Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges

by Amy Cuddy

Number of pages: 344

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

BBB Library: Personal Success

ISBN: 978-0-316-30562-4

About the Author

Amy Joy Casselberry Cuddy is an American social psychologist, author and lecturer known for her research on stereotyping and discrimination, emotions, power, nonverbal behavior, and the effects of social stimuli on hormone levels.


Editorial Review

Presence is the state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express our true thoughts, feelings, values, and potential. That's it. It is not a permanent, transcendent mode of being. It comes and goes. It is a moment-to-moment phenomenon. Presence emerges when we feel personally powerful, which allows us to be acutely attuned to our most sincere selves. In this psychological state, we are able to maintain presence even in the very stressful situations that typically make us feel distracted and powerless. When we feel present, our speech, facial expressions, postures, and movements align. They synchronize and focus. And that internal convergence, that harmony, is palpable and resonant — because it's real. It's what makes us compelling. We are no longer fighting ourselves; we are being ourselves. We create honest, powerful connection internally, with ourselves.

Book Reviews

“Unlike most authors of such books, Cuddy brings an abundance of humility and charm to the page. Her interest in “impostor syndrome,” which she dis­cusses at length, arises from personal experience.” — The New York Times

“Amy Cuddy encourages readers to see transformative power in small ‘nudges’ in behaviour, body language and mind-set that can generate a better sense of ‘presence’ in our everyday lives.” — The London School of Economics and Political Science

“An uneven book studded with genuine insights that public speakers will find useful.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Drawing insights from successful venture capitalists and from a host of social psychology studies conducted by herself and others, Cuddy discusses self-affirmation, the role hormones play in confidence, mood enhancement via facial expression, and reinterpreting anxiety as excitement.” — Publishers Weekly

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Wisdom to Share

Presence is the state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express our true thoughts, feelings, values, and potential.

Presence is about the every day. It's even ordinary. We can all do it; most of us just don't yet know how to summon that presence when it temporarily escapes us at life's most critical moments.

Presence isn't about pretending to be competent; it's about believing in and revealing the abilities you truly have.

Sometimes you have to get out of the way of yourself so you can be yourself.

When we are trying to manage the impression we're making on others, we're choreographing ourselves in an unnatural way.

Focus less on the impression you're making on others and more on the impression you're making on yourself. This is because the latter serves the former.

Sadly, confidence is often confused with cockiness. Real confidence does not equal blind faith in an idea.

The paradox of listening is that by relinquishing power — the temporary power of speaking, asserting, knowing — we become more powerful.

Power makes us approach. Powerlessness makes us avoid.

If feeling powerless inhibits us, depletes us, and generally throws us off our game, it's also true that feeling powerful does the opposite.