In this article you will learn how to increase self-confidence, but also assertiveness, sense of control and to some extent leadership. And this in a way that will literally change not only your mood, but to some extent also your hormones. Interested? If so, read on.
I know these hormones may have sounded a little dangerous, but when you see what’s going on, I think you’ll like it a lot and you’ll probably try it yourself in a moment.
I would like to introduce you to the researcher Amy Cuddy, who studied the behaviour and mechanisms of domination in the animal world. Especially primates such as monkeys. In many animal species there is such a thing as an alpha animal. The alpha animal acts as a guide for the herd, a kind of leader in the world of animals. He stands highest in the hierarchy of the herd, has priority both in the distribution of food and the selection of a partner.
However, on a purely physiological level, does something distinguish such a dominant monkey from others? Apart from the fact that it can be bigger and stronger, for example, and that nobody will jump up on it? It turned out that it is.
Amy discovered that very strong alpha males in the primate hierarchy have higher levels of testosterone and lower cortisol than other monkeys. Now a quick lesson in biology. Testosterone is a hormone that shapes features such as determination, courage, courage, independence, proneness to risk, but also depending on the situation and emotional development, aggression and explosiveness. However, cortisol is the so-called stress hormone, because it emits in stressful situations and helps to put your body in the so-called fighting or escape mode.
Usually, when we think about leadership, self-confidence and domination, we focus mainly on the characteristics for which testosterone is responsible. However, the truth is that for true leadership, true self-confidence you also need the ability to respond appropriately to stress.
Would you like to follow a leader who seems bold and determined, but whenever there is a stressful situation, he panics and doesn’t know what to do with himself? Oh, no. Strength is expressed not only in self-confidence, but also in distance. Such a relatively passive attitude towards stressful situations.
These are the characteristics of the alpha male that can be seen in his hormones. High levels of testosterone and low levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. However, is such a hormonal system an innate feature? Are some people, or individuals in the animal world, simply born perfect for leadership, and others will never be able to become leaders? No, they are not.
When in a herd for some reason another male takes over the role of an alpha male, because e.g. he won a fight or the previous alpha male died. The interesting thing about the new alpha male in a few days is that his testosterone level is rising and his cortisol is decreasing.
It is not nature that created him a leader, but the position that he suddenly took in the herd makes him start to show features of a leader. His hormonal system adapts to the new situation. To the situation in which the individual must be strong, confident and distanced.
Is it possible to use this discovery in our everyday life in a practical way?
Can we somehow easily and quickly simulate becoming a leader, male or female alpha to point out to our own bodies that these will produce the right hormones to help us gain more self-confidence and resistance to stress?
Yes, there is a way to show our body that we have gained the leadership position and we need certain features so we have to have a certain hormonal system.
Do you have any idea what it could be? What could be that way? Just a moment to think about it – okay I’m saying.
How To Increase Self-Confidence
It’s about copying the body position of a person in a dominant position. You will admit that an uncertain, embarrassed person will sit differently than someone who feels that at the moment he has everything and everyone in his hand and the whole world belongs to him, right? That’s right.
Therefore, only adopting a proper posture of the body has such a strong power, so the research has shown that it can literally change our internal hormonal machine through this also our mood, thoughts and ultimately behaviour.
Amy tested it in an experiment in which the participants were randomly divided into two groups.
Some were assigned to a group with the so-called weakness positions and others to the so-called strength positions. In a moment I will explain what exactly is going on. The experiment was such that the person entered the laboratory, spat in the vial, a saliva sample was needed to test the testosterone and cortisol levels and then, depending on the group to which they were drawn, for 2 minutes, took a position of strength or weakness. For one minute one position of strength or weakness, for another minute another.
Force positions are those that show your body that you are in charge in a situation, that you are an alpha male. On the other hand, weakness positions show something completely different. They show helplessness, embarrassment, the opposite of the position of power.
After two minutes of such posing, the participants completed a questionnaire in which they stated how they felt and decided whether they wanted to play a game of chance. Because the research showed that people with more self-confidence and at the same time a higher level of testosterone are more willing to play, because even if the result is purely random, they feel that they will win anyway and have a better chance.
That’s what you call self-confidence, right?
About 17 minutes after posing and completing the questionnaires, saliva samples were collected again to check if the hormone levels had changed. And what were the results? Those in the strength group reported that they felt much stronger and more in control than those in the other group.
Taking a position of strength also meant that 26% more people in this group wanted to play a game of chance. What about hormones?
In relation to the initial level of hormones, which was examined before taking a certain position, people in the strength position experienced a 20% increase in testosterone and a 25% decrease in cortisol levels.
Wow! Those in the weakness position, however, were completely opposite. In them, testosterone levels decreased by 10% and cortisol levels increased by 15%. See – only two minutes of proper body position and such changes. Nice! It was discovered that it would take just two minutes to bring about hormonal changes that would make your brain more assertive, more confident, more controlled and more sensitive to stress.
That’s a pretty good technique for personal development. Only one important point to make here.
Taking a position of strength is a method by which you communicate strength and confidence to yourself, to your body, okay? So don’t use it, or at least very carefully when you’re talking to someone or in the company, because it’s easy to look like, let’s face it, an “arrogant asshole”.
Remember – this is the method by which you show your body that you are in charge, not the others. That you have taken a leading position and need the right qualities, but not the necessary way to show others your alpha position, okay? Because it can be very unpleasantly received.
Therefore, if you have e.g. a presentation, public speaking, an exam, a date, a job interview, a profession or any other situation where you need more self-confidence or you will be judged, find a secluded place where you can take a position of strength for at least 2 minutes and you will be perceived as a completely different person.
By the way, Amy mentions that she did a survey where some people were asked to take either a strength or a weakness position for two minutes and then went to a stressful interview, which was also recorded.
Then four jurors, who had no idea who was in what group or what the survey was about, spoke about who would be hired and who would not. As you can guess, people who took a position of strength before the interview for two minutes turned out much better and in a clash with people from the other group they would get a job.
As the jury described it, those people who had previously taken up a position of strength have a more positive overall impression. As you can see, small improvements can lead to big changes. And it only takes 2 minutes, so make sure you use it before each situation you are judged.
Take a position of strength and adjust your brain to cope in the best way. Raise your testosterone, lower your cortisol and get to work.
Okay, I hope you make good use of this information and it will serve you well.