I was fascinated by this talk by social psychologist and Harvard professor, Amy Cuddy. Our body language affects how others see us, but Cuddy’s research suggests it also affects how we see ourselves. She shows how “power posing” (using expansive, confident postures) can even affect our testosterone and cortisol levels, not to mention have a huge impact on our chances of success.
As an Alexander Technique teacher I teach people to let go of compression and collapse (exhibited strongly in the “powerless” poses Cuddy describes) so they can be more expansive yet relaxed. My self-confidence has grown immensely since becoming proficient in the Alexander Technique. I’m also much more aware of what I am doing with my body, so am less likely to be giving unintentional negative body-language “signals.”
I’m curious how being expansive within “normal” postures, rather than “power poses,” affects us. My own experience, and that of others I know who have studied the Alexander Technique, suggests confidence and self-assurance do increase. Adding some “power posing” into your repertoire of movements would, I imagine, boost that even further. And I can’t help but wonder how much more effective the “power posing” would be if we were truly expansive, inside and out, in the way the Alexander Technique teaches us!
Can you think of a time when the body language of someone else has given you a false impression of what they were really feeling? Have you tried out the “power posing” for yourself? Or if you’ve studied the Alexander Technique, do you think it’s affected your overall confidence? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.