Transform your confidence level in 2 minutes…
…with the use of your body.
According to a 8 year longitudinal study across 48 countries and sub cultures, with over 985,000 men and women included, Bleidorn and her co-researchers found that women had lower self-esteem (commonly grouped under the heading of self-confidence) than their male counterparts. There are countless other studies which demonstrate additional support to the findings discovered by these researchers.
So you may be thinking, thanks for sharing, so what is the point?
Typically a lower self-esteem and self-confidence can and often does translate to not putting yourself forward for a promotion because you don’t quite feel good enough. It can and often does translate to not making yourself and your good work known to those that have the power or are in the position to put you forward and recommend you for upcoming internal vacancies that are in the pipeline. Missing out on such chances can and often does mean a comparatively deflated amount on your wage slip. These are just a few examples as there are many other implications or consequences of a lower self-esteem and self-confidence.
Whether you just want to be recognised more in your current role or whether you have aspirations for being a woman in a leadership role, there are lessons that can be learnt and immediately applied from Amy Cuddy’s tedex talk: your body language shapes who you are.
Why I have chosen to write about this?
Well, besides research after research demonstrating that we do have a confidence gap between men and women as adults, we also experience these differences as kids. It is a subject of particular interest to me as I have had to discover ways and strategies to overcome my self-confidence blocks and also more recently remains a topic of keen interest as I now help other women close their confidence gap between where they are and where they would like to be in terms of their self confidence levels.
So, whilst speaking at a recent event on the topic of self-confidence, it was quite clear to me a decent proportion of the room had not heard of Amy Cuddy power poses, and its application to self-confidence, thus I decided to write this post to talk a little more of Amy Cuddys research findings.
Essentially your body language can enhance your confidence levels and your outcomes, whether that is a successful interview or presentation. All you need to do is to strike a certain power pose for 2 minutes at a time ahead of your next important meeting.
So you may be wondering, what exactly is a power pose?
Power poses are about expanding your physical form, using up as much space as possible, and opening up your body language as opposed to closing up and contracting.
A couple of examples for you:
Just like in ‘wonder woman’, hands on hips are an example of a strong open power pose.
V shaped arms
Having your arms up in the air in a V shape with chin lifted is another example of using up space and an open confident body language.
By striking these power poses you will actually feel more powerful and positive and confident – this has been scientifically demonstrated through hormonal changes and also interview performance improvements.
Lessons learnt and further implications
- So whether it is your next pitch, interview or presentation, as part of your preparation do your power pose for 2 minutes at a time.
- The environment you hang out in can either facilitate or hold you back. If people are normally used having their arms up in a V shape like on the sports ground, it wouldn’t feel as alien a concept.
- Conversely if it is not the norm in your environment, consistently implementing these lessons from Amy Cuddy may prove to be a longer journey.
- It actually takes practice. The more you do it, the more likely you are to remember to do it when it comes to your next important meeting.
Improving your confidence levels over a sustained period of time where there is a deep seated underlying belief of ‘I am not good enough’ can require a bit more work and support. All the same the power pose is a great simple starter on that journey towards building your self-confidence.
Let me know how you get on. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.
For more information on power poses from Amy Cuddy