When All Seems Impossible Wear Your Superhero Mask
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We have often heard the phrase fake it until you make it, but is it really possible to fake
orgasms something until it is true? That is the question Amy Cuddy sought out to answer in her riveting and emotional TED talk Your Body Langauge Shapes Who You Are. In that video, she argues that the way you carry yourself, the way you sit, the way you walk, the way you wear your cape dress has a profound impact on who you end up becoming.
Research even shows that if you force yourself to smile by sticking a pen between yours lips or by pulling your lips up … you end up feeling happier. And my personal ofilispeaks research shows that if you wear a superhero mask in times of stress and when shit seems impossible, you will feel more powerful. But how do we measure power or powerfulness[sic]?
According to Amy Cuddy, there are 2 primary hormones that can be used to determine a persons level of power. The first hormone is testosterone (and yes women do have testosterone), which is associated with a persons confidence and assertiveness. Basically, the higher your testosterone level, the more powerful you feel. But then there is another hormone called Cortisol, which has to do with how a person reacts to stress. The higher your cortisol level is, the more prone you are to stress, in other words if your cortisol levels are high then you are more likely to panic under stressful situations.
In summary, a person with high confidence/power, would have low cortisol levels and a high testosterone level. While a person with low confidence/power would have high cortisol levels and low testosterone levels. Research even shows that powerful and effective leaders depict the former hormonal combination (high-testosterone/low-cortisol).
But Amy wanted to find out if a persons power levels could be influenced by simply posing…
To do this, Amy gathered a group of subjects and
forced made them do power poses for 2 minutes.
Now a power pose is a pose associated with high confidence people, they involve standing in a victorious posture such as with arms wide and chest pushed forwarded or with the hands on the hips like the wonder woman pose done by Amy Cuddy to your right.
Now after power posing for 2 minutes, the testorone and cortisol level of all the participants where measured and averaged. It was discovered that participants, just by acting powerful (power posing), had experienced a 20% increase in their testosterone levels and a subsequent 25% decrease in cortisol levels! If you don’t believe see here, no be me talk am https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc
An act as simple as pretending to be powerful had a profound hormonal effect on their bodies and could have the same effect on ours. But instead of acting powerful…we do the opposite, we hide away when things get tough, we slouch, we hump our backs, we take off our super hero masks or spectacles (depending on if you are Clark Kent) and act weak. According to Amy when the reverse was done, low-power posing for 2 minutes, it was found that the cortisol levels of her subject increased by 15%, while the testosterone level decreased by 10%! This was just within 2 minutes, some of us act like this for 24 hours!“Our bodies change our minds, and our minds can change our behavior, and our behavior can change our outcomes.” Amy Cuddy
According to Amy “Our bodies change our minds, and our minds can change our behavior, and our behavior can change our outcomes.” But a lot of times we don’t focus on our minds, on the inside, we let the outside influence us, defeat us.
But sometimes the solution is to just think or imagine yourself as successful, when you work into a class think of yourself as Einstein except it is Law class, then you want to imagine yourself as Barrack Obama. When you are at work, dress up like a manager and walk with confidence, you will feel different about yourself and soon people will feel it too. You see when you pretend to be powerful, you are more likely to actually feel powerful. And when you feel more powerful you can achieve more…even the things that seem impossible become possible.
So wear your super hero mask and make shit happen! And in Amy’s words, fake it until you
make it become it.
Ofili is an author who blogs about life, success and
entrepreneurial excellence Nigerian bullshit. Follow him on twitter, Facebook or subscribe to his blog for more honest talk and as @ofilispeaks on instagram for more sketches! To bring Ofili to your school or organization as a speaker simply go here. His third book is titled How Intelligence Kills Us and will be coming out in the second quarter of 2013 as soon as possible.