Words: David R. Hamilton
Do you ever feel like a glorious lioness on the inside, but come across as a timid shrew? Most people understand that our minds affect our bodies. What few realise is that it goes the other way too – our bodies influence our minds. For example, smiling regularly can make a person feel better, just as frowning repeatedly can make a person feel tense. In a similar way, walking slowly can aid relaxation, while walking hurriedly can increase stress.
Improve your posture
In a simple study, scientists compared people working at a computer for 20 minutes, either sitting slouched or with their backs straight, and found that those who sat with the backs straight had more energy afterwards and felt more positive than those who slouched. It’s also been shown that standing in a power posture (like Wonder Woman, for example) increases confidence, even when it’s done for just a minute or two. To hack this phenomenon, you simply make a special effort to control how you hold and move your body and ensure that your body says, “I feel empowered.” In other words, as often as you can remember to, correct your posture so that you hold and move your body in a way that reflects a state of self-empowerment.
The key is consistency. Regular movements of any kind ‘wire’ a habit into the brain, together with the feelings that come with that habit. It works in much the same way that consistent exercise of a muscle group builds and strengthens it. But, here, you rely on the fact that your muscles associated with posture also affect how you feel. So, to ‘wire’ self-empowerment, you need to consistently correct how you hold and move your body.
instant self-confidence trick
Step 1: Experiment with some ways of sitting, standing and walking that reflect self-empowerment. Take some time to do this until you’re quite happy that you know how to hold and move your body in a self-empowered way.
Step 2: Practise for a few minutes every day. Do this somewhere that you feel comfortable.
Step 3: Adjust how you sit, stand or walk repeatedly throughout the day, as often as you remember to, whether you’re sitting, standing in a queue, walking along a corridor, in a supermarket, or anywhere else. It can help to put a reminder on your phone that will notify you at set times throughout the day.
Step 4: This step is to be done after a few days of practise. Pick a situation that you would not normally feel self-empowered in. It might be a presentation, a meeting, interacting with particular people, or something else. When you feel you’re ready, enter the situation wearing your self-empowered posture. Once you’ve mastered it, your brain will translate the messages from your body and you’ll feel empowered inside as well as out. It’s important that you practise for a few days first, though, to give your muscles time to adapt.