You Are… How You Posture Yourself
Posted on April 29, 2015
I’m sure you’ve all heard that you are what you eat. Although this is not technically correct because if you don’t digest and abosrb what you eat, you cannot become it. More accurately, it could be stated that you are what you assimilate. Ok, we get that.
But what about how you stand, how you sit, where you place your hands and feet? Does that have any real affect on your physical or emotional, maybe even your spiritual being? Absolutely, it does!
Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist and assistant professor at Harvard Business School, has a lot to say about this matter. And when she presented at TED Global, people listened intently. Wouldn’t you? If someone told you that in a mere 2 minutes, with no pills, thrills, or real skills, you could change your hormones and your view of yourself, and likely change the way that people view you, would you sit up and listen? I know I’d be curious. So, let’s take a look at what she had to say.
I’m all about science and proof, when I can find it. And I usually dig deep to do so. What Amy said makes sense. She even did some scientific trials to prove her suspicions. What did she discover? Well, in as little as 2 minutes, you can either raise your testosterone (confidence hormone) and lower your cortisol (stress hormone) or you can affect them in the opposite proportions. “And just how do you do that?” you ask. It’s simple.
First of all, your posture or stance is important. As a Master T-Tapp Trainer who talks and teaches a lot about posture and alignment with movement, I get this. But this discovery from Amy Cuddy takes it to a whole new level. When measurable changes in hormone levels can take place immediately from how you stand and present yourself, this is exciting! I already knew about the negative affect that slouching has on your adrenal glands (that produce cortisol) and digestive organs, and all of the internal organs, really…and I realized that there was some connection with hormonal balancing and blood sugar balancing with this intricately designed form of movement, known as T-Tapp. But, like I said, this takes it to a whole new level.
Mindful, Postural Movement
So what is YOUR posture saying to you–your body and your mind–and ABOUT yourself to others? Let’s take a look. To which of these poses can you best relate?
Is This You?
This little mental exercise should not leave you feeling condemned, and even Amy herself describes in detail her deflation of confidence in losing a significant portion of her IQ after a car accident as a teenager. Fortunately, she was mentored and encouraged by a co-worker to “Fake it until she became it.” And that’s what she did. She discovered that if she acted and positioned herself in confidence, eventually she was not only feeling authentic, but she had become who she really wanted to be. In other words, her fears of failure were no longer valid and limiting her. Her confidence increased, along with the actual hormone levels, which allowed her to ooze a sense of peace and genuine presence around others. Now she speaks and personally encourages others that they CAN do what they set out to do. This sounds very familiar to me because as I train and am mentored by Teresa Tapp, I hear “Yes you CAN!” many, many times, and no one can ever hear that too much. We all need encouragement to reach for what we want but are not certain we can attain.
Look at what positive characteristics your posture and presence can exude to others, when you are being your own powerful self. Imagine what type of impact this has on others around you. It was proven from this study that those who showed the characteristic listed below were much more often hired for job positions or for political offices. So, pose yourself for 2 minutes, prior to important meetings or gatherings. Be yourself, but realize who you are. You have so much potential, so why limit yourself?
Let Your True Self Shine!
And those who assumed a 2-minute powerful postural position in the scientific study by Amy Cuddy showed measurable and significant shifts in their hormones. Pretty impressive and impacting, I’d say.
Hormones Impacted by Stance
Even an individual’s ability to take risks (often called “acting in faith”) was increased when a powerful pose and mindset were embraced.
Power to Discover & Become
Putting It All Together
So what does it all mean, and how can you apply this to your everyday work-a-day life? How about this? Next time you find yourself retreating and drawing inward, whether from a task that seems too daunting, a boss who acts intimidating, or just the overwhelmed feeling that comes with the thought of facing another day, remember this: You can take just 120 seconds of your time, and plant your feet firmly on the ground, spread yourself out wide, open yourself up to new possibilities, and tell yourself that you can do it. I KNOW that you can.
To reiterate the plea of Amy Cuddy, an intimidated teen turned powerful and impacting woman of presence, “Just try it.” And don’t forget to spread the word of encouragement to others who might need that same boost of confidence that you and I do. Remember who you are…and not who you’ve shrunk to be. Expand yourself again to the vast possibilities of all that you were created to experience and to share with others. The world is waiting for you. Be your own super-woman!
Discover How To Be & How To Enjoy Your True Self!