Christine, who works for a nonprofit organization that helps people with disabilities to abandon the kinds of beliefs that limit them, is an amazing case of someone who inspired us to do more research. After hearing her story, we wondered: is it possible to change your mindset by simply visualizing yourself in a powerful pose?
Our experiment consisted of asking people to briefly visualize themselves in an assigned high-power (i.e., expansive) or low-power (i.e., contractive) pose. When we asked them to tell us how they felt during the imagination exercise, we found that over 75% of the subjects who were assigned the high-power poses described their experience with extremely positive and powerful words, like poised, grounded, open, and strong. Those who’d visualized themselves in the low-power postures responded with negative and powerless words, like anxious, threatened, lonely, and scared.
Christine (and this research) prove to us that you don’t even have to physically power pose, you just have to imagine yourself in a high-power pose in your own little thought bubble.