Feeling the jitters before a big interview? Crippled by a churning stomach prior to a presentation? Harvard Business School Professor Amy J C Cuddy suggests you can increase your confidence & control your feelings of fear with just a few simple postures.
Cuddy states her research ‘has broad implications for people who suffer from feelings of powerlessness and low self esteem due to their hierarchical rank or lack of resources’. Recognise yourself? Even if you didn’t jump out of bed this morning contemplating your hierarchical rank as you looked forward to your day, those feelings of anxiety and powerlessness could apply to any of us at some point.
Cuddy suggests ‘Power posing’ could be the answer to giving yourself some much needed ‘oomph’ in times of doubt. Research by Cuddy, Carey and Yap found that a series of prescribed ‘power’ postures had surprising physiological results, increasing testosterone and decreasing cortisol, resulting in a decrease in anxiety. The poses chosen by the researchers made the subjects appear bigger, as though they were taking up more space (hands behind the head, feet on the desk, leaning with hands on tables) as opposed to poses (arms and legs crossed) which made them appear smaller and had no beneficial effect.
Whereas walking into an interview and perching your feet on the desk might not be the most strategic option (no, really, it isn’t) a few minutes beforehand spent literally bigging yourself up with a few ‘power poses’ might just eradicate the butterflies, provide you with confidence and give you the oomph you’re after.
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