Whether you’re starting a business, a movement, or just changing habits in your life it takes time, energy, persistence, tenacity, and confidence. Lots and lots of confidence. But we don’t always have that level of confidence. Fortunately we all possess the innate ability to change our confidence level quite literally in two minutes.
Getting out there and starting something in the world really takes something. We have bad days, we’ve had bad experiences that we don’t want to repeat, other people’s negative messages get stuck in our heads….Yuck.
Out in the wild, animals express their dominance (an expression of confidence) by taking up more space. Appearing to be bigger than they actually are, pacing back-and-forth, puffing themselves up, and other displays. At our core, we are no different. Confident people often seem to take up more space in a room. They spread themselves out, use large hand gestures,and when they speak they often will move around quite a bit. Think about how a confident motivational speaker uses a stage-rarely that really ever stand in just one place, they use the entire stage.
On the other hand, when an animal or a human is feeling frightened or has a lack of confidence, they tend to make themselves small. Curling up in a ball, crossing your arms across your midsection, tucking your chin to your chest are some examples.
So we all know that body language affects the way that other people perceive us. But did you know that your body language also affects how YOU see you? And I’m not talking about looking in a mirror.
Researchers at Harvard have found that by adopting anyone of a number of “power poses” for 2 minutes, we can boost our confidence. These poses raise your level of testosterone (even in women) and lower your level of cortisol. No, you’re not going to get a burst of testosterone that’s going to make you more aggressive,but testosterone increase in both genders is associated with feelings of confidence, control, and well-being. Cortisol, on the other hand, is a stress hormone. It tends to be associated with the flight or fight response. So that’s definitely one that we want to keep low.
A number of examples of these “power poses” are shown below. Notice how the body is spread out, taking up more space, expanded.
Imagine what would happen if you did a power pose as a practice several times a day?
Even if you don’t need a confidence boost right now, I suggest you give these a try and make it part of your daily routine. It’s also also useful when you’re going into a meeting, a networking event, or hitting the stage to speak.
Give it a try and also comment below. Here’s to more confidence!