The Art Of The Power Pose


Last year, I broke my leg. It was an early-spring night, post-open bar at some art show, and in a sudden fit of exuberance (read: munchies) I broke into a run to cross the street toward a late-night pasta bowl that would await me on the other side. In an epic and inevitable trip-and-fall, I earned a silly little fracture on my fibula that would leave me encased for months in a less-than-sexy (unless you’re into that kind of thing, no judgment) AirCast followed by several weeks of physical therapy.

As breaks go, mine was small. I could still hobble around, work, and take meetings all over town, willfully ignoring the pain and discomfort. But, over these months, I was surprised how this seemingly small change in my body eroded my self-confidence. I felt slower, weaker, and less attractive. Have you ever tried hitting on a guy in an orthopedic boot? It takes a certain something.

So this year, I’m revisiting power posing, the act of holding an expansive, confident posture most visibly championed by social psychologist Amy Cuddy of TED fame. According to her research, powerful body language not only shifts internal and external perception, but also delivers a rush of testosterone that can impact your performance.

I devote two minutes when I wake up to doing the “Wonder Woman' (fists on hips, legs wide), to start the day feeling like Beyoncé. And right before I walk into a big meeting or presentation, I’ll go into the bathroom stall and lift my arms in a “V' shape to add a little swag. I also use the time to meditate and mentally squash self-doubt, lean into fear, and rouse up my internal hype woman. It’s like having a pre-game ritual for life.

The coolest part to me about power posing is that eventually, you won’t need it anymore—at least not so literally. The idea is that I’ll internalize all of the positivity, strength, and confidence these exercises offer and become my most self-assured, kick-ass self. Because being awesome is so much more fun than feeling small.

—Eunice Lee

Photo via Getty. Read more from Eunice here.