Power Posing: Boost your confidence at work

Many surveys through the years have shown that most women – even the most successful – suffer from low self-esteem in their workplace. Even when they are more educated and more capable than their man colleagues, women hesitate to ask for promotion, they hesitate to stand up and express a new creative idea, they think twice before their every move. One of the most important things every woman has to fight against – in more than one occasions or every single day at work – is the lack of confidence. You can accomplice so many great things if you are confident you can do it! And on the other hand, you can lose so many opportunities if you just don’t put yourself out there to claim what you deserve.

Well, there is an amazing way to help you do that! To help you boost your confidence in no time. Power posing! What does that mean? According to professor Amy Cuddy (Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit), “power posing” means to change your body language in ways that can make you feel more confident. In her book and her famous presentations (her TED talk, delivered at TED Global 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland, and posted in October 2012, has been viewed more than 27 million times and ranks second among the most-viewed TED talks) she shows that holding one’s body in expansive “high-power” poses for two minutes stimulates higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol. So, the hormones are working in your favor, since testosterone is called the “power hormone” and cortisol the “stress hormone”. Moreover, you lead yourself to believe that you are more powerful, more confident. You trick your subconscious to believing that you are powerful and confident. And as a result, you influence the way others see you. Pr. Cuddy writes: “When our body language is confident and open, other people respond in kind, unconsciously reinforcing not only their perception of us, but also our perception of ourselves.”

In her book Pr. Cuddy writes about many “power poses”, depending on the situation and the position you are in. One of my favorites is the so called “The Wonder Woman”. You put out your chest, stand with your feet apart, your hands on your hips, and your chin tilted upward! You are a powerful woman, ready to face anything successfully.

Also, before a job interview or an important meeting, give yourself two minutes to stand with your feet widely open and stretch your arms overhead in a V shape. Hold your hands in the air for two minutes, as if you are enjoying an extended applause after a performance – “The Performer” is how Pr. Cuddy calls this power pose. Needless to say, you take that pose in the elevator or in the bathroom, somewhere privately, minutes before your interview or your meeting. You don’t want everyone thinking you are crazy or eccentric.

So, if you can convince yourself that you are powerful and confident, you can convince everyone else too. Just trick yourself in believing so, and you will trick the others as well! It’s that simple. And after that, the sky is the limit. Good luck!

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