After watching the amazing TED talk on body language by Amy Cuddy I instantly recalled the phrase, “I’ve got the power,” from the 1991 C + C Music Factory song “Everybody Dance Now.” Amy’s presentation of the science behind the idea was both interesting and highly encouraging. Amy’s telling of her own story, and later, her student’s feelings that, “I don’t belong here,” literally moved me to tears.
How many times have I felt that same way; paralyzed with feelings of inadequacy and fear? Yet, like Mark, I had discovered accidentally (really? accidentally?) that certain positions, or poses, of strength had enabled me to walk out on stage and speak, or sing, before various audiences – something I wouldn’t have dared dream of a few years earlier.
Somehow, I too, had managed to fake it till I became it. Now, those things, while not entirely stress free, are not only manageable but deeply enjoyable. Once the music begins the fear falls away.
Amy’s address was a very encouraging and welcome reminder because although I had done this instinctively to overcome certain fears in the past, I hadn’t used it with intent for quite some time. Of course, now I will.
I absolutely love Amy’s plea at the end – that we take this knowledge and give it away freely to those in need – to others who know the heartbreak of feeling that they don’t belong. Let us all stand tall, arms stretched to the heavens, receiving all the boundless strength, courage and confidence that is our birthright. And for those who haven’t yet discovered their own strength, let us help to lift them and to lift their arms for them, until they can stand at last on their own.
Sometimes (to paraphrase yet another song) we can all use a little help from our friends.
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. – Exodus 17; New International Version of the Holy Bible
In case you missed Amy’s talk, here it is again.