5 Things You Should Quit Doing With Your Body If You Want To Be Successful

There is nothing worse than a limp-wristed spaghetti handshake, unless it’s the reverse – the deathly crush of a handshake that says: I’m totally confident, can’t you tell? Ahem, sadly NO!

There is nothing worse than a limp-wristed spaghetti handshake, unless it’s the reverse – the deathly crush of a handshake that says: I’m totally confident, can’t you tell? Ahem, sadly NO!

When it comes to making a first impression, Forbes tells us that “these computations are made at lightning speed — making major decisions about one another in the first seven seconds of meeting.” If we have just 7 seconds, we better not screw it up!

I’ve spent many years studying posture and this passion was fueled by my story, my own journey from bad posture to good. The one thing that I have learned in my years of helping people correct their bad posture, is that how we look on the outside often mimics exactly how we are feeling on the inside.

How others see us in business, likely determines whether or not we get the job, win the client or make the sale. We can’t afford to bumble our chances of success with unattractive, uncertain, body langauge.

There are a ton of posture confidence tricks – 10 of which I cover in my book, The Posture Doctor – that will help you improve your professional image. I thought I’d give you the three biggest things you should quit doing with your body (right now), if you want to be successful:

Stand Tall


Many of you will have forgotten how to stand tall due to the inevitability of our desk-based lives. Try this little exercise to reduce forward head leaning – Bonus, you may actually gain some height!

And do make sure you stand tall when you meet someone new.



Stop Fidgeting


Seriously though, you’re making me nervous! Stop the nervous habits. Get your hands away from your mouth, your hair, your nails and your lips (that one is mine – I have to really watch I don’t pick at my lips … yes, attractive image isn’t it). Stop the feverish texting. Just be still. Confident people rarely look nervous and fidgety.

Look Up 


My friends don’t believe me when I tell them I am shy. I am – ask my mother. I learned a long time ago how to fake confidence with good posture. Over time, I have become more confident and you can too. Not looking down is something I still have to practice. Try to meet people’s eyes – in the elevator, passing them in the hallway or on the street. Don’t be creepy (that’s just weird) but a soft gentle gaze with a friendly smile is a winning combination!

When it comes to successful body language, you’ve only got 7 seconds to make a first impression – Make gentle eye contact, be still with your body and remember to stand tall and you never know, you just might get that promotion!

What are your absolute body no-nos when it comes to successful first impressions?

5 Ways Focus Can Improve Posture and Get You Noticed

It’s all made possible because the brain doesn’t really distinguish between whether you’re doing something or whether you’re just imagining it. So how else could your mental focus influence your body?

Evidence shows that there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the mind impacts the body. Check out these four body sensations:

  • butterflies
  • sweaty palms
  • dry mouth
  • blushing

These physiological body sensations seemingly occur without our say-so. Now think of someone you love or feel affection toward. As you do this, you’ll produce love chemistry in your brain – dopamine and serotonin – the brain’s natural version of heroin, and all with only a thought; your focus on love.

Placebos


Consider the placebo effect that occurs when people taking a so-called “dummy pill” actually begin to experience the effects of the real pill. The people in medical trials who improved on placebos, didn’t heal from the dummy pill but from the belief or focus on their healing.

Now let’s take your body chemistry a little farther and use your mind to change your brain. If I asked you to focus on your big toe for instance and all you do is put your attention on your big toe, we could measure electrical and chemical changes in the brain area that correspond to your big toe.

It’s all made possible because the brain doesn’t really distinguish between whether you’re doing something or whether you’re just imagining it. So how else could your mental focus influence your body?

Focus


Motivational change guru Tony Robins says that “whatever you focus on you’re going to find it.” So try this now: Focus on the colour green and take the next 30 seconds to notice everything green in the room that you are in … go on, really do this.

How much red did you see? Probably not very much, because you were focussed on blue. Now focus on the following five examples. Only focus your mind and do not actually move your body. Take 20-30 seconds each:

  • Imagine that your body is long and tall
  • Imagine your chest is broad, open and full
  • Imagine yourself smiling and the things you are smiling about
  • Imagine your body is loose and flexible
  • Imagine your body is strong and the things you are able to do

If you really do this, you should notice that you feel rather positive about yourself and your body image. Now go ahead and focus again on each step, but this time move your body. Try them individually first and then do all five at once. Take a couple of minutes to do this.

Power Posing


If you spend just two minutes a day (recall Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk on power posing) focusing on your body in this way, you would begin to see changes in your posture. This would certainly affect the way you feel about yourself and very likely change how others see you. Having posture presence will get you noticed and that feels good!



Improving your posture isn’t just a physical experience. With just two minutes of focussed practice daily, you can develop your posture presence and you know what? Others will notice.

Do I Have a Scoliosis – 5 Clinical Signs

The cause of a large proportion of scoliosis is unknown. Approximately 30% of scoliosis appears due to genetic defect (funny shaped vertebra and rib malformations). Many more girls than boys are diagnosed with scoliosis and are usually between the ages of ten and skeletal maturity (around age 21).

Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that causes both the spine and ribcage to rotate. As a result of this, the shoulders, trunk and hips are often asymmetrical. This can lead to muscular and/or joint pain, loss of confidence and early wear and tear, or osteoarthritis.

Scoliosis comes from the Greek word skolios, meaning twisted or crooked. There are two types of scoliosis – structural (a fixed curve that doesn’t straighten out when bending) and a non-structural scoliosis (a non-fixed curve that straightens with bending and is often due to a leg length deficiency or poor postural habits).

The cause of a large proportion of scoliosis is unknown. Approximately 30% of scoliosis appears due to genetic defect (funny shaped vertebra and rib malformations). Many more girls than boys are diagnosed with scoliosis and are usually between the ages of ten and skeletal maturity (around age 21).

Other causes of scoliosis include nerve or muscle disease, infection, radiation, trauma, tumour and arthritic joint disease. If you are interested, you can read a more detailed account in my best-selling book, The Posture Doctor.

If you are worried that you or your child may have a scoliosis, there are a few signs you should look for:

5 clinical signs of scoliosis


1. One shoulder is noticeably lower than the other. Look in the mirror or have someone else check from behind.

2. Rib prominence causes your shoulder blade to protrude or one breast appears noticeably larger.

3. One hip may appear elevated with asymmetrical body contours.

4. A noticeable difference (asymmetry) in skin creases appear on your flank.

5. Something just doesn’t look right.

I can’t stress this sign enough. So many of my clients come to me asking for a Posture Analysis saying ‘something just doesn’t look right when I look in the mirror.’ Human beings are bilaterians. That means that we are the same (symmetrical) on either side of our central axis or center of gravity. We have two ears, two eyes, two arms, two legs, two kidneys, two ovaries etc. This is nature’s clever design. Symmetry is perceived as being more attractive.

Symmetry has been extensively studied in relation to attractiveness and what we do know is that symmetry is a visual cue for attractiveness. Chances are that if you think something is really wrong with your posture (which shows up as body asymmetry) when you look in the mirror, you are probably right, because it makes you feel less attractive. This is why we like ourselves in some photographs but not in others. The photos that catch our differences in symmetry are the images that make us cringe.

Of course attractiveness is only one of many good reasons to improve our posture. Do you think you have a scoliosis? Please share below.