When I was a kid I used to throw my arms up in victory before a big test, performance or anytime I wanted to pump myself up. Then afterwards, I would throw my arms up again in celebration. I still do this today whenever I need a little boost before a race, presentation or important meeting. In case you were wondering, since I’ve grown up I usually do this in the bathroom so as not to be considered strange (I do miss those “care for not” days of youth). I coached my teams to do this and, while they said they felt better, they often wondered if it was just in their heads, just a psychosomatic response. We’re such an empirical society, that we often want scientific proof before we’ll believe something. That’s why I was so excited to watch Amy Cuddy’s talk on TED Talk, “Your body language shapes who you are.” In this talk she explains that holding a “Power Position” such as standing with your arms in the “V” position for two minutes, lowers your cortisol and raises your testosterone. Meaning, you’ll feel 20% more powerful and 25% less stressed. She states that “Our bodies change our minds.”
In addition to changing our own minds, it appears that it changes other’s minds too. In the same study, participants who did the “Power Pose” before an interview were rated as more competent and desirable. Talk about positive communications! I believe this because I’ve experienced it. It’s worked for me and countless others I know. Think about it…how many times have you thrown your hands up in victory when you accomplished something great? So, why not do it beforehand to get that same feeling? The next time you feel anxious, stand with your hands held high in a “V” shape for two minutes. See how you feel and let us know what you experience.
If you’d like to learn more about feeling more powerful and building your self-confidence, attend our next 3-Day Intensive Workshop.