Powering up

Now that I've sold you on Power Posturing, you're about to feel cheated . Why? Because it's so darned easy . Virtually effortless, in fact You'll wonder how something so basic can also be so life-changing You'll think I overestimated by telling you it will make you feel better, look better, lose weight, and get a partner You'll think "no pain, no gain" and wonder if I'm selling snake oil But try it It really does work No one says everything good has to be hard to do

Get yourself in front of a full-length mirror. If possible, find a place where you can see your back and side views too . Stand nude or in your underwear (unless you're doing it in a public place of course, but I suggest you'll feel safer in the privacy of your own bathroom or bedroom).

Stand normally . And I mean normally, no cheating .

Now, take these ten simple steps:

1. Pull yourself up to full height by stretching your spine as though you're trying to touch the ceiling with the top of your head . This will make you look pounds lighter

2. Keep your head straight, so that your chin is held at a right angle

3. Wriggle your toes to make yourself feet-aware . Your feet are your power base, like the roots of a tree . If your feet aren't "well-planted"—for example, you're wearing wobbly high heels or your body weight is unevenly distributed because you're shifting between one foot and the other or your legs are crossed—then you're depleting your own personal power dramatically I'm no fan of sensible shoes but it's possible for women to wear boots or well-balanced shoes that create a feeling of power A higher heel can add to this perceived self-confidence but please steer clear of anything that makes you teeter about Men's shoes are designed for proper power walking but women tend to wear shoes that aren't practical This adds to the perception of inequality and an unequal power-versus-status balance in the workplace. Stand with your body weight evenly balanced on your feet

4. Roll your shoulders in a circle, upward first and forward, then back and down . Keep them in the back and down position

5. Allow your fingertips to brush against the sides of your thighs

6. Subtly push your lower pelvis forward a little so that your spine is completely straight This entails pushing your bottom in and under . (Men should be rather more subtle with this move than women .)

7 . Take a deep breath in, and then allow all the air to be expelled from your lungs in a slow exhale

8. Pull your stomach in.

9. Realign your shoulders in case they've slumped as you exhaled

10. Smile!

Look in the mirror again. How do you look? How do you feel? Better? More positive? How long did that take? A couple of seconds? I told you it was easy . Now all you've got to work out is how to get that charismatic posture in motion so you can get off to work

Continue reading here: Your pole position

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