Become more confident in under 2 minutes

I read something incredible. There is a trick to outwit your body and feel (more) self-confident after less than 2 minutes. (And spoiler alert ahead – it works!).

Oh, self-confidence. Everyone seems to have it but oneself. When I scroll through Facebook and Instagram in a dark hour, I sometimes freeze in horror. How strong all these poles dancers are, how elegant, how creative, how innovative, and always how well illuminated. Where do they gather the strength and the time to learn all those fancy tricks? Where do they find all this inspiration to always create something new? And what a lousy dancer am I actually in comparison. No self-confidence far and wide.

What authorization do I actually have in the Pole world, asks a mean little voice in my head? Who allowed me to instruct others, who would want to see me on Instagram, who would want to hear from me on Facebook? Depending on the situation, the voice sometimes increases to a roar. Before a performance: your choreography is boring, your tricks are too easy, you will fall down. In a Photoshoot: You are fat, you have cellulite, your feet are never stretched. Sometimes I feel so insecure I would just like to hide somewhere.

But how to become more self-confident? Amy Cuddy advises Fake it ’til you make it. Ergo fake your self-confidence until you believe in it. Amy Cuddy is a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School and has found that our body language not only affects how others perceive us but also how we perceive ourselves. There are postures that indicate your opposite that you feel unsure. Then there are postures which radiate confidence and self-assuredness. But how can we ensure to seem and feel confident in situations when we actually feel uncertain of ourselves, for example, before a Pole performance?

Amy Cuddy has found in her research that there are universal power poses. For example, when a winner at the Olympics runs through the finish line, she pulls her arms in the air, regardless of her cultural or religious background and, interestingly also whether she is blind and has not seen the pose in others. Other power poses are, for example,  hands on the hips like Superwoman, or arms folded behind your head. Sitting slumped, arms crossed over your chest or arms covering your chest and one hand on your neck are poses that appear insecure. Now, Amy Cuddy has found out that if you put yourself into a power pose for about 2 minutes, you outwit your insecure mind and feel automatically more confident and strong. This is no nonsense. Try it now.

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And? My favorite power pose is raising the arms to a victory pose and I promise when I am sitting like this in front of my laptop, I always have to laugh. And this is great. However, I also find that this pose feels quite liberating. When do you we ever open up our body posture and drop all our protective shields? I now turn to my power pose every time that I have self-doubts or fears.

What do you think of power poses? Were you successful?  What do you do to be more confident?

If you would like more details on the research of Amy Cuddy and also her touching story of Fake it ’til you make it look, be sure to check her TED talk below.