Cuddy makes the point in her talk that we are influenced by our own body language. When we feel powerful, we physically open up much like animals do
|Open on the zip-line|
If we tend toward a lack of confidence in our body language and are aware of this behavior, Cuddy suggests we learn to “fake-it-until-we-make-it” to help overcome how our non-verbal actions govern how we think and feel about ourselves. In other words, begin with positive body movements and let our minds and hearts catch-up! It's about focusing on our presence.
Presence is how you show up including being authentic, confident, enthusiastic and passionate. But if you “fake-it-until-you-make-it,” you may feel like a fraud or an imposter. Cuddy suggests you “Fake it until you become it!”
When Lee Reading, Director of Camp Joy, Clarksville, OH, was giving me a tour of Camp Joy for my job interview back in 2000, we came across a group doing the Pamper Pole, a high ropes element. I hate heights! I asked Lee if I’d be required to experience these elements. I believe he could sense my fear and assured me the staff would work with me. With help from the Camp Joy staff, especially Tim Eppstein, I did “fake-it-until-I-became-it!” This helped me appreciate the large number of adult participants who got into their panic zone when it came to high-rope elements.
|SMILE! If you're smiling, you're breathing!|
Cuddy’s TED Talk led to her writing Presence, a NY
|Made it through faking it!|
The truth is, no one is immune to the imposter experience. The good news is we can overcome the imposter experience by developing our personal power … “the power to act with confidence based on one’s beliefs, attitudes and values and having a sense that one’s actions will be effective.” Page 115
Since reading Presence, I’ve been sharing my imposter experience with people I trust. They have revealed some of their imposter experiences to me. Powerful! What could this do for a group trying to become a well functioning team? I believe it could have a huge positive benefit!
I would encourage you to read Presence and explore the imposter experience. Have a conversation with people with whom you feel you can be vulnerable. Discover the imposter experience is not something to be ashamed of. As Cuddy writes, “… the more we are aware of our anxieties, the more we communicate about them, and the smarter we are about how they operate, the easier they’ll be to shrug off the next time they pop up. It’s a game of whack-a-mole we can win!” page 109