Whether you’re a first time developer, manager, leader or parent, according to Amy Cuddy in her Ted talk, the key to increased confidence in what you do is to strike a pose. Literally.
While your mind can clearly control your body, according to research, changing your posture can significantly affect what you think. Especially how you perceive yourself.
Years ago, while I was totally daunted by the prospect of my final year French spoken exam, a girl who lived down the corridor shared with me the secret to her consistent high performance in exams.
“Of course I study for every exam,” Miss High Achiever said. “But there’s something else I do right before I go into the exam room. It’s very silly, but it works.”
It turns out my friend would spend a few minutes psyching herself up in front of a mirror, usually in the ladies toilets. She would stand tall, look herself in the eye then say just loud enough for herself to hear, “You’re the best. You’re the best. You’re the best.”
At the time, out of desperation, I tried out my friend’s tip. I did much better than I ever imagined in my final year French spoken exam.
Of course, spending a year out in France as a language assistant helped as did my intense revision.
Standing in front of the mirror just before my exam telling myself “You’re the best” didn’t turn me into a narcissist anymore than it did with my friend. Instead, it reminded us that no matter what happened, we were going to give it our best shot.
And that’s my takeaway from Amy Cuddy’s Ted talk. “Fake it until you become it.” With enough practice, preparation and self-belief you, too, can make it.
This tip got me through one of my scarier moments in 2012 when I gave my first TedX talk last year.
How are you going to fake it until you become it?