Self-confidence is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives, yet so many people struggle to find it. It’s not a static quality; rather, it’s a mindset that takes effort to maintain. It must be practiced and mastered just like any other skill.
Learn to master confidence and you’ll change your life for the better!
If you are tall you will stand out; this can make some people feel really self-conscious and lacking in confidence. Thus, it is absolutely crucial that you pay attention to your body language at all times! Right this very moment, I want you to do a self-audit of how you have positioned your body. Are you making yourself smaller: hunching, crossing your legs, wrapping your ankles? Or are you spread out, sitting up straight and taking up as much room as you can?
How you position and present yourself communicates a lot, both to yourself and to the people around you. This is why it’s called body language. The good news is that you can influence your thoughts and your feelings by altering your body language.
Your CONFIDENCE is related to your body language!
Recently I came across a Ted Talk presented by Amy Cuddy (social psychologist) called: “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are” (you can watch the talk below). In her talk, Amy states that there is a relationship between power and body language. Power (and dominance) are all about opening up (your body) and taking up more space. The opposite of this is true too – what happens when we feel powerless? We do exactly the opposite – we close up, we wrap ourselves up and we make ourselves small.
The question then becomes:“Can you fake it (i.e. adopt power and dominance posture) until you make it (i.e. feel powerful)?”
Some evidence, according to Amy, suggests: yes, you can.
“When you feel powerful, you’re more likely to display strong (and open) body language, but it’s also possible that when you pretend to be powerful, you are more likely to actually feel powerful”.
Powerful people tend to be, not surprisingly: more assertive, more confident and more optimistic. They actually feel like they’re always going to win and tend to think more abstractly. Physiologically, there also two hormones at play here: testosterone (power) and cortisol (stress). Powerful people have higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol.
The 2-minute hack
According to Amy, the way to boost your confidence is to position yourself into a HIGH POWER POSE and hold it for at least 2 MINUTES. A High power pose can be any combination of poses in the top row of the figure below. I find the best pose is the middle one, the “super man”: stand with your feet wide apart, hands on your hips and think positive thoughts about yourself and what you are going to achieve. This may sound crazy and feel really weird / awkward but it really does work!
In a study, Amy split participants into 2 groups; one group had to hold a high power pose for 2 minutes and the other group had to hold a low power pose for 2 minutes.
After 2 minutes, 86% of the participants in the high power pose group increased their tolerance for gambling compared to the low power pose group where only 60% of participants increased their gambling tolerance. This is a significant difference and shows that after just 2 minutes in a high power pose the participants began to feel more confident in themselves and their abilities.
Other findings from the study showed:
- Participants in the high power pose group experienced a 20% increase in testosterone and 25% decrease in coristol.
- Participants in the low power pose group experienced a 10% decrease in testosterone and 15% increase in coristol.
So, this all boils down to talking to yourself!
Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it. Do it enough until you actually become it and internalize it. I’ve tried this power pose hack numerous times and can honestly say that it really does work. What have you got to lose? 2 minutes is not much time at all and it might make all the difference in your next encounter.
Stand tall and be proud.