Dear Neighbors, This is Why I Was In The Backyard Posing Like Wonder Woman Today

“If you pretend to be someone long enough, it’s not pretending.”

That’s what Sheriff Shelby Parlow told the whore with the heart of gold struggling to pull herself back onto the path of righteousness the other night on FX network’s Justified.

If You Pretend To Be Someone Long Enough, It’s Not Pretending.

What the good sheriff didn’t tell the wayward lass was exactly how long you have to pretend before you’re no longer pretending.

How long do you have to fake it before you make it?

Turns out it doesn’t take nearly as long as you might think:

Just two minutes a day according to Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy who has spent a lifetime studying non verbal signals and body language.

In this TED video, Cuddy explains her surprise discovery that the most significant audience for the subtle cues of body language may not be those around us, but ourselves.

Researchers have long known that nonverbal expressions of power and dominance can dramatically alter how we are perceived by others in almost every social setting from job interviews to the workplace to family dinners.

But she documents a link between testosterone, the hormone of dominance, cortisol, the stress hormone, and how just a couple of minutes assuming a non verbal expression of power and dominance can change our actual body chemistry, boosting testosterone and lowering cortisol. In turn increasing our sex drive, our appetite for risk, our social engagement and decreasing our stress reactions.

If we pretend to be powerful, confident and assertive for just two minutes a day, our body’s physiology changes in structural ways that make us become more powerful, confident and assertive.

Our minds change our bodies, but our bodies can also change our minds.

Raising both hands to the sky, head and body uplifted, is a universal cue for pride and joy. Even children and the blind who have never seen such a display by others will raise their arms at moments of celebration.

The gesture itself is called pride and simply standing with your arms in the air, face upturned to the sky, floods the brain with same joy chemicals as if you had actually done something worth celebrating. As will assuming any of a half dozen other open, expansive, dominant body poses, including standing in your backyard, face turned toward the sun, hands on your hips while the neighbors pretend not to notice.

Our minds change our bodies. Our bodies change our minds. Our minds change our behaviors. And our behaviors change our outcomes.

Your grandmother told you to sit up straight and that clothes make the man.

Dale Carnegie told you to “Act Enthusiastic and You’ll Be Enthusiastic.”

Ronald Reagan told you that he couldn’t imagine actually being President without having first been an actor to prepare for the role.

We are who we pretend to be.

We are the lie we tell the world and we’ve known it all along.

Now we know how long it takes for the lie to become the truth.

Terry LancasterTerry Lancaster is the VP of Making S#!% Happen at Instant Events Automotive Advertising, father of 3 teenage daughters and a Beer League Hockey All Star, as if there could ever be such a thing.

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