Wonder Woman will land you your next job!

Can standing properly really make you happier? Can sitting in a lousy position make you feel more sad and depressed? And how can Wonder Woman really help you land your next job?

First off, think of someone who is really, really sad. In what kind of posture are they? There might be some small variables, but I am confident that the picture that you have in your mind looks something like the following. They are hunched over and are making themselves small, and the head is bent down. We all know this posture because we have all been feeling sad at one time or another.

Now I would like you to think of someone who is happy and feeling great. What do they look like? I am sure that they will stand tall with an open chest, maybe even have their arms raised above their head in a winning position. We all know this feeling too, and how good it feels.

So the questions is then, if when I feel sad I curl up into a little ball, and when I feel great I stand really tall, is the opposite also true? Meaning, if I curl up into a little ball, will that make me feel more sad, and if I stand really tall will that make me feel happier?

Amy Cuddy, a social psychology professor from Princeton [1] did a study on exactly this topic and this is what she found.

Your posture enforces chemical balance or imbalance of the hormones cortisol and testosterone in the body. Cortisol is known as our stress-hormone and too much of it makes us really nervous and stress-reactive. Testosterone is the dominance hormone which makes us more confident, and yes women have it too. The ideal combination is high testosterone and low cortisol, because that makes a strong, calm, confident leader that makes decisions without being stress-reactive.

Your body language will really change who you are and how other people view you. The two poses that were used in the research study [3] was the low power-pose and the high power-pose. Sitting in a slouched, small (sad) position for just 2 minutes made an increase in cortisol, and a decrease in testosterone. Standing in a high power-pose aka the Wonder Woman pose for just 2 minutes made the levels of testosterone increase and the cortisol levels decrease.

When our levels of cortisol is lower in combination of higher levels of testosterone we come across as calm, confident, comfortable and authentic, which makes us more hire-able.

“Expanding your body language—through posture, movement, and speech—makes you feel more confident and powerful, less anxious and self-absorbed, and generally more positive.” ― Amy Cuddy, [2]

Ok, sounds good to me, so how do I do this? Simple, use a high power-pose like the Wonder Woman for 2 minutes before an important meeting or exam and try to add times during the day when you are power-posing without thinking about it, like when you are using a stand up desk. If you do have to sit, sit as tall as possible with an open chest and don’t slouch.

Think about it, if only 2 minutes of power-posing was enough to measure a hormonal change in your body, what do you think happens when you sit in a slouched (sad) position for hours and hours on end? I think that it is really worth thinking about as our daily habits have a huge effect over a long period of time. I don’t know about you but I am definitely power-posing before my next meeting! Put the odds in your favor before your next big thing and watch Amy Cuddy’s TED talk below, and why not try a power-pose at the same time?

Wonder Woman will help you get that job! 😉




[1] More on Amy Cuddy  http://www.amycuddy.com

[2] Amy Cuddy, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges

[3] The Benefit of Power Posing Before a High-Stakes Social Evaluation https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/9547823/13-027.pdf?sequence=1