One of my favorite sayings is, “Fake it until you make it” and in so doing one day you’ll wake up realizing you’ve become it.
Now, there’s more science to prove that that is exactly what happens. Social psychologist from Harvard, Amy Cuddy, has researched how our bodies change our minds and our minds can change our behavior. And when this happens, we are not only perceived differently in the world, but also chemically we can change ourselves.
Her work involves body language and body posturing and she focuses on what are called “high power poses” and a “low power poses.”
In her studies with people who were interviewed for job opportunities, the people who had assumed high power poses were the ones chosen over and over again for the job.
Ms. Cuddy said that, “The people who scored highest were people who were bringing their true selves to the job interview.”
It wasn’t because of the content of the speech, or its structure, or how well the speech was even presented. It was all based on presence – and with that came the characteristics of confidence, passion, authenticity, enthusiastic, being comfortable and captivating.
What this research showed was that in assuming a high power pose for just two minutes before the job interview, the body would generate hormonal changes that corresponded with feeling empowered, comfortable, and less stress reactive.
And what that further revealed was that not only did people respond to the person differently (and more positively) but the person himself – through the body’s releasing of hormones – experienced higher states of presence and ability.
So even when you’re not feeling confident and enthused, you can fake your way in your body and eventually, your body will take you to where you want to go. Literally and figuratively.
So fake it until you make it. Because pretending never felt so good.