Ted talk on body language, imposter syndrome, and faking it until it becomes real

My daughter, Jeanette, sent me a link to a Ted Talk given by Amy Cuddy in which Dr. Cuddy discusses body language.  Woven into the talk is her personal narrative.  She was in a serious accident and was told not to finish her undergraduate work because she lost a considerable amount of IQ points as a result of the accident.

She developed imposter syndrome. I was beginning to identify with her.

Her advice was fake it and change your body language and eventually you will grow into the person you want to be.

Here is the Ted talk, http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html

This is worth a try.

Editing this because it was written and posted in the wee hours of the morning when I didn’t have the sharpest writing or editing skills.

I watched this Ted Talk on the way to Pittsburgh and was initially interested in body language and our perceptions of people. Toward the end of the talk, she was discussing her feelings that she didn’t belong to her undergraduate and then her graduate program because she had suffered some damage to her cognition in an accident. Her story moved me on a personal level because I suffer from impostor syndrome and feel like a fraud but the idea that when a non-human primate is suddenly put in a leadership role, they fake it until their testosterone levels rise and cortisol levels drop. In other words, fake it ’till you make it is a legitimate strategy.

One of the non-verbal power stances is the so-called Wonder Woman hands on the hips strong stances. When I was in fifth grade, the teacher, a nasty woman, told me not to put my hands on my hips because “It isn’t lady-like.” I was frustrated with this woman and asked her what I should do instead and she suggested I hug myself by the elbows which is one of the most weak body language signals in the human repertoire.  I cringe when I consider the number of girls that had their legitimate selves robbed by that horrid woman.

john pavlovitz

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