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Amy Cuddy’s optimism is rooted in her own trials and triumphs. After she suffered a serious head injury in a car accident as a college student, she was told her IQ had fallen and that she might have trouble continuing her education. Her response was to finish her degree at the University of Colorado and eventually earn a PhD from Princeton. 


Your body language shapes who you are | Amy Cuddy


Remember Men Feel Like Impostors, Too

Amy Cuddy assumes that women are more likely to suffer from impostor syndrome than men. Cuddy heard from more men who felt insecure about their place in the world. She acknowledges that men may respond differently to their insecurities, but we can assume their feelings are the same. The more anonymous the self-reports, the more men were willing to say, ‘Yes, I feel like an impostor.’


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Take A Hint From The Kids

Cuddy states why men’s stances frequently give the impression of being more dominant than women’s, and this is because almost everywhere in the world women’s body language is generally less open than men’s. What we see reinforces our own feelings of powerlessness which the body language is already expressing in some way. She says women can learn from watching their kids. When we observe kindergarten kids, girls will be most probably throwing their arms up in the air not worried about keeping their knees together. They look like boys and boys looks like girls, and body language looks the same.


Never Stop Power Posing

She states that impostor syndrome and the benefits of power posing affects all ages. This is because everyone has a reason. Everyone can think of a situation where they feel themselves sort of collapsing. She received an email from a World War II veteran who told her he was afraid of going to the doctor because his problems weren’t being taken seriously. Power poses helped him because now at 90 years old, he’s talking about how he connects with this power posing and realizing that he should hold himself with more pride.


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Beware The Smartphone Hunch

Amy understands that we’re all attached to our phones but says that when we focus on a screen, our bodies are constricted and small. Just working on a small device for five minutes seems to affect people’s assertiveness levels. She has talked to physiotherapists who are saying they’re seeing the sort of dowager’s humps they’re used to seeing in older women in 16-year-old kids because they’re spending so much time frozen over these tiny devices.


Rethink The Endgame

Her research is often discussed in the context of the workplace, but it’s less about getting ahead than it is about living with confidence and authenticity. The endgame should be happiness, not a raise or a promotion. For her, it’s hard to be in a business school and talk about things like this without people focusing on performance and these concrete outcomes and how you do in a negotiation. Once you have the knowledge and the skills and you’re in the job, the focus cannot be on the outcome. It should be about walking in without that sense of dread, being there without that feeling of anxiety and worrying about what they’re thinking about you, and leaving in peace.


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Get A Lift From Music

Cuddy becomes emotional when asked whether music, like a power pose, can give you a boost. She has a pump-up song of her own which is called ‘Bright as Yellow.’ It’s by the Innocence Mission and from the mid-’90s. it is difficult for her to talk about the song without getting choked up.



Our bodies change our minds, and our minds change our behavior and our behavior changes our outcomes. Don’t just fake it until you make it. Fake it until you become it. Do it enough until you become it and internalize. Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes.



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