Good Posture Can Build Your Confidence

confident womanYour posture is part of the first impression that strangers have of you. People will observe how you stand and move. Their observations will all become part of the initial impression that their mind creates and stores. This is why good posture is so important.

Personally, I think good posture is underrated as a tool to help build and project confidence. When you read articles about building your confidence, it’s common to see advice to attend to your personal hygiene and dress the part. However, in my opinion, neither of these particularly matter if you’re not standing up straight.

There are two main benefits from good posture. The first, that good posture helps you move efficiently, is internal and personal to yourself. Moving fluidly and with ease will help build your confidence.

The second benefit actually has very little to do with you as a person. Instead, it’s more about what people think and how people feel when they meet a stranger with good posture. Even without actually doing anything, you can still benefit from the positive emotions that reside in the subconscious mind of a stranger.

Even though this is technically my third tip, you can work on your posture as a way to invest in yourself, and you should definitely use good posture when you’re teaching others.

Good Posture Helps You Move Efficiently

When I was getting my continuing education one year, we started talking about how postural deviations negatively impact strength. Let’s take the shoulder as an example. I tend to have rounded shoulders and my scapulas slightly are more toward the outside of my rib cage than they should be. This means I’m not in neutral.

Now, I’m not in pain. I don’t have any shoulder issues per se, and I like to think that my shoulders are pretty strong. So, I was very surprised when my straight arm wasn’t able to hold resistance against my instructor’s open palm. Time and again, I’d raise my arm, he would apply pressure, and my body would buckle.

Mind you, my arm never lowered. My shoulder muscles stayed just as active as ever. However, because of the compromised position of my shoulder girdle, my body just couldn’t support the resistance.

Then, he started putting my shoulder girdle back together correctly, cueing activation of this muscle and relaxation of that. He probably only took about two minutes to get the bones and muscles set up in a much more neutral position. This time, I was easily able to maintain resistance against his hand.

You see, the body is set up so that if you keep neutral alignment, you will be able to move with more ease. It is even true that you will be able to lift heavier objects when you are in neutral than when you are not.

This ease of movement, facility of strength, will make your movements appear fluid and effortless. In my opinion, the ability to make something look effortless is a component of confidence. Plus, if doing something otherwise challenging feels effortless today, you’re going to feel good about that. That good feeling should translate to a boost in your confidence level.

Good Posture Projects Confidence

Now you understand the science behind how good posture builds your confidence, but there’s more to it than that. Embedded within us are positive associations with good posture.

Imagine a person standing in front of you with good posture. I bet you think they’re good looking. That may be because, when analyzing attractiveness of strangers, people with good posture are frequently graded-up.

Now, think about what they’re wearing. Whether casual or business, it probably looks really nice, maybe even stylish.

For example, let’s take Adam Levine on The Voice. I remember a season where I think he wore wrinkly, ratty white undershirts the whole time. However, that guy has some great posture, so instead of thinking he looked terrible, I thought he looked stylish.

adam levine with a ripped white shirt

But let’s return to our imaginary person. Look at your imaginary person with good posture. They’re about to give you information. Do you believe them? Yes, because standing with good posture sends a message to the observer’s subconscious.

When you see a person with good posture, automatically your subconscious will start feeding you information. It may tell you that the person is intelligent and attractive, trustworthy and knowledgeable. The positives associated with good posture are numerous.

Now, repeat this exercise and think about someone with bad posture. I bet your results aren’t the same.

What are some of your tricks to keep good posture during the day? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sarah Stockett is STOTT certified in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, Injuries & Special Populations, and CORE; a Yoga Alliance RYT-200; and has studied Active Isolated Stretching. When she is not trying to discover the best exercises to get rid of pain, she likes watching movies and travelling with her family.

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