It was supposed to be another long and boring flight, the kind I don’t usually look forward to and can’t wait to be over so I can feel the ground again. I never expected that the flight I had dreaded would offer so many valuable lessons and aha moments for me.
Searching through possible programs to watch, I came across one of the TED talks: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are by Amy Cuddy, a professor at Harvard Business School. This video was so powerful that I watched it twice and it made my day. She talks about body language and how a confident posture can actually make you feel more confident. Watching images of high power poses made me realize that the mind-based work that I do to make my energy more positive is not enough on its own; powerful body language must be in the mix as well.
I used to have terrible body image issues. I remember hiding myself behind big clothes that looked like tents and covering my body with my hands to camouflage my appearance. Now eight years later, I work hard to maintain a healthy weight and it takes daily discipline and a conscious effort to physically and mentally show up confident in the world.
How well does your body reflect who you really are?
How confident do you feel? Can you show up fully in your life and in the world?
Here’s my guide on how to use the mind-body connection to build your confidence:
All action is born in thought. Control your thoughts.
Whenever you catch yourself thinking negatively, stop and rephrase it in a positive way.
When your inner-critic says: “You’re such a bad ______ (fill in the blank)“, ignore the voice and speak up with a positive alterative such as: “I am kind” or “I am creative” to remind yourself of your positive attributes.
There is value in getting honest with your faults, but make sure to balance it with positive and powerful thoughts about yourself.
What you focus on grows. Give more attention to your gifts and less attention to your weaknesses.
How well do you treat yourself? Do you give the same kindness and love to yourself that you give to others? If you are one of those people that’s always too hard on themselves, please understand that your thoughts and the way you see yourself create the energetic messages that you send out to the world.
Remember, you have the power to create your own thoughts. Instead of tearing yourself apart with negative thoughts choose thoughts that uplift and empower you.
When you think and say “I am beautiful” you invite beauty into your life.
When you think and say “I am strength” you invite strength into your life.
Acknowledge your own unique qualities and communicate them verbally and non-verbally through your energy and actions. It will make you feel much better and more confident in every area of your life.
It is not what you say, but how you say it. Pay attention to your physical presence and practice high power poses regularly.
When you have a conversation with another person or when you talk to a crowd, your body language, posture, movement and voice have a bigger impact than your words.
In her TED talk, Amy Cuddy explains that holding one’s body in “high-power” poses for as little as two minutes stimulates higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol and can summon an extra surge of power and sense of well-being when it’s needed.
After watching Cuddy’s video on the plane, I started to pay more attention to my body language and practicing high power poses. I’ve noticed that every time I change my posture and practice a pose, my energy shifts quickly and I instantly become more confident. I feel more in my power and the body shift move me into a fearless and willing to take risks mode. I simply feel better about myself and I have more courage to shine.
Watch Amy Cuddy’s TED talk and to choose two or three high power poses to practice every day.
You are stronger and more powerful than you think. Use both your mind and your body to broadcast it to the world!