Wanting power is something to which I believe most human beings can relate. So much so that it seems fair to dub this urge part of human nature itself. Along with power, come control, success, respect and an entirely novel outlook on life.
The need for attaining power is what drives all people — from those working within a small community to those functioning on a global platform. Some of the greatest progress in history is a result of the search for power. Likewise, some of history’s most horrific tragedies and atrocities are also the result of an individual or group of individuals trying to gain power, or rather trying to make their power be known.
Take, for example , current events, mainly the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The new leader is attempting to establish his power by threatening the world with his nuclear power. Stupid? Yes, but nevertheless it is completely human — history will only concur; it isn’t the first time that the hunger for power has led a person to such extremes.
Assuming that most of us aren’t so insane that we are on the verge of starting a third World War, having a bit of power can be very useful. The trick to power is not so much worrying about attaining power, but rather worrying about feeling powerful.
There is a way to increase how powerful you feel in just two minutes. There have been studies done showing that standing in a “power stance” for just two minutes will significantly increase how powerful you feel. Human beings communicate greatly on a non-verbal level. It has now been proven that your posture alone not only affects those surrounding you, but affects you yourself on a chemical level.
Power stances are universal — from the animal kingdom to the human kingdom. Making ourselves larger, standing up straighter, having our chests open and puffed up, having our hands out and over our heads, all affect us positively if done for a long enough period of time.
Practicing these stances for only two minutes prior to an important meeting or an interview can greatly influence the outcome of the meeting. These stances increase a person’s testosterone — the hormone related to the feeling of dominance — and decrease a person’s level of cortisol — the hormone related to stress.
So practicing a power stance on a regular basis is likely to increase your overall mood as well as your feelings of power. This is just one way that the body can affect the brain. This got me thinking…if the way that we stand can affect our mood, do other aspects of our outer, visible persona have the ability to change our mood for the better?
If we want to attain power, then the fastest route is to pretend like we already have power; we need to fake it until we make it. Most of you have already heard this saying before, as well as the saying: if you want the part, dress the part.
When you meet a person, unless you had the chacne to Google him or her prior, the only information that you have about them is what is being presented to you in your field of vision. What their person resonates is what your senses pick up on and is from where you draw your conclusions about that person’s character and agenda. This is what every person does when they meet someone new and it's what people are doing when they meet you.
A large part of power is having influence over others. If someone meets you and you are resonating power and authority, then that person is likely to react to your appearance and body language in confirmation, taking on a weaker stance.
This of course can work against you if you are meeting with a figure that clearly either has or believes she has authority over you — so choose where you strut your stuff wisely. The last thing you want to do is clash with another alpha when you are still in your “faking it” stage.
Nevertheless, adopting a posture and attire that resonate with power will slowly begin not only to change the way that people see you, but the way that you see yourself. You will slowly go from faking power to actually feeling powerful. Once you feel powerful, others will only acknowledge it and reinforce it.
The process is rather simple. Begin with practicing the power stance every day for two minutes — if you are a yoga practitioner, practice the tree pose. Then, pick clothing that matches the new persona that you are trying to adopt. Colors, patterns, suits versus jeans -- everything matters.
There are tons of resources that you can find online outlining the perfect attire in order to most efficiently influence people. Focus on your entire outer appearance from your hair and watch to your gestures and facial responses. You must dress and act the part day in and day out until your confidence and feeling of power increases to the point that the way that people see you and interact with you also changes.
Sure, it may feel like you are living a lie for a few months, but it isn’t a lie; you are living the life that you want to live. Yes, a bit prematurely, but it will get you where you want to be faster than any other method. You need to fake it until you become it. Once you become it, well…that’s for you to decide.
Paul Hudson | Elite.
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