Fake It ’till You Make It!
Step 1: Watch the following video:
Note: Since Professor Amy Cuddy gave this TED talk, some of her research has evolved. She no longer believes that power posing changes the hormonal balance of the body, as she states in the video. She continues to stand by her research showing that power posing helps you to feel more powerful, and replication study also supports this finding.
This activity will help you identify times when you might need to boost your confidence. You’ll also practice using power posing to change your mind-set.
Step 2: Identify times when you need a confidence boost
A high school reunion. A public speech. A job interview. A stressful meeting with your boss. These are all moments when we feel like we’re being evaluated socially and when stress and intimidation can hold us back. If you find yourself feeling hesitant to speak up in these situations or like you don’t belong (even when your qualifications prove that you do!), you could probably use a confidence boost. Answer the following once you have reflected:
• What was the situation?
• Describe the physical sensations you associate with the situation (e.g., tightness in your stomach, fluttering in your chest).
• What was your reaction to the situation/your feelings? What did you do?
• Did your feelings affect your performance?
Step 3: Practicing power posing and more subtle expansive postures
Power posing offers an effective tactic for boosting your confidence in preparation for a high stakes situation. (Note that using power poses in actual interactions is not effective, as it can be unnecessarily domineering. In interactions, adopt open, good postures that signals both confidence and engagement.) In this activity, you’ll try out a power pose to see how it changes your outlook.
• Wonder Woman: Stand with your hands on your hips and your feet shoulder width apart.
• V for Victory: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and stretch your arms out into a V, as if you just crossed the finish line at a race.
• The President: Recline in your chair with your hands clasped behind your head. Prop your feet up or spread your knees wide to take up space.
• The CEO: Stand at the head of the table with your feet spread wide. Lean over and place your hands on the table, keeping your chest pointing forward and your head held high.
Next, answer the following questions in your post:
• Which pose did you like best?
• Which pose(s) would you do in public? Which would you do in private?
• Which pose felt most natural? If none of them felt natural, why do you think that is?
Now pick your favorite pose and hold it for a minute (or as long as feels comfortable to you).
• How do you feel after trying out your favorite power pose?
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