Fake it until you make it – Great advice from Amy Cuddy

Ever ask yourself why some people seem more successful than others?  I continually talk about High Bandwidth communication when I discuss teamwork and leadership – but did you know that your body language is a big part of how you communicate?   In fact, its much more than this.. your body language can help determine your success by modifying your body chemistry.

I’ve been fascinated about body language since I was about 19 years old, about the same time I started training in Tae Kwon Do.  Why was it that the more experienced belts seemed so confident and under control?  How could I be like that?  I decide that instead of trying to figure it all out – that I would simply imitate those I admired.  You know what?  It made a difference.

This morning I watched a TED video related to the same topic – how your own body language literally helps to shape who you are.

http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html

This helped to explain a lot.  I wasn’t just making stuff up 😉

I speak a lot with Stephen Forte.  I have to admit – I really enjoy speaking with him – we play off of each other really well on stage and we have a really great overlapping set of knowledge (he would argue mine is a subset .. but I digress 😉 ).  There is no denying that when we speak together he comes off as the more dominant speaker.  Why?  Well, if you watch the video above – you’ll know why.  It’s not because he’s smarter.  It’s not because he knows more about the subject that we’re speaking on (he usually just makes stuff up and gets me to explain the details ) –it’s because he has more presence.

FortePresence

The topic of this blog post is “fake it until you become it” – Amy Cuddy’s parting words in her TED video.  The premise her is that even faking body language will literally change your body chemistry – and you can use this to help achieve your life goals.

I think this is why I value the Martial Arts.  My youngest son studies Tae Kwon Do – and I can absolutely see a change in him when he’s forced to act in a dominant and confident manner.  He completely changes – and in reality, so does his body chemistry – increasing his testosterone and decreasing his stress hormones.  In Martial Arts they teach you to “fake it until you become it” – helping to explain why so many of the older belts that I studied under displayed the traits that I wanted to mimic.

Do you want to be more successful?  Well, start by mimicking those who you want to be like – especially their body language.

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