Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Confidence, Competence, Stress, and You

If you feel good, you'll act empowered. Yeah, you already know that. Better posture, smiling -- that sort of thing. The body language that says, yeah, I've got it goin' on.

You might also have heard that if you act like you're feeling pretty good, even when you're not, your physiology follows suit. No?

Hear it now: researcher Amy Cuddy talks about success, social competence, and influence. This isn't just about appearance, either - she's also talking about how you feel inside, about stress, about taking action in situations where you might otherwise freeze up.

Her recommendation is simple, fast, and requires no purchase, which is why you might not have heard about it. Here it is: take two minutes to stand or sit as if you're on top of the world. That means unfold, expand your body, grab some great posture. Smile a bit.

Turns out there are measurable results. Brain chemistry changes. Risk tolerance goes up. Testosterone and cortisol increases. Stress coping improves.

What? We're back to "fake it til you make it"? Yes. Adds Cuddy, "fake it until you become it" because doing this again and again actually changes you physically as well as habitually.

Doesn't quite seem fair, does it? But to hell with fair. Cuddy's research says it works.

Have I mentioned dance lately? See the connection?