“Fake it till you BECOME it”
“Fake it till you BECOME it” these are the wise words of Amy Cuddy. She is a social psychologist and wow does her research illustrates the spectacular power of body language. Social scientist’s call body language: nonverbals. Most research suggests that nonverbals accounts for 50-70% of communication. Now that is a large chunk! This includes all nonverbal communication like our facial expressions and body movements. We make judgements and inferences based on body language and these judgements predict life outcomes. For example, judgements of political candidates face in just one second predicts 70% of U.S senates and gubernatorial race outcomes. So, at this point, it is clear that we understand that our nonverbals govern how people think about us, but Amy was interested in whether our nonverbals govern how we feel about ourselves.
Amy Cuddy was interested in whether you can fake it till you make it. Can our nonverbal communication change the behaviour that makes us seem more powerful to ourselves and others? I believe this question is really important because to feel power means you are more likely to take control of your life and your overall destiny. So, can you fake it till you make it? When you feel powerful you are more likely to take risks, and, so it goes to say that when you pretend to be powerful you also are likely to take risks. Crazy right? It’s true to say that our minds change our bodies and vice versa, our bodies can change our minds. Powerful people tend to be more assertive, more confident and optimistic. These are the qualities that everyone should strive for if your goal is to attract whatever you want into your life.
There are also differences in terms of our physiology. Powerful people tend to have higher levels of testosterone, the dominance hormone, and lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Changing body movements, your role and facial expressions can change the levels of these hormones in your body. In Amy Cuddy’s research, they conducted a lab experiment where for 2 minutes individuals would adopt high-power poses and low-power poses. They then ask them how powerful they felt, gave them the opportunity to gamble and took saliva samples before and after the experiment. They found that when you are in a high-power position, 86% of people are more likely to gamble. In contrast, those in the low-power position will gamble at 60%, this is a significant drop. High power people experienced, from baseline, a 20% increase in testosterone and low-power people experienced a 10% drop from baseline. High power people experienced a 25% decrease in cortisol and low power people a 15% increase. These results are insane! So within 2 minutes, you get these changes occurring at a physiological level, which directly affects your behavioural outcome. These changes, affect the balance of hormones in your body that configure your brain to make you more assertive, confident and comfortable, or really stressed and withdrawn.
So, the big question is, can power posing make meaningful changes to your life and allow you to attract the things you want? Of course! In interviews, public speaking or simply chatting with friends would be a good way to apply this. To attract what you want in life you need to adopt these power poses. So, before an interview or whatever situation it may be, for 2 minutes Amy Cuddy recommends you do some power poses. This will have tremendous implications on your physiology and ultimately your behaviour. Powerful people tend to attract the things they want in their lives, so it makes sense to learn the nonverbals from these individuals. However, Amy Cuddy believes that if you practise these power poses for long enough, you will eventually become that person. So fake it till you make it can be altered slightly too, fake it till you BECOME it. This is ultimately what you want: to become a confident, assertive and comfortable person.
So, I believe now that we have scientific proof that body language is actually very important in our success in life, we have a duty to put this knowledge into action. There are so many other positive lifestyle changes you can adopt into your day in order to manifest the life that you want. Surrounding yourself with positive people and removing those toxic relationships from your life, all help you move towards a life that you want. You can read more about other positive lifestyle changes to adopt in your life and how to surround yourself with positive people by clicking on the links.
Thank you for reading this article; I hope you obtained some useful tips that will help manifest your life into your dreams.