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Assume Your Inner Super Hero to Achieve Your Best Self

by Lynette Silva

Recognize This! – Our physical presence communicates far more about our humanness than we realize.

Do you hear it? That little voice constantly in your ear? Not your conscience, but your inner nag? Whose voice do you hear? For me, that inner nag is my grandmother, Bubba. (Yes, we call Bubba. We’re Texan.) And most often that inner nag, Bubba voice is repeating the same thing: “Stand up straight! Do you want people to respect you? Posture!” Turns out, Bubba was onto something.

Yesterday, I was watching CBS Sunday Morning and listened to social psychologist and Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy explain the research behind her new book “Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges.” This is the main idea from the episode:

“Her studies show that if you stand like a superhero privately before going into a stressful situation, there will actually be hormonal changes in your body chemistry that cause you to be more confident and in-command. ‘Before you go into the next stressful evaluative situation, for two minutes try doing this in the elevator, in a bathroom stall, at your desk, behind closed doors -- that's what you want to do,’ she said.”

We communicate far more than we realize without ever saying a word. How we physically hold ourselves not only tells others what they should think about us, but it also tells us how we should think about our own selves. But this isn’t a “fake it ‘til you make it” approach.

In this clip from the weekday CBS This Morning show, Amy makes the several important points about posture relative to our own success (quoting):

  • The body leads the mind – what we do with our body shapes what we do with our minds. Posture makes us more assertive, if we open up, expand, and take up more space.
  • "Fake it till you become it' means you fool yourself into being your best self.

  What does your posture say about you? Are you always your most confident self?

About the Author

Lynette Silva is a principal consultant on Workhuman’s Strategy & Consulting team, partnering with clients on change strategies to make work more human.

Profile Photo of Lynette Silva Heelan