All of us have fears that inhibit us getting out of our comfort zones and ultimately show up in our body language. Unfortunately, there are different types of predators (sexual, emotional, financial) who look for and recognize those indicators of anxiety as a softer target they can exploit. However, each one of us also has an inner hero. As we find ways to practice being that superhero, in our most vulnerable times, we can reach into that alter ego to become the person we need to be. The associated confidence of the hero also manifests itself in our body language, making us look less vulnerable to predators.
In Johnston McCulley’s novel, the Mask of Zorro, Don Diego de la Vega, as a child, realized he was not strong enough to fight the injustices of the day. Until he could build the strength and support to fight those wrongs, he created Zorro. In secret, he practiced everything that would make him successful in his goals. Eventually he was able to reveal himself. Only then could he explain that the strengths and weaknesses of both Don Diego and Zorro were all his because they were the same person.
“One half of me was the languid Don Diego you all knew, and the other half was the Curse of Capistrano I hoped one day to be. And then the time came, and my work began. It is a peculiar thing to explain, señores. The moment I donned cloak and mask, the Don Diego part of me fell away. My body straightened, new blood seemed to course through my veins, my voice grew strong and firm, fire came to me! And the moment I removed cloak and mask I was the languid Don Diego again. Is it not a peculiar thing?”
Who is your alter ego? Become that person when you need to be strong and your body language will display indicators of confidence that will make predators think twice.