LISTEN// Amy Cuddy on the power of pretending | Interview By: Susan Rocco
Here is what I learned from Amy Cuddy:
“Fake it till you make it really works!” At 19, Cuddy was in a horrific car accident that caused a serious brain injury. It left her with feelings of anxiety, frustration and confusion. Doctors told her she would never fully recover. They suggested that she would have significant challenges finishing her undergraduate degree. This was not an option for Amy — this suggestion alone left her more determined to succeed. Cuddy decided that she would “pretend” to have the confidence and power she needed through her body language to get through the high-pressure situations. What she calls “power posing” increases feelings of power and competence. Over time, it actually allowed her to sustain her belief that she was meant to be exactly where she was. This phenomena Amy to the groundbreaking research she is known for today.
No one is ever without nerves in stressful situations. I asked Amy whether she felt she belonged at that infamous TED Talk in 2012. No matter how much research or learning is done on this topic, we are all prone to moments of nervousness and insecurities throughout our lives – and will continue to be. But now we have the tools to push through moments of self-doubt and perform at our highest level in spite of the fear. It also provides the science behind the fact that our nonverbal behavior has power over our emotions and can be a tremendous advantage. It also is a validation that no matter our status in life, we are all the same. “No one is above feelings of insecurity, and if they are, I am suspicious of them,” Cuddy said.
“When you try to do everything, you’re not doing anything well.” As a world- renowned figure, Amy receives daily requests for her time, feedback and contributions in the field of social psychology. I asked her how she managed this overwhelm of interest in her work and the phenomena of “power posing.” “I certainly have feelings of guilt often when I have to say no.” Amy learned that she needed help to not only manage the day-to-day influx of information and scheduling but to have advisers to help her decide what she should be doing. Having people in our lives that have first-hand knowledge of what we’re facing day-to-day keeps us grounded.
To listen to the complete interview, go to www.women2watch.net and click on podcast.
Originally posted on Bizwomen.com. Philly Femfessional Susan Rocco is a weekly columnist for Bizwomen.com, The Business Journals. Sue Rocco is the founder, producer and host of Women to Watch, a live radio program and weekly podcast with a mission to inspire and encourage more women to pursue leadership roles worldwide.