15 January 2019
Of course, you can’t fake 20 years’ experience, classical violin training or speaking fluent Japanese, but can you fake confidence, power and positivity when you actually feel the opposite?
Harvard Business School social psychologist Amy Cuddy shared her research on power poses in a 2012 TED Talk. She reveals that changing your posture for two minutes can have a physiological effect on you – so much so that it changes your hormones.
Her research shows that participants who held a ‘power pose’ for two minutes before a task had higher levels of testosterone – the dominance hormone – and lower levels of cortisol – the stress hormone. This made them more confident, less stressed and led to a positive outcome from the task – in this instance being hired after a job interview.
Studies have failed to replicate the hormonal changes linked to power posing but studies continue to find that adopting these ‘power poses’ makes people feel powerful.
Ultimately, as Amy and more recent research says, our bodies change our minds.
It’s something taught in Tony Robbins’ workshops too. Change your state. Mimicking the posture that you have when you feel confident, prepared and energetic can actually make you feel that way. Whilst hunching and closing your posture reinforces negative mindset. Try it. The next time you’re feeling low in energy, stand tall, stretch and take some deep breaths, even go for a run. I guarantee you’ll be surprised by how different you feel.
Ultimately, it all comes down to belief. When you believe that you can do something, you behave differently. You go for it! When you doubt yourself, you’re a different person who will no doubt have a different outcome.
So who do you want to be? What does that person stand like, sit like? What’s their presence? Answer those questions and mimic it until you become that naturally. It’s amazing how once you believe you’re capable of something, there’s very little that can stop you achieving it.