Amy Cuddy, social psychologist, professor and researcher at Harvard Business School, studies how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments affect people everywhere—from students in the classroom to CEOs in the boardroom. Her research has revealed that simple changes to body language can not only change how other people think and feel about us, but also how we feel about ourselves.
She discusses and demonstrates how striking power poses, and standing (or sitting) just two minutes in a body position of power, can significantly increase your confidence levels, even when you don’t feel confident. Her research shows that with just two minutes, you can experience physiological changes in your brain—increased testosterone and decreased cortisol levels—changing your thoughts and feelings in little more than an instant.
Powerful and effective leaders have high testosterone and low cortisol levels, meaning they are assertive, yet also laid back and non-reactive to stress. If you’re looking for a shortcut to a successful life, this may not provide the whole recipe, but it does deliver a way to feeling and exuding a sense of confidence, which plays an important role in success.
If you enjoy Amy’s Ted Talk, I recommend her book. I just finished listening to the audio version of Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges. Listen to it for free when you sign up for an Audible free trial.