How Do I Improve My Confidence Through Body Language?

How do you get more confidence with body language? This is a question I’ve been fascinated by recently. I’ve been re-reading one of my favourite books Higher Status by Jason Capital. Jason goes into 12 signals in the book that showcase confidence. It’s a fascinating read for anyone looking to improve confidence, present themselves more strongly, and feel good. Jason doesn’t just cover body language in the book but also other aspects such as your voice and destiny. 

   Alongside this, I’ve been looking and listening to the likes of Amy Cuddy, Tony Robbins, and Elliot Hulse on motion and body language on changing an individual’s mental state. I’ve been rejigging my routine to make sure I include as many body language exercises as possible. I cover several areas in today’s blog.

   First of all, note as someone who coaches in the self-esteem and confidence area, I don’t look at body language alone. Mindset, our actions, and habits equally need to be addressed to improve our self-esteem and confidence. Today I am purely addressing the impact of changing body language on confidence. I am covering several areas headed below. Changing these through continual habit will make us come off as more confident and in control but feel more confident within ourselves.

 

The power pose

The power pose is best outlined in Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on the wonder woman power pose. The idea is that when an individual stands in a pose like wonder woman, (hands on hips, upright and looking up), a boost in testosterone and feel-good chemicals is felt. Alternatively, cortisol (a stress hormone) in the body is reduced. I personally always start the day with this pose.

 

The power walk

Remember those days in drama class, where you were told to walk with your head down and then with your chest up? Did you feel a difference? Perhaps you didn’t do that at all in drama. Jason Capital, in his book, emphasises how important this is in the book too. A mighty walk is one that is upright, slow, calm, and focused on where you are going. A rushed, nervous, and head down one portrays a lack of confidence. 

I practice this walk 2-3 times a day on its own for a minute but try and bring my awareness to it too whenever I am walking. It doesn’t just make you look confident but, most importantly, makes you feel confident.

 

The smile

Do you find it easier to approach or talk to someone smiling or someone who looks grumpy and miserable? The smiling person, right? That’s because we view them as more approachable and enjoying life.

Smiling also sends a message to the brain that we are ready to be happy. The body then will start to produce more feel-good chemicals such as endorphins (which are also produced in exercise).

I combine practicing my smile with my morning power pose and try and schedule into my day at least a couple of times for one minute.

 

Eye contact

This is perhaps a more challenging one, but like anything, it can be improved with practice. Holding good eye contact with someone shows you have confidence and are grounded. Over the last couple of years, it has undoubtedly changed the way others have perceived me. 

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A couple of practices to incorporate here is to look at yourself in the mirror and hold a gaze just with yourself. The second one is to consciously maintain eye contact with someone in a shop, cafe, restaurant, or out in public for a couple of seconds or more. Try and do this as much as possible. If uncomfortable doing this with strangers, start with people, you know. If uncomfortable with people, you know? Well sorry… you’ve got to start somewhere or else you won’t get more confidence with your eye contact. Start with shorter durations in your head.

The above are a few examples of how body language can change the confidence you portray to others but also to yourself. Subconsciously we are always picking off signals from one another as to whether someone seems friendly and confident. Consciously make an effort to work on your body language by little practice alongside taking other actions in your life to improve confidence.

As always, remember… don’t skip self-esteem day!

 

 

Jonny Pardoe © October 2020

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