From ‘Fake it till you make it’ to ‘Fake It Till You Become It’

Do you know that you can begin changing your future in as little as 2 minutes each day or 2 minutes each time you feel the need for a positive change?

It’s all about posture. But before you shrug off and call this as another one of those self-help suggestions that never work, listen up and know that this is not another sensible-looking theory that has yet to be proven. The author, Prof. Amy Cuddy, is a living testament and evidence of its efficacy.

Amy Cuddy, as a young woman, suffered a severe head injury due to a car accident which left her with a much lowered IQ and lesser body flexibility. As expected, the people around her immediately concluded that she’d never amount to anything after that.

If I remember right, someone called Albert Einstein was also ‘sentenced’ the same way during his childhood. And like Einstein, Amy Cuddy proved them all wrong.

She’s now a professor and research scientist at the Harvard Business School. She dissects people’s non-verbal behavior and snap judgments from the classroom to the boardroom. Original post: http://moralde.com/fake-it-till-you-become-it/

Body Language Power

fake it become it power poseIn terms of confidence, body language is one dependable gauge to measure it on a person. A person who is in total control and is sure of himself transmits body language confidence with ease and without even knowing it. Of this, I’m sure we all agree. I’ve seen far too many real life instances where people, specially leaders, are ablaze with this body language of power as to have doubts about this concept.

Thing is, we forget that body language is not only something we see in other people. It is also seen by our own selves with regard to our own body language. Our ‘inner’ selves also judge us based on how we ourselves express body language.

Cuddy speaks about how she felt like she doesn’t belong anywhere. At school and at her workplace early on, she felt so small and so out of place. It was one of her teachers who convinced her that she does belong. That, feeling so low and out as she was, she should go out there and face everything with a confident face and body. That being not confident, there’s no other way but to fake it like hell.

Long story short, she finally got to where she is now having made ‘fake it till you make it’ as one of her initial stepping stones. She also helped a lot of others make it by paying it forward.

She then looked back and dedicated her life to studying in depth what makes ‘fake it till you make it’ tick. She started asking questions like:

Do our nonverbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves?
Do our bodies change our minds?

She of course eventually proved that while it’s true that our minds dictate what our bodies do, it is likewise true that our bodies can shape the mind.

Scientific proof of her work is not limited to observations of human behaviour but, most importantly, quantified by measurable levels of testosterone and cortisol. Testosterone is related to power, and cortisol to stress.

She reports that ‘power posing’ does raise testosterone levels and lowers cortisol levels.

And the great thing about it is that she found that 2 minutes is enough to raise testosterone and lower cortisol levels to a usable and affective level. Thus, prior to an interview, you can get inside a comfort room cubicle and do some power poses for at least 2 minutes.

“Tiny tweaks to your body configuration can lead to big changes”

Cuddy adds that usually, it’s how the message is expressed or delivered that makes it happen rather than the message itself.

So what are some of these Power Poses?

The spread out arms: Studies revealed that even born-blind folks who have never seen how people react when they feel powerful (e.g. winning at games, elections, being promoted) automatically spread their arms the same way our champions spread theirs in the finish line.

fake it become it power pose-2

fake-it-become-it-power-pose-1

fake-it-become-it-power-pose-3

Note: All images above were taken from Amy Cuddy’s talk-video on ted.com featured below.

On the other side of the fence are the powerless poses. Just about any pose where you contract your body as if you want to take as little space as you can.

Research Data

fake it till you make it research

Note: The above data were based on observations of 2-minute sessions of power posing and powerless/withdrawn/dejected posing. If 2 minutes can affect one’s behaviour and esteem that much, imagine the outcome if we stretch it out to say, 5 minutes, or more. And on a regular basis e.g. everyday. I’m sure that high levels of testosterone and minimized cortisol is not limited to effectively making you look good during job interviews only. Where else can we use more testosterone and less stress? I’m sure you have ideas.

Don’t just fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it.

Here’s one additional interesting video about body language, this time, particularly focusing on the ones used by the opposite sexes in a bar or a party.

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