Successful people and badass wild animals have something in common, and it’s easy to see. They appear confident, they know what they’re doing, they look powerful, and at the end of the day are powerful. Look at the picture of the lion and tell me he doesn’t look confident and powerful. This sort of personality is the one that successful people usually all have in common, they are powerful because they feel powerful. So what if I told you there was a way for you to feel like that badass lion everyday? A study done by Dana Carney, Amy Cuddy, and Andy Yap at Harvard University say it’s possible, we just have to be willing to stand in a “power pose” for 2 minutes.
What is the Power Pose?
The power pose is simple. You can see it being done all over the animal world, birds spreading their wings, showing off their power; gorillas banging their chest’s, showing their assertiveness; lions standing proud, they do it for the power. What do all these poses have in common? They make themselves big, they take up as much room as they can with their bodies, they make a statement. For us power poses work the same, we must make our bodies look powerful and our minds will follow.
How Do We Power Pose?
-Stand tall, feet shoulder width apart, chin held high, shoulders back, arms above our heads, or on our hips like superman.
-After taking this position take a deep breath, feel the confidence building inside you, smile and know you’re powerful.
-Hold this power pose for 2 minutes, remain calm and confident, and know you are fully capable of taking on the world.
-Now that you’re done, take a moment and notice how you feel.
-You should feel good and empowered.
The Science, Why Do We Feel The Way We Do?
The reason is because our brains have two very important hormones, the dominant one associated with power (testosterone), and the stress related one (cortisol). When we feel uncomfortable and unconfident the cortisol flowing through our brains is to blame. The study showed that when we position our bodies in low power poses such as hands in between our legs we are affecting the chemistry in our brains. By sitting hunched over or standing in low power poses we are effectively lowering our testosterone and raising our cortisol levels, which in effect makes us feel powerless. The study found that people who held high-power poses for two minutes increased their testosterone by 20 percent and at the same time the participants’ stress hormone- cortisol- fell by 25 percent.
Take Advantage Of The Power Pose!
If you’re not feeling happy or confident with yourself do the power pose, it’s free and the science has told us it really works. Next time you’re at a job interview don’t just wait there sitting down staring at your phone hunched over, go in the bathroom and do the power pose! If you have a presentation to present get pumped for it, give yourself the confidence to do it and make people see it. Even if you consider yourself laid back and not craving power it’s good for you, it will make you happier and better. It’s 2 minutes of your day, it’s free, no one has to see it, and the results are a more powerful you. So if you wanna be a boss, stand like a boss.
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-S. Rosenberg, R. 2011. Superhero Stance. [online] Available at: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-superheroes/201107/superhero-stance [Accessed: 23 Dec 2013].
-Cudy, A. 2013. Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are. [online] Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com [Accessed: 23 Dec 2013].
- Fake it ’til you become it: Amy Cuddy’s power poses, visualized (ted.com)
- Your body language shapes who you are (aliceshin.wordpress.com)
- 8 Powerful Ways to Improve Your Body Language (inc.com)