Sit up—and look up
Amy Cuddy, a social psychology professor at Harvard Business School in Massachusetts who has given one of the most popular TED talks ever (it’s already been viewed more than 33 million times), knows self-confidence. In her research, she’s discovered that positioning our bodies to occupy more space can elevate our testosterone levels and lower cortisol levels, a combination that raises self-confidence. Sit up straight in your chair: This alone will make you feel like you’re in command. While this may seem like a teeny-tiny change, it can have big rewards since most of us spend much of our day seated. If possible at work, she suggests hanging pictures on the wall at a height that will cause you to look up. In general, doing anything that makes you expand your posture will signal your body—and brain—that you are a powerful and capable individual. Check out these other meaningful ways to use body language.
Do the ‘Wonder Woman’ or the ‘Wall Street’
Cuddy’s best known power pose is to stand with hands on hips, also called the Wonder Woman. Another power move: Sit, put your feet up on a desk or table, interlace your hands, and place them behind your head with elbows pointing out (you’ve probably seen this move in antiperspirant commercials—I think of it as the Wall Street). Note: In order to get any benefit and gain more self-confidence, you must hold a pose for two minutes. (To read more about Cuddy’s research, check out her book Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges.) These are things confident people would never do so you shouldn’t either.