Chemistry matters when it comes to personal power (and by extension) personal presence.

In her excellent book on the subject of presence, Amy Cuddy highlights some interesting research on the role of two hormones (testosterone and cortisol) and feeling powerful.

Testosterone is related to confidence and drive.  Cortisol is related to anxiety and stress.  People reporting high feelings of powerfulness tested high for testosterone and low for cortisol.  People reporting low feelings of powerfulness (powerlessness) tested low for testosterone and high for cortisol.

I find this interesting and a simple explanation for the benefits of exercise as part of a performance routine.  A great training day can both stimulate testosterone and reduce cortisol at the same time.  That hormone profile is the profile of feeling powerful.  Feeling powerful opens up more possibilities for action and helps to be more present in the face of opportunities and challenges.  So the argument should not be “I don’t have time to train”, but rather “I can’t afford NOT to train.”  The benefits are manifold and include feeling more powerful in your life and work.  Thank you, science.

What would be the benefit of feeling more powerful throughout your day?