Lynda Carter had it right—or maybe it was the director of her Wonder Woman television series who knew the secret. Either way, if you’re somewhere around my age, Carter’s classic Super Hero pose is indelibly scored into your brain matter.
But if you’re not somewhere around my age, you may have learned about the science behind Power Poses through Internet research. Harvard professor Amy Cuddy gave an interesting Ted Talk on how body language shapes how we see ourselves and how others see us back in 2012.
Here are the crib notes: Postures of confidence, held for even just a few minutes before an otherwise stressful event, such as a job interview or work presentation, causes a tangible chemical change that creates a feeling of confidence and empowerment.
Last week, I was the keynote speaker at the REAC State Convention in Ocean Park. REAC stands for Retired Eagles Activity Club. My parameters were loose—it was pretty much up to me what I wanted to talk about, but given that I’m a local author, a 17-year member of the Eagles, and theoretically retired, I went with that.
Minutes before my presentation, the surge of butterflies in my gut threatened to congregate in my throat—perhaps even forcing themselves on up and out my mouth. Oh dear! But I knew exactly what I needed to do.
I excused myself to use the bathroom and stood before the full-length mirror. I “assumed the position” of power: Feet shoulder-width apart. Hands on hips. Shoulders back. Chin lifted. And then I looked into my own eyes and breathed deeply in and out through my nose for several minutes. I am woman! Hear me roar!
A month or so back, on “Grey’s Anatomy,” one of the surgeons was about to attempt a difficult procedure. She, too, took a few minutes for herself to create a more positive mind set. “They say” there’s a surge of testosterone—the confidence hormone—that accompanies such a pose.
Happily, the TV doctor’s surgery went well—as did my speaker’s presentation.
So the next time you need a confidence boost, stand like a Super Hero, and brace yourself for all the good things sure to follow!