Change Your Posture, Change Your Life
You’re in the process of interviewing two individuals for a job. Bob and Stacey are both highly qualified. They both graduated with honors and their work experience make them excellent candidates for your Company. Now you have the unenviable task of choosing between the two.
You think back during their interviews to try and remember something that would differentiate them from each other. During Bob’s interview, even though he seemed to have command of his subject matter, he lacked a bit of confidence, his voice would drop low at times, and his posture was a little slumped. Stacey, on the other hand, was confident, spoke clearly, and her posture was naturally straight, whether she was standing or sitting.
All things being equal, the person with the most confidence will be the most successful. Contrary to what most people think, confidence can be taught, learned, and practiced.
Try this: slump your shoulders, lower your head to look at the floor, and recite your favorite poem loudly, clearly, and with authority. Although you may have been able to sustain that for a few moments, it was probably difficult. With your head lowered, your windpipe was bent and you couldn’t breathe properly. With your shoulders slumped, your lungs couldn’t expand fully when you inhaled. In that position, your vocal chords couldn’t resonate clearly and your voice was being directed towards the floor. If someone could hear your clearly, it was probably loud enough, or vice versa,
When you look at a professional speaker, a political or military leader, or a performer, you will see that their posture is always naturally aligned whether their sitting or standing. Their voice is clear and confident and they speak, act, or sing with authority.
You can have that confidence too with a simple exercise.
In Tai Chi Chuan, Qigong, Yoga, and Meditation, we put a lot of focus on a relaxed posture. The vertebrae of the spine should be naturally aligned so that gravity pulls the body straight down. This allows us to relax our muscles. If the body leans, even a millimeter, gravity with pull the body in that direction and the muscles will counteract the pull so you won’t fall down. This creates tension in the body, which creates tension in the mind, and any chance of relaxing is impossible.
To correct your posture, stand with your feet shoulder width, your knees slightly bent. Your joints should be relaxed and supple. Your lower back should be flat with your tail bone slightly tucked. Lift the crown of your head (not the top of your head) as if it was attached by a string. Your jaw should be slightly lowered. With your crown lifted and your tail bone tucked, your spine should be naturally aligned with your vertebrae stacked one on top of the other.
As you stand, imagine your crown being lifted high into the heavens as your feet are being solidly rooted to the ground. Practice this stance daily. Anytime you’re standing in line, walking around the office, brushing your teeth, stand in this natural, aligned, and relaxed stance. When you sit, your crown should still be lifted, but now your tail bone should be rooted to the chair.
After a time, this will become natural. You may feel aches and pains as your body gets accustomed to this stance. You may even need to see a professional such as a Chiropractor, Massage Therapist, or Physical Therapist, to aid the body.
Imagine how you’ll look when people see you standing with confidence, speaking with authority, and commanding attention. All with a simple change to your posture. And as you congratulate Stacey and welcome her to the Company, you realize that with her confidence, she’ll go far in the Company.