I first watched this talk by Amy Cuddy a few years ago, and was reminded of it the other day, during a conversation about posture.
I’ve never had very good posture. In my first job after uni, in the outpatient therapy department of a London hospital, I spent my day surrounded by physiotherapists. They all berated me constantly for slouching over my keyboard, so for a while I’d make an effort to sit up straight – but it wouldn’t be long before I was back in my bad old habits. These days, I think my colleagues have given up on me.
The conversation the other day was an offshoot of a different discussion, this time about confidence. The long and short of it was – if you act confident, people will believe you’re confident, and after a while you’ll start to feel more confident. And that’s when I remembered this talk, which says something very similar – essentially, even if you don’t feel particularly confident, fake it until you start to believe your own fabrication.
It’s quite a long talk, but well worth a look if you have 20 minutes to spare. And if you don’t have 20 minutes, I’d recommend jumping straight to 16 minutes in, as I think this is a story we can all relate to (although hopefully for most of us, it’s in different circumstances).
So, I’ve been trying over the past week to sit up straight, look up instead of at the floor, make eye contact, and generally act like I know what I’m doing. (I find this is much easier when I wear heels, for some reason.) I’m not sure I’ve been particularly consistent – it’s not easy after 33 years of doing the opposite, and I keep having to physically drag myself upright – but I’m led to believe that persistence is key…
How’s your posture? 😉 And what do you think of Amy Cuddy’s ‘fake it till you become it’ theory?