Confidence can be expressed in many ways, and it’s also very linked to how a person may be feeling at that particular time. But at times, it’s so obvious to the naked eye that you don’t even consider their circumstances. I’m talking about body language, a subject that always interested me.
I’ve read recently to an excellent an book on the subject by a man who worked in the intelligence forces and it got me thinking.
It’s easy to imagine why having the skill to read body language, of interpreting what others are saying when they’re not saying anything at all, is so important in that field. It certainly helps complementing verbal communication, and is something we use instinctively each day.
There is a related TED Talk video I stumbled across which I recommend watching after reading the book above:
There are obvious aspects of non-verbal communication that we’re used to think about when looking at others but the bit that is most curious on this talk is what body language does to each one of us, the actors.
Though it’s often seen as a reflection of how we feel. The theory behind this video is that our physical posture actually influences our mood, which is an extraordinary claim. However, thinking about the subject, I recognise that merely sitting up straight at my desk rather than slouching makes a difference in my mood.
How to use
Great, but how can I use this in my daily life, you may ask. Well, I say that this may be the right type of circumstance when the saying “fake it until you make it” may be useful! Even if you’re not feeling your best, it could influence your mood.
Choose a quiet place, maybe even the toilets and try it out for two minutes. Stand up straight with your legs and arms wider than usual by your side (not too wide or you’ll feel silly). This is considered a ‘power pose’: you may have even noticed it’s how some politicians stand on stage when they want to convey authority.
After a little while in this pose, you will feel a confidence boost kicking in. The body movement in itself generates a dose of endorphin, and as your hormones start flowing, your mood improves. Behind are the feelings of worthlessness or invisibility, even if only for a short while.
This is another way of breaking a cycle, and powerful when you must have to meet with your boss during your annual review or get into a conversation you rather not have. Having a little extra confidence is a powerful tool to pick up. It is dead easy to do so certainly worth a shot. Try it now.