One Simple Shift Could Boost Your Confidence, And It's All About Good PostureBy Mia Barnes
Mar. 23 2023, Published 8:00 a.m. ET
Navigating the world can be difficult, especially when you're not very confident in who you are. How you carry yourself is a great indicator of how you feel about your capabilities and who you are as a person. You may not think that posture can greatly affect your life, but changing your life for the better is as simple as learning the correct posture, power posing and improving your confidence little by little.
What Is Power Posing?
You've likely heard of power posing before. You might envision someone doing the "Wonder Woman pose," with their feet spread apart and fists on their hips, chin high. Though it might seem silly to do it in public, just staying in the Wonder Woman pose or any related pose can help you feel a burst of confidence to power you through a meeting or the rest of your day. All you need to do is stand a certain way for a couple of minutes, and you can reap the mental benefits of feeling more confident.
The reason power posing works is thanks to body language. When you occupy more space, you start to feel more powerful. Carry a strong nonverbal presence constantly, and you may have opportunities open up to you that you weren't aware of. For example, just the way you carry yourself and how good your posture is can change how your life goes.
How to Boost Confidence Through Body Language
Power posing isn't the only way to increase your confidence. Over time, correct posture can help build your self-esteem. You should also strive to make your body language work for you. Here are a few ways you might see a confidence boost, all thanks to the way you sit, stand and take up space.
1. Remember to Stretch
One of the best ways to power pose, take up space and ultimately boost your confidence is by reminding yourself to stretch every day. When stretching, you don't hold back -- you extend your arms toward the sky and flex your muscles. Stretching helps you release the tension you may not have known that you had, allowing you to feel looser and more confident.
2. Mirror Other People
Sometimes, the best way to show someone that you're interested in what they have to say is to mirror their actions. They may subconsciously find it flattering, as people tend to mirror those they look up to or find interesting. Plus, doing what others do can help you feel a little more confident in yourself and your conversational skills. You display a lot of body language signals without noticing, but learning the right moves to mirror can help you demonstrate more confidence in your interactions.
3. Get Inspired to Do More
When you feel like you're allowed to take up space, there is no limit to the things you could accomplish. Find your “why” — the reason you can feel confident and keep your motivation in the midst of life’s challenges. Some people find healthy habits like regular exercise and healthy eating give them confidence to take up more space, while others find their motivation through their personal values, strengths or even careers.
Once you find your “why,” you'll have a better idea of everything you can accomplish — and you won't have to doubt yourself anymore. Keep this purpose in mind when you start to feel small, and your body language will naturally reflect these positive, driven thoughts.
4. Keep a Wide Stance and Make Eye Contact
As you know from power posing, taking up space can make you feel more powerful. It can easily eliminate some of your fears or anxieties regarding speaking in public. Taking a wide stance when you're talking to someone is its own form of power posing, where you can feel empowered while standing still, without the worry of looking unusual. Eye contact also communicates to your conversation partner that you're fully focused on the topic.
Holding Yourself High
Relying on your posture to help you through your daily life can be more rewarding than you might think. Karen Joubert, the physical therapist who has helped celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Serena Williams, spoke to People about how they can improve their posture even when sitting at a desk all day. Though it might take some adjustments, you can retrain your muscles to automatically go into a position that means better posture.
The main thing you need to watch out for is sitting in one position for far too long. Joubert recommends changing your position once every 20 to 30 minutes to stand and walk around. When taking a break from your desk, she advises standing against the wall with open palms. Doing this can break you out of the position you're likely to fall into at your desk, hunching over and leaning forward. Even if it's just on a break, you can reverse your bad posture.
You can have a better life, all thanks to good posture. While enjoying the benefits of better self-esteem, you can also reap some physical and mental benefits you may not have thought of. Maintaining good posture is a great way to improve your life exponentially.
If self-confidence doesn't entice you, these benefits of good posture might:
Decreased Risk of Falling: When you have poor posture, you have a greater risk of falling because it's more difficult for you to maintain your balance. With better posture, you'll have greater core strength to keep yourself upright.
Improved Mental Health: How you stand or sit can affect how your brain works. You may notice that your mind feels foggier when you're slumped over. Because your organs won't feel squished, you can expect both your body and mind to change as a result.
Fewer Headaches: Have you noticed that you experience fewer headaches since your posture has improved? Bad posture can create tension in your head, neck and shoulders, which can lead to pain that manifests as a headache, especially in the forehead.
Ability to Take Feedback Better: Feedback is an essential part of life. In the workplace or at school, you might get told how to improve upon your performance. If you don't have much self-confidence, any sort of feedback might feel like an attack. When you have a good sitting posture, you may actually receive feedback better than if you were slouching. If feedback can help you in the future, it's worth learning to take well.
It All Starts With Proper Posture
When you feel more confident in yourself, you are more likely to encounter better opportunities. Isn't it wild that such great things could come from adjusting how you sit or stand as you go through your day? While it might seem far-fetched, your posture can have a drastic effect on how you navigate the world. You can see immediate results from something like power posing, and retraining your core and other muscles over time can lead to an improved physical appearance and the confidence to become who you were always meant to be.