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On Power Poses, and Faking it Until You Make it

Consider adopting a simple strategy that helps you feel confident and boosts your self esteem. It doesn't require any special equipment or time consuming exercises, just a pose.

It may seem crazy, but standing like Wonder Woman for 2 minutes can significantly improve your quality of life, and better your chances of succeeding in today's world. Start power posing, which will help you gain more confidence, reduce your anxiety, and improve your ability to deal with stressful situations.

If you're curious about what this "posing" is all about - we think you should try it out. Your brain is more powerful than you may think, and it is time to use its full power to your advantage. A common determinant of one's success is confidence, which is what tells you to either go into an activity with avid effort and dedication, or hesitation. 

Adjusting the way you carry yourself by posing is a great way to tell yourself that there is no room or need for hesitation in your life – you are here to succeed! Ready to unlock the magic of power posing? Read on to find out. 

What is power posing?

Standing in a pose that is mentally associated with confidence is called power posing. It is a simple self-improvement technique that aims to improve your mood and behavior by making you feel more confident. If you want to feel more confident and perform better at your job, take up a power pose stance. The results will be game changing.

We mentioned before that posing like Wonder Woman can help you to succeed, and this may seem unbelievable. The truth is, it is very real. When you pose like Wonder Woman, you are subconsciously telling your mind and body that you, like Wonder Woman, are capable, powerful, and strong, and the refreshed confidence that comes with those feelings actually boosts your performance to levels that may seem like only an imaginary superhero could achieve.

Your body language can positively or negatively affect how you think and feel, which can then influence your mindset and mental state, so your body posture can either help or hinder your progress. By taking on a power pose, you feel more powerful, so that you can actually be more powerful.

A study published in the journal PLOS One found that people who held a power pose (such as standing tall) before giving a speech were  much more successful in the delivery of their speeches. The researchers believe that this is because they felt more confident, so had less fear of making mistakes, and could be better, more engaging, and more active speakers.

When your mind is at peace, and free of pre-occupations with being good enough, it can put its full force to the task at hand, and that is how you will find the levels of success you dream of.

The science of power posing

Science proves that power posing is a legitimate way to make yourself feel more confident and improve your results. In  a study by Harvard graduate Amy Cuddy, both male and female subjects experienced neuroendocrine and behavioral changes, with elevations in testosterone, decreases in cortisol, and an increased feeling of power and acceptance of risk.

Not only do high power poses make you feel more powerful, but low-power poses can negatively affect you the opposite way. You may not even notice that your default body language is working against you, so that is why it is so important to be alert and mindful of how you comport yourself, so that you can always put your best foot forward.

Get your pose on

Like animals, humans use posture to show off their strength. Adversely, humans also use closed, contractive postural patterns to show their powerlessness.

To be successful, try adopting a powerful posture as often as possible. If you want to be at the top of your industry, adopt the behavior of the type of person at the top.

Are you ready to build your self-confidence, take your game to a new level, and succeed as a result?

Simply stand up straight, take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for a few seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth, puffing out your chest, hands at your hips. Whether it is standing like Wonder Woman, or another proven power pose, all you have to do is stand confidently for as little as two minutes to see results.

You will automatically change your thinking by doing so, and subsequently become more confident with actionable implications towards your life and success.

What are the best power poses?

1. Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is arguably one of the best known power poses. Simply stand with your feet apart, chest and head lifted, and your hands on your hips like the DC heroine.

2. The Salutation

First, stand up straight, then lift your chest and head high, and stretch both your arms outwards, with your palms facing upwards, lifting your face towards the sun. The Salutation is a fantastic way to take up space, and feel good about it. Holding this pose for as little as one minute will find you more energized, powerful, and empowered. Today more than ever is it important to stop feeling bad about the space you consume, so this is a great method to have confidence in the space you fill, both literally and figuratively.

3. The Victory

This pose is called "The Victory" because it mirrors the winning pose of athletes and other winners when they win a competition. They will commonly raise their fists and arms above their heads in celebration, and by doing the same, you will experience the elation of winning before you even begin the task at hand. By feeling like you've already won, the thing you have to do feels a lot less daunting, and you will go in with more confidence and a better success rate. Just try it!

4. The LBJ

Named after the former president of the United States Lyndon B. Johnson, the LBJ is a great pose to use in business scenarios where you need to show and feel powerful. All you have to do is find a table or chair, and place your hands down on the furniture piece while leaning forward. It creates a feeling of dominance and intimidation that will give you the confidence to command a room. Johnson used his tall stature to demand attention and respect, and you can do the same no matter your size by following the pose.

5. The Vanna White

If you are in the middle of an event or social engagement, you may be needing a boost of confidence to carry you over until its end. This is the perfect moment for a Vanna White, another fantastic option among the high-power poses. It may be difficult to do "The Salutation" naturally while you are in the presence of others, since it is not something that naturally blends well in conversation. That is why the Vanna White is so perfect, because while it takes up a lot of space with her outstretched arm, it also fits perfectly into any presentation routine, gesturing naturally towards a computer screen or anything else in the room. The outstretched arms will not only help you to feel more confident, but engage your audience further, so it is a win-win with this pose.

6. Smiling

The most subtle, and perhaps the most powerful. Smiling may seem too easy to actually make a difference, but in reality, it puts "facial feedback" into action, sending signals to your brain through your facial movements. The way you hold your face has a significant effect on your emotional experience, so make sure that you are feeling happy and relaxed before any important task you need to do!

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More about the author

Lily Cooper

Writer at RISEDESK

Lily is a Rotman Commerce student at the University of Toronto, and is the Creative Content Writer at Risedesk. Pursuing minors in English and Economics, Lily is also the Film and TV Representative at RCEM, and has a passion for journalism, literature, and entertainment.