Did you know that your body posture speaks to you? Yes, I know, it sends messages loud and clear to others also. And, while that is important, it’s not what I want to you think about for this moment.
Ask yourself: What is my posture telling my brain and my heart right now?
How you hold your body sends messages to you about your level of confidence
When you tighten up, fold in or hunch over, your body is a protective mode. The physical state of your body sends messages to your brain that say “protect me!”. So it does. Your posture causes your brain to react to the perceived threat. Adrenaline is released preparing your body for a fight or flight response.
You are not a cave woman
The problem is that you aren’t a cave woman who is protecting her babies from the wild beast. Instead, on the other side of the desk is your demanding boss, the staff member that always pushes your buttons or the funder that is threatening the existence of your program. Getting defensive at this point isn’t probably your best tactic.
Confidence comes when you are relaxed
If you are looking to engage confidently in a conversation or to adequately address a particular situation, you want to respond with confidence, not aggression. That confidence comes, when your body feels sure it can handle things. Your posture is a critical component of those, often unconscious, messages to your brain.
When your body is erect, open and expansive, it tells your brain everything is ok. That impression of safety, rather than a threat, evokes the relaxation response instead of the stress response. Endorphins are released. Your body relaxes.
Respond with confidence
In a more relaxed state, your body will be able to access parts of the brain not readily available in fight or flight mode. Instead of reacting to what is going on, you’ll be better positioned to respond thoughtfully and powerfully. You will be more mindful of what you are saying, how you are saying and the tone of your message. You’ll feel better to say what you really want to say. You will find the courage to address tough issues. Your body will allow you to act with confidence, thus feeling more confident.
How to STAND with CONFIDENCE
Stand with confidence means holding your body in a position that feels more confident. It is expansive and open, meaning you take up a lot of space. Although I say stand, the same applies to sitting. Follow these suggestions for confident body posture.
Learn from the body posture expert
Learn more about how powerful your presence is to those around you, but more importantly to you in Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk or, in Cuddy's book Presence. See what she means by power posing by checking out this image.
Adjust your posture to increase your confidence
Learn to watch your posture and adjust it when necessary! Holding your body in a power position, one that is expansive, open, taller and takes up more space, changes your body’s chemistry. That releases the hormones that give you confidence. Stand like you can, and you will be able to more confidently deal with the next challenge that comes your way.
Did you miss the other Confidence Hacks?
I've been reviewing 4 Confidence Hacks these last few week so you can increase your confidence. If you missed them, find the links here:
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.