Check out that picture above. It's Usain Bolt winning yet another race. Look at what he does. He opens up his body and takes on a "power pose." This is not unique to Usain. Even blind people who have never actually seen another person do this when they win. They open up their body.
Contrast that with what we do when we're inferior:
Aw! We close up in defeat.
This is non-verbal communication. In our society, women close up more than men, and men open up more than women. In academia, minorities close up while the confident strike power poses. We can see it in others, but we see it and reflect it in ourselves.
Does this mean we should strike power poses in job interviews? No. But our brain can follow our body's lead. Believe it or not, taking on a power pose for two minutes before being evaluated can lead to significant physiological and psychological changes.
This is all inspired by Smadar Noaz who sent me the video below, with the subject line "Fake it till you become it." This is in contrast to "fake it till you make it."
Feeling small? Feeling a lack of confidence? Here's a 21-minute TED video by Amy Cuddy, a Harvard prof, that very well could change your life! (skip to 16:00 if you're short on time and you'd like to hear her amazing impostor-syndrome story and how she overcame it by faking it until she became it.):