Ever notice Wonder Woman’s confidence? How she conveys her sense of power? How you know her strength is about more than just her muscles? That she completely trusts that she can handle whatever comes at her?
Take a look at a picture of Wonder Woman. Notice what her body posture tells you about her self-confidence. She is not a woman who waffles in self-doubt, or who let’s the opinions and judgments of others undermine what she knows is her truth. You don’t have to see her using her Lasso of Truth or her Indestructible Bracelets to sense her might. Even standing still, her pose alone communicates that this is not a woman you want to mess with!
But does Wonder Woman bring the power to the pose or does she gain some of her power just from assuming the pose? The research of Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist at Harvard, indicates that the Wonder Woman Pose itself is a source of strength. Her research has found that assuming the Wonder Woman Pose for as little as 2 minutes can alter brain chemistry by increasing testosterone and lowering cortisol. These are the hormones that increase dominance and lower stress. Wonder Woman knows that there is power in the pose. Superman is a fan of the Wonder Woman Pose too!
Embodying the Wonder Woman Pose can create a positive self-fulfilling prophecy by changing your attitude, which in turn impacts your behavior, resulting in a more positive impression on others. The end result can be improved performance that then serves to reinforce your own feelings of competence.
Cuddy’s research suggests that not only does making your body expansive improve your confidence, but making yourself small by folding inward – sunken chest, lowered chin and shoulders, or arms closed – can reinforce a sense of inadequacy. The take away from Cuddy’s research is “Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it.”
Empowerment Exercise: Take the Wonder Woman challenge and assume the pose. Stand in front of a mirror with legs spread hip length apart, weight evenly distributed so that you feel solid in the hips and lower body. Expand your chest and plant your fisted palms on your hips. Lengthen your neck and tilt your chin slightly upward. Breath deeply and evenly as you observe yourself in this power pose for 2 minutes. As you observe the changes on the outside, notice what shifts begin to happen on the inside. Allow yourself to experiment with it if you like by shifting back and forth from the Wonder Woman Pose to the collapsed posture or introduce playfulness by adding bracelets and a tiara. Do this exercise for 30 days. Afterward, notice the difference in how you feel. If it makes a difference, as I think it will, put it in your empowerment toolbox to take out and use whenever needed.
You can watch Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk on the benefits of the Wonder Woman Pose in this embedded video:
Dr. Janice Caudill is the founder and Clinical Director of McKinney Counseling & Recovery. MCR offers individual, couples, group therapy and multi-day intensives for partners of sex addicts and wounded hearts struggling with sex addiction, infidelity, love addiction or love avoidance, intimacy anorexia, or relational trauma in the McKinney, Plano, Allen, Richardson, Frisco, Carrollton, Lewisville, Dallas and surrounding areas.
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