Fake it till you become it – how body language can shape success


Most of us have observed that successful people tend to have confident body language: they stand up straight, aren’t afraid to take up space, and hold their heads high. But can assuming the postures of success actually make you measurably more successful? Social psychologist Amy Cuddy thinks so.

Cuddy, an Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, gave a widely lauded TED Talk in 2012 that discusses the relationship between body language, perception, and success in the work place.

Her studies have shown that just 2 minutes of “power posing” – taking on stances that  portray dominance and confidence – increased actual confidence in subjects, which in turn affected perception of their capabilities. “Recruiters” in an experiment rated subjects who did power posing significantly more hirable than control subjects.

Many elements of today’s business landscape occur virtually, but the most important transactions – getting employed, gaining new business, or closing a deal – still occur face to face. It’s arguably more important than ever to give a great impression in person.  When high-stress situations present themselves and big bucks – or your reputation – is on the line, projecting confidence can be a daunting task. It’s heartening to know that a simple 2 minute exercise can work wonders for your desired outcome. Indeed, not only can you fake it till you make it, but you can actually “fake it till you become it.”

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