Dr. Amelia Shepard, Power Posing. (Photo courtesy: Youtube.)
In March 2015, I wrote a post that started by saying:
I admit it; I am a Grey’s Anatomy fan. Last week’s show centred around Dr. Amelia Shepard performing groundbreaking brain surgery. During her preparation for the surgery, Amelia goes through some confidence builders, including standing like a superhero for a few minutes. As soon as I saw Amelia do her superhero stance, I was intrigued to find out if there was any truth to this practice.
When I did my search on the topic, I found this great Ted talk by Amy Cuddy, a Social Psychologist. Ms. Cuddy talks about “power posing” and what it is all about. I am happy to be able to share the video with you.
Body language affects how others see us, and it seems that it may also change how we see ourselves. Even just standing in a posture of confidence, whether we feel confident or not, can positively affect testosterone and cortisol balance in the brain.
And it has been documented that people with higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol tend to be more successful.
But these insights go a lot farther. Amy Cuddy has continued to explore this topic further and make more videos expanding on how our physical movements and stances speak for us.
How the way that we posture ourselves changes our brain chemicals to enhance our confidence, presentation, and chances of likability as well as success.
I suggest that you go and re-watch from 15:45-21:00 -minute point in the original video and listen to Amy talk about her journey and how she felt like an imposter. Then later how she realized that we could all not only, “Fake it until you make it.” but rather “Fake it until you become it.” I think you will agree that this point in Amy’s talk is the essence of her message.
Amy Cuddy is A Woman To Admire.
Update; Recent research has shown that “power posing” does not significantly increase success rates, as Amy suggests. In other words, the jury is still out but if it works and helps you, that’s what counts.