Finding confidence in body language

Chyanne walks into the gym for the first time and she’s surrounded by people much more fit than her who can run twice as fast and twice as far, and can lift weights with one hand she couldn’t with two. She’s overwhelmed and intimidated and she wants to high tail it out of there and ignore her goal of getting fit.

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But wait, instead, she puffs out her chest, and struts past the pile of muscles manning the desk, signs in, and starts exercising like she’s done it her whole life. Good job, Chyanne.

But how did she get all that courage? She pulled together her nerve and pretended to be confident. That seems a little far-fetched though, doesn’t it? But there is indeed some truth behind the old cliché, “fake it til you make it.” In fact, Amy Cudy explains in a TED Talk that just by taking a power-pose, (such as sitting with your limbs spread to take up more space) for two minutes, people react more confidently in stressful situations – like a job interview.

Let’s go back to Chyanne heading into the gym for the first time. She feels like she doesn’t belong because everyone is stronger, faster, and just more fit than she is.

But, in reality, she’s probably the only one thinking that. Most likely, no one else in the gym is taking time out of their workout to judge her or shun her – they’re too focused on what they’re doing. So when I talk about ‘fake it until you make it’, I’m not telling you to go in and start bragging about your fitness level to everyone within hearing distance – that’s not what it’s about.

Faking it isn't about impressing others. It's about changing your own perception of how you fit in a space, and this starts with your body language. Studies have shown that when people smile, they begin to feel happier, and when they act confident, they begin to feel confident. So what you’re doing when you’re ‘faking it’ is leading with your body language.

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Once you act like you’re comfortable in a space, your brain will fall in line, and you can stop worrying about sticking out, and focus on doing what you came to do: accomplish personal and incredible goals!