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Behavioral Finance

Achieving Presence: An Interview with Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy

Author of the new book "Presence," Amy Cuddy teaches us how to use simple techniques to liberate ourselves from fear in high-pressure moments, perform at our best, and connect with and empower others to do the same.

Articles by Jill Schlesinger

By Jill Schlesinger, CFP®
  |  Published: March 8, 2018

Life is full of challenges, both personally and professionally.

Today’s interview with Amy Cuddy is the perfect example. It took a full year to pin her down, and that’s no exaggeration. But Amy was well-worth the wait. I was enchanted with her from the start of our conversation.

Have you ever left a nerve-racking challenge and immediately wished for a do over? Maybe after a job interview, a performance, or a difficult conversation?

The very moments that require us to be genuine and commanding can instead cause us to feel phony and powerless.

Too often we approach our lives’ biggest hurdles with dread, execute them with anxiety, and leave them with regret.

By accessing our personal power, we can achieve “presence,” the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we’re making on others and instead adjust the impression we’ve been making on ourselves. Does this sound a bit out there to you? RELAX…Amy breaks it down in a way that resonates.

We don’t need to embark on a grand spiritual quest or complete an inner transformation to harness the power of presence. Instead, we need to nudge ourselves, moment by moment, by tweaking our body language, behavior, and mind-set in our day-to-day lives. To get started, consider this: “Listening is crucial to presence…Real listening can’t happen unless we have a sincere desire to understand what we’re hearing.”

Amy Cuddy has galvanized tens of millions of viewers around the world with her TED talk about “power poses.”

With the paperback release of her bestselling book, Presence, she teaches us how to use simple techniques to liberate ourselves from fear in high-pressure moments, perform at our best, and connect with and empower others to do the same.

Listen to the full interview with social psychologist Amy Cuddy

The opinions stated on the Better Off podcast are those of the host, Jill Schlesinger, and her guests, and not those of Betterment or its employees. Any third party links provided are offered as a matter of convenience and are not intended to imply that Betterment endorses, or is affiliated with the owners of or any information contained on those sites, unless expressly stated otherwise. Listen to a preview and subscribe to “Better Off” here.

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