pivotal moment to feel more accessible is my morning ritual and having more control over my time. I give myself no time to get ready and when I go to work, everything else is put on the back burner. Just taking a moment to walk by the Thames before I go to work helps keep my anxiety at bay a bit more.
If I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, I’ll go back into the workbook and have a look and just jog my memory. I think the fact that we had to write everything down really helped. I’ve also carried on reading self-help books by Brené Brown, there were a few quotes from her at the MasterClass and she’s one of my favourite authors.
I’m working with artists that are signed to major labels and feel I’m on the right track. OMI, who sang "Cheerleader", recently recorded a song I’ve written so I’m just waiting to see what happens. This will really help me in publishing meetings, and I'll have a lot more leverage in negotiations. It’s exciting.
As an introvert, my habitual behaviour is to internalise and keep things private but I’ve learned that it’s really important to talk. Once you work on your mental attitude it’s much easier to trust your intuition in terms of who you share your dreams and aspirations with. One of my new affirmations is that people are rooting for me and want me to do well.
I’ve been volunteering with Girls I Rate, an organisation that creates opportunities for young women in the entertainment industry, and it’s going really well. Cofounder Carla Marie is a Grammy-nominated songwriter. They’ve said that they’d now like me to come on board for a paid position within the organisation as a talent manager and event planner.
I feel like my desire and intentional goal setting has propelled me into a position that I didn’t see happening this year and so I’m adapting and redefining my goals on a bigger scale as I reach them.
The MasterClass has really helped me enjoy myself and enjoy what it’s taken to get to where I am now. I'm so happy I did it, and I took away so many things.
Inspired by Brooke? Explore the power of presence, and discover the skills and tools to hone yours, by taking part in the online TRESemmé Presence MasterClass™. Visit this free resource here.