5 Power Poses to Change Your Mindset

5 Power Poses to Change Your Mindset

Brooke Didier Starks for 5 Things


Can standing like Wonder Woman help you nail that presentation? Science suggests maybe so. Assuming a power pose, like the Wonder Woman, for two minutes has been shown to significantly decrease cortisol (a hormone associated with stress) and significantly increase testosterone. The result: power posers are more open to risk-taking, have higher pain thresholds, and are able to think more abstractly. Translation? It becomes easier (and less painful to you) to give that talk, ask for that raise, assert yourself in the board room, or nail that presentation. Since our body language does as much as 80% of our communication, it is critical, especially for women, that the language of our bodies mirrors the intellect of our minds. For more on the research, take a peek at social psychologist Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk which has more than 54 million views to date. There are lots of power poses and there’s no one right way. The key to each of them is opening up your body and taking up more space. Here are 5 Power Poses for you to try today:


  1. Wonder Woman – Save the world! Put your hands on your hips, fingers forward (not back behind your back), feet shoulder-width apart, chest out, chin slightly lifted as though taking sunshine on your face.


  1. The Game Winner – Score the game-winning point! Extend your arms fully in each direction, fingers spread, hands open wide, chest open as if to say, “here I am world, you’re welcome.”


  1. Performer – Say “tada!”  Stretch your arms overhead in a v-shape, hands open, like you just finished a killer stage performance and the crowd is standing on their feet in applause.


  1. CEO – Become the CEO. Sit back in your chair, hands folded behind your head, and contemplate a proposal that has been brought to you. Your chest is open, your elbows protruding in either direction takes up more space, but you are leaned back, at ease.


  1. The Book Cover – Pose for your book cover! Your shoulders are back, both hands exposed and in view, no clenched fists, rather your hands are each relaxing on the opposite bicep. Your chest is open, your shoulders are back. Your elbows protruding slightly  means you are asserting more space, but you are relaxed, not defensive and are ready to problem solve.

In one Forbes interview, Julia Grace, Senior director of Infrastructure Engineering at Slack, stated simply (while twisting her torso, arms outstretched), “Sometimes you’ve just gotta take up space. They tell you a lot of being successful is just taking up the space.” We agree. Afterall, if you don’t claim the space, someone else will and he won’t be half as interesting as you.

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