Amy Cuddy has done some amazing work looking at how we can use our bodies to affect the way we FEEL, and, specifically, how we can feel more confident simply by adopting certain poses.

Amy’s TED talk “Your body language may shape who you are” has been viewed by over 53 million people. It’s fascinating. Watch it at https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_may_shape_who_you_are?language=en

Amy’s research has focussed on POWER POSES – the body language of the super-confident and powerful. She has found that anybody who feels less secure, and perhaps even nervous, can actually improve their confidence levels by utilizing power poses – by posturing as if they have all the confidence in the world.

Power poses always involve BIGNESS. So standing with your hands on your hips, your chest exposed and puffed, your legs apart, makes your body bigger. Large, confident strides are bigger. A person sitting down, leaning back, with his hands behind his head, elbows jutting out, is bigger. A confident speaker will talk with expansive gestures. A marathon winner will stretch his/her arms to the side and to the sky. All big.

Poses that insecure or nervous people adopt always involve SMALLNESS. Hunched shoulders, head hanging down, arms grasping across the body – all are insecure poses involving us making ourselves appear smaller.

Amy postulates that just TWO MINUTES OF ADOPTING POWER POSES WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU FEEL. That using power poses will actually make you FEEL MORE CONFIDENT. That we can exercise matter over mind (and not just mind over matter). Her research has been criticized, but she has successfully refuted those criticisms.

So – next time you’re feeling anxious or insecure, and you need to boost your confidence levels, try two minutes of POWER POSES (in private preferably) ! Fake it until you make it, as Amy says.