We all have experienced moments of self-doubts. The best way to regain confidence is to remind ourselves of our capabilities, addressing the obstacles that keep us from feeling confident and working around them. However, paying attention to our body posture may be a good way to channel our inner Wonder Woman, too.
According to the Harvard Business School professor and TED speaker Amy Cuddy, author of the controversial study “Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance” as well as the book “Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges“, our body language governs how we think and feel about ourselves, and then, how we hold our bodies can have an impact on our minds. By commanding an expansive and open powerful stance (eg. the classic Wonder Woman’s crime-fighting pose), we can make ourselves actually feel more powerful.
In her study, Cuddy puts power posing in the broader context of what she calls “self-nudges,” or small tweaks to our body language and mindset that can produce psychological and behavioural improvements in a particular moment. In other words, when our body signals to our mind that we feel confident, we feel empowered and ready for whatever challenges lay ahead.
Body-mind approaches such as power posing rely on the body, which has a more primitive and direct link to the mind, to tell you you’re confident.- Cuddy explains-. When our body language is open, other people respond in kind, unconsciously reinforcing not only their perception of us but also our perception of ourselves.
So, does the ‘power pose’ really help?
Although data and ongoing studies have not been able to show that power posing has effects on our body chemistry (there is no definitive proof that it will cause lasting hormonal changes that will increase your testosterone and confidence), Amy Cuddy’s most recent studies published in the Psychological Science Journal shows extensive evidence that the power pose (now renamed “postural feedback”) is valid and yes, our body language may shape who we are.
Of course, we are not telling you that assuming a power pose will resolve whatever crisis you are facing, as there are still many unanswered questions in this area and much more research is needed, however, we believe that on our path to the ‘crunchiness‘ we must reconnect with our body and our emotions.
“Our bodies can change our minds – says Cuddy-, our minds can change our behaviour and our behaviour can change the outcome of a situation. So, by telling yourself you feel powerful, you eventually will“. If that means try standing in a high-power pose for two minutes to increase your confidence levels ahead of a stressful or nerve-wracking situation, why not?