What does that mean? Physiology before thought? You probably have some idea of what thoughts are. Physiology, is about how we move our bodies and how our bodies function.
In the western world we are taught to think our way through things. We are taught to use our thoughts to create, to make decisions, to navigate our way through our challenges, to find solutions to problems. For example, if we had an old car and we wanted to replace it with a new car, we would begin by:
- Thinking about what is wrong with the old car
- Thinking about why we think we need a new car
- Thinking about what we need to do to get a new car
- Thinking about what it would be like to own and drive the new car
We think our way through the problem and how to reach the solution. We may even think about the dream of what it will be like when we no longer have the problem and the solution is part of our lives.
After we have spend time thinking our way through this, the idea would be to start taking action based on the thoughts we have thought. In other words, our actions (physiology) come after our thinking. This seems totally logical right?
What if though, we have the order back to front. What if our physiology (actions) need to come before our thoughts?
This could be particularly significant especially when we know that our thoughts can be extremely negative and repetitive. Our thoughts affect how we feel about ourselves and how we show up in the world. If we are using our thoughts to navigate through the world and they are the very things that could be limiting us, then we may never take action, and we are likely to take action that keeps us in line with our negative thought stream.
Did you ever want to be a super hero?
When I think about the days of my life when I ran around pretending to be a super hero, it was all about assuming the identity of the super hero. One thing that stands out in my memories is what I did with my body.
- How I stood,
- How I moved
- The stances I would assume
- The way I would speak
My physiology changed in order to be able to “be” the super hero and while I was in this new physiology my world would feel different. I would feel different. I would think differently.
The impossible would begin to seem possible.
If the way we hold our bodies has an impact on how we show up in the world then it may be worth understanding more about our physiology, our body language.
Recently I came across Amy Cuddy who in her research, suggests that our body language governs how we think and feel about ourselves, and thus, how we hold our bodies can have an impact on our minds.
In other words, when we hold a particular stance or pose, we can actually make ourselves feel more powerful.
In her research Amy Cuddy discovered that there were both low-power and high-power poses and when people sat or stood in the high-power poses, they felt more powerful than those who stood in the low-power poses.
One of the power poses involves you standing with your hands on your hips, with a good wide stance, and holding this pose for at least two minutes. By holding your physiology in this way, you begin to feel more powerful. Your thoughts begin to match your physiology and you are able to go out into the world and totally ROCK it! Imagine the possibilities. By changing how you hold your body, you are able to change what you think about yourself. From this new empowered place you can step into the world fully embodying your gifts and shining your uniqueness into the world.
Here is a beautiful example of a power pose…
This is the TED talk that Any Cuddy gave where she explains her research and how the power poses affect our physiology and our thoughts.
Imagine the applications this could have in your life, in your business. If you begin leading your life through your physiology, the world around you begins to respond to you differently. The things that you have been wanting to do, but haven’t felt you have the courage to do them, well now you can.
Start standing in a power pose. Hold it for 2 minutes, and watch how your world begins to ROCK!
I see you