Boost Your Confidence With Better Body Language

I remember walking through my local shopping centre feeling shy and self conscious. Well, if I am honest I actually felt like the back arse of a donkey - ugly, fat, inadequate!

But in a moment of grace I caught a glimpse of myself; staring at the floor, back hunched over and arms interlocked across my chest. Agh, I whispered and immediately opened my body up top feel more confident again.  

better body language

Your body language - your physiology - plays a crucial role in your self confidence. According to Amy Cuddy, a social physiologist, your body language shapes WHO you are.

 

The golden rule of body language is to take up as much space as possible. When you are feeling anxious or worried we tend to cover ourselves and when we are feeling confident we open up and relax.

The truth of the matter is your body language will either help you or hurt you so it's important to get right. Body language will not only help you feel better about yourself but it will also give a positive first impression to the people that you meet. Posture smiling and eye contact all play a crucial role. 

In this short blog I will show you how you can use body language to help you feel more self confident. 

 

Sitting 

Applicable for hot dates, job interviews, manicures. 

Do:  Sit with you back against the back of your chair, with your feet flat on the floor and a slight 90 degree bend or lightly crossed. Keep your hands resting on your lap and your head up.

When you first greet someone make direct eye contact and smile.  Keeping too much eye-contact might creep people out. Giving no eye-contact might make you seem insecure. If you are not used to keeping eye-contact it might feel a little hard or scary in the beginning but keep working on it and you’ll get used to it. A trick that I often use is to sporadically stare at a persons nose as it gives the appearance you are making eye contact. 

Don'ts: Don't slouch or fidget. Avoid crossing your arms or legs as this makes you appear closed off and guarded. Don't touch your face or play with your hair as this makes you appear anxious or nervous.

 

Standing

Applicable for waiting for late friends, queueing for drinks at the bar, meeting someone for the first time, standing in a group. 

Do:  Pivot your body towards them, keeping your head and torso facing the other person. Keep your shoulders relaxed and balance your weight on both feet. A common confident pose  with hands is held lightly in front or behind the back

When you first greet someone make direct eye contact and smile.  Avoid standing too close (unless its a hot date) and allow people their personal space. Standing in a group of people can make you feel even more self conscious then if it was just you and one other person. We wonder what people will think of us and how willing we are to risk embarrassment? We became very aware of our self image (how we look and act and what we say). That's what determines how shy we feel and these feelings will influence how we carry ourselves. In the beginning it will feel hard but stay with it. 

Don't: Don't slouch, cross your arms, fidget or stare at your feet. avoid 'happy feet' or moving in one place. Don't face away from the person you are talking to and don't stand too close. 

 

Walking 

Applicable when walking through shopping centres, to the bathroom or on a catwalk. 

Do:   Keep your shoulders relaxed and your head up straight and your eyes towards the horizon. 

Don't: Don't slouch, cross your arms or fidget. Don’t keep your eyes on the ground, it might make you seem insecure and a bit lost.

 
Images courtesy of Amy Cuddy, Harvard University. 

Images courtesy of Amy Cuddy, Harvard University. 

Power pose

For an immediate boost in confidence place your hands on your hips with feet just under your hips, keep your head up and shoulders back (but relaxed). The image to your left will help. 

 

 

 

 

As I was making my way through the local shopping centre I made a couple of quick adjustments to my body language; I unlocked my arms from my chest and casually placed them by my side. I set my sights on the imaginary horizon in front me and started smiling on the inside as I repeated the following affirmation over and over again "I am beautiful. Beauty comes from within". 

This stuff works and during my Empowered Women Workshop (Taking place in Dublin on the 19th April and Galway on the 26th April) I will show you how you can improve your confidence with better body language. At this workshop you will get 4 hours of training from someone who has spent 5+ years coaching 1000's of people to feel more confident, personal stories from my own life and experience, a personal self confidence plan to help you take 'that' step, uplifting and empowering support from a room full of women who get it and tips and strategies to help you feel confident on the inside. 

There is no reason why you should not come . Say YES to yourself and book your place today before the price goes up on 1st April. 

Watch Amy Cuddy’s 20–Minute TED Talk about her research and the impact of body language. It’s awesome. 

Sarah is a life coach and motivational speaker. As the co-founder of The Better Life Project, a movement dedicated to helping you live happy, healthy, positive and confident lives and with oodles of infectious energy she is super passionate about helping to inspire you make your awesome life happen. She’s the “go to” life coach for anyone feeling stuck in a rut, lacking in confidence or struggling with low self-esteem or body image. Sarah offers life coaching and mentoring services and works with clients in person in Dublin, Ireland and over Skype around the world. 

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