|Image Credit: Wonder Women by The Bui Brothers|
“At the end of my first year at Harvard, a student who had not talked in class the entire semester, who I had said, “Look, you’ve gotta participate or else you’re going to fail,” came into my office. I really didn’t know her at all. And she said, she came in totally defeated, and she said, “I’m not supposed to be here.”
This is what a student confessed before her mentor Amy Cuddy, a brilliant social psychologist and professor at Harvard Business School. Not long ago, Amy Cuddy had said the same words to her mentor. She went on to do exactly what her mentor did then. She told her student:
“Yes, you are! You are supposed to be here! And tomorrow you’re going to fake it, you’re going to make yourself powerful. And you’re going to go into the classroom, and you are going to give the best comment ever.”
The girl went on to give the best comment ever.
– Taken from Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy “Your body language shapes who you are”
It’s a well-known fact that our minds change our bodies. When we feel powerless and defeated, we close up, lower our heads and look visibly upset. When we are happy and feel powerful, we open up, sit up straight, faces light up and our arms and legs swing into action.
But can the reverse be true? Can our bodies change our minds? Can we fake our body movements to experience a feeling of being more powerful? Yes we can, Amy Cuddy and her main collaborator Dana Carney found out. And by doing so, not only will you change how others see you but also how you see yourself: confident, bold and powerful!
So, all you need to do before heading for your next job interview, a date or a public speaking event is to go to the bathroom or wherever you are alone, and practice the high-power pose as shown in the opening image for 2 minutes:
Put your hands on your hips, tilt your chin up, and throw your arms up and out!
That’s it! And not only will you feel good about yourself but you’ll have a great chance to nail the interview, impress your date, floor the audience, or grab the million dollar contract. With just a simple power pose.
As Amy puts it: Don’t fake it till you make it, Fake it till you become it!
And don’t think faking is wrong. You are good, and you need to tell that to your body and mind, even if it requires faking.
Also check out these 4 powerful body language tips for your next presentation by founder of Infinite Growth and an experienced speaker herself Maria Pantalone:
If you have a tip or an experience to share, feel free to do so in the comments below.