Heart (emotional)

Fake it to Change it: A Guide to Converting your own Mind with Body Language

Body language, or non-verbal communication, is all the rage. Professionals and weekend watchers alike are analysing what others are doing with their bodies to reach conclusions that override what mouths are saying.

As a woman in business, you’re more likely to not only observe, but correctly identify what others are saying with their body language. You are also more cognisant of what your own body posture is saying to others. This innate ability has been handed down to you from your ancestors, and these superb communications skills will serve you as you interact with others.

But how about as you interact with yourself? How can your own body language change the things you say to yourself and believe about yourself?

Social psychologist and professor/researcher at Harvard Business School Ammy Cuddy has discovered that not only will our minds change what we believe ourselves with the use of positive, powerful body language, our hormonal chemistries will change, for the better.

Here’s what she found:

Participants in a study were asked to adopt either powerful or powerless body postures for just two minutes. Their emotions didn’t have to match what their bodies were saying…they could simply “fake” those poses.

Here’s what happened:

  • Those displaying powerful body language were 16% more likely to gamble, had 20% higher testosterone levels and 25% lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
  • Those displaying powerless body language had testosterone levels that were 10% lower and cortisol level that shot up 15%.

Now remember, these people were not qualified before the study as feeling powerful or powerless…and they were not separated based on gender or personality types. All of these results were realised after just two minutes of exercising specific body language.

This is exciting news. It tells us that we have the power to change our feelings of confidence, dominance, power and aptitude, just by changing the ways in which our bodies are positioned.

Here are some examples of powerful and non-powerful non-verbals:

  • Powerful Body Language: Standing with feet in a wide stance; arms high and wide, opening the torso; head and chin high; elevated gaze; chest inflated. Seated with legs open, or legs in a “T” position (one ankle on the other knee).
  • Weak Body Language: Standing with feet crossed or close together; arms crossed over the chest; shoulders hunched; head down; low gaze; hands clasped together or covering the throat; sitting with legs tightly crossed.

You can easily apply this powerful body language, and the exercise modelled after Professor Cuddy’s study, to your business life. If you have an interview, a presentation, or a job interview coming up, commit to arriving a few minutes earlier than you normally would and spend two minutes in the restroom stall practicing some of these power poses. And then, before the actual event—in the lobby, or whilst mingling with attendees—continue this confident body language.

Your testosterone (power hormone) will increase. Cortisol, your stress hormone, will decrease. You will feel stronger and more capable.

And the best news? This exercise isn’t just for immediate gratification in situations where you need to feel more powerful. You can adopt powerful body language for everyday use, to keep your hormone levels and self-belief optimal, so you’re ready for whatever may come your way today, tomorrow and along your path to ultimate success.

Do you have a story to share about how powerful body language increased your self-confidence and overall success? Have an opinion, advice or comment? Please share it with me below...

Have a beautiful day, beautiful you.


Intuition: The Sixth Business Sense

You’ve heard of women’s intuition. You’ve probably experienced it, too. But what is it, really? Is it some kind of magic? Or psychic power?

Read more


The Benefits and Challenges of Being a Female Entrepreneur

So, you’re a woman in business? Or you’re a woman considering entering the ring?

Well, I’m sure you’ve gotten lots of advice—some pretty encouraging and some downright disheartening.

Whom should you listen to? Who knows best? And who can you count on to continue to guide you through the joys and pitfalls of being a female entrepreneur?

Read more


Working on Yourself - The Biggest Gift you can Give to Others

How much time have you dedicated to yourself this year?

How much effort have you invested in your education, your relationships, your gratefulness, your empathy…your happiness?

Read more


Masculine and Feminine Traits, for Business

We all value feminine traits in our personal lives: we honour our mothers, celebrate beauty, reward selflessness…and yet, we hold these traits in contempt within the business world.

Read more


Boosting Self-Belief

5 Tips for Boosting Self-Belief

You’ve heard it said that “You have to believe in yourself.”

If only it were that easy, right?

It’s not a switch that you can turn on and off at will. There’s no magic self-belief pill on the market. And there’s no reason anyone would consciously choose to doubt themselves.

Read more


Go Ahead, Cry: Here’s Why

How do you feel about crying in front of other people? And how do you feel when others cry in front of you? Are you embarrassed? Mortified? Or empowered?

It’s time to look at tears in an entirely new light: for your own good and the good of those you lead.

Read more


Tips on Speaking from Stage with Confidence

Speaking with confidence is about you BEING YOU - people buy people.

If you don't turn up as your authentic self then your audience will know. It's an energy thing. Other speakers do their thing and you do yours. Some women will prefer their style. Others will prefer yours. The people who need to connect with you will, if you allow flow.

Read more


emotional intelligence

The Most Successful Men Have This

The description of a successful man is changing, and those changes aren’t just based on preference—they’re based on the real-life stories of men in business who show higher-than-average levels of optimism, empathy, consideration for others, self-motivation, authenticity and consistency.

Read more