Tap Into the Power of Body Language to Increase Your Confidence
Is something holding you back when it comes to feeling and looking confident? What if I told you there’s an easy way to boost your confidence? A pain-free, drug-free, cost-free way to change your thoughts, your feelings and your physiology.
From Shy Girl to Own Your Damn Self Girl
I grew up shy and introverted, darn near afraid of my own shadow. I longed to feel comfortable in my own skin and experience the joy of the ever elusive confidence code. Everyone else around me appeared to have been given the combination I somehow missed out on. Fast forward to last year when I signed on with Vanessa Van Edwards and her Science of People team to become certified as a Body Language Trainer. I couldn’t have known how one decision would change the trajectory of my life.
What Changed for Me?
Everyone has experienced confidence at some point in their life. It may feel like those experiences were few and far between but that’s only because you’ve trained yourself to dismiss them. It’s basic programming. If you suffer from a lack of confidence, it’s largely because you’ve trained yourself to focus on situations when/where you didn’t feel confident, and then you end up feeling like those far outweigh the former. You’re definitely not alone in this and it’s definitely holding you back from showing the world the beautiful, awesome, confident & capable person that you really are.
Through body language training, I learned to create confidence (yes, you can learn to create it on demand) and I learned to tap into my confidence (yes, you do have it and yes, you can learn to tap into yours too).
It all comes down to two things; your body and your mind. Super shocker there, right!?
What’s Holding You Back
Your body and your mind, or your actions and your thoughts, or your movement and your mindset – whatever way you want to look at it – that is what’s holding you back. One could argue that those two things are behind everything you achieve, or don’t achieve, in your life, but we’ll apply it to your level of confidence for today.
We all talk to ourselves (as many as 50,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day) and if those are critical and negative, you’re definitely holding yourself back. Just think of how much you could accomplish if you’re thoughts were predominantly positive!
YOUR FIRST STEP in letting go of what’s holding you back is to take stock of how friendly that voice in your head is. Pay attention to it and start to interrupt it and replace it with positive thoughts. If that’s a stretch, at least go for a neutral replacement thought. It takes practice like anything else, especially if you’re spent a lifetime of not paying attention to how you talk to yourself.
THE SECOND STEP is to pay attention to what your body is doing, otherwise known as your body language.
Tap Into the Power of Your Body Language
One of the easiest and most powerful tools that I use to let go of what’s holding me back is…..drumroll please…..my posture.
Carrying yourself in a certain way (shoulders back, abdomen in, spine aligned) exudes confidence and an affable demeanour. Compare that image to the posture of (most of us) slouched over our cell phones, appearing apathetic and bored. And we spend so much of our time in this position!!!
A study in Health Psychology found that people who feel stressed can kick their negative mood and even boost their self-esteem by sitting upright. Other research found that good posture was associated with better body image among people with depression. (*I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression in the past and I can attest to posture being an easy go-to to help shift how I’m thinking and feeling.)
It’s the easiest tool I know to help you with your confidence and it works regardless of whether you’re sitting or standing.
YOU Are What’s Holding You Back
Not intentionally, perhaps, but it definitely comes down to you. Your thoughts and your actions are both well within your control. Before you get upset with me, I know that it is not at all easy to get control of your thoughts (I’ve battled many, demons and they were ALL in my own head – anxiety & depression, remember?) That’s precisely how I know what I’m talking about. The good news is, you can learn to take control over your thoughts, and even easier, take control over your body.
Use your body to interrupt the self-limiting thoughts.
If you spend way too much time in your head ruminating and over thinking, it’s supremely difficult to get ahold of your train of thought when it’s ferociously derailing. This is how, and why, adjusting your posture is so effective. Get out of your head and into your body.
Feeling unmotivated, sad, discouraged, afraid? Sit up straight, lift your chin, pull your shoulders back and for heaven’s sake, soften your jaw! We hold sooo much tension in our jaw and in our shoulders. Now just take a moment and really pay attention to how much better this feels than slouched over.
Now keep doing it. Keep coming back to it. As often as you think of it, straighten up. Even if you’re just watching tv, or driving somewhere.
Continuously checking in on your posture is a game changer!
As much as I’d love to, I can’t snap my fingers and give you confidence. But YOU can develop it. Keep practicing it. Work on changing how you hold your body in any and all situations. You don’t get a six-pack by doing one sit up. Like any other muscle you work to develop, using your posture to your advantage takes practice, but it’s the easiest thing with the greatest leverage I’ve ever found.
Try it out and let me know how it worked for you!