Vanessa Van Edwards is a published author and a behavioral investigator. Vanessa’s workshops and courses teach individuals how to succeed in business and life. She has been featured on NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the Today Show and USA Today.
This week on Sam’s Dream Blog, Vanessa shares how to use pain points to your advantage, how to overcome nerves, and how good body language makes a big difference.
Sam's Dream Blog: From your bio on Udemy, you discovered your passion for teaching about body language from a former pain point of being a “recovered awkward person.” How important are pain points in discovering one’s dreams or what makes that person come alive?
Vanessa Van Edwards: I think if you want to be successful, you have to be able to relate to your customers, readers, and team members. If you have pain points, you can literally feel their pain. This helps you address needs, be more relatable and tap into what truly inspires us. Pain is also a crazy good motivator. We will do anything to get our bodies and minds out of pain and this will push you better than any motivator.
SDB: Speaking of body language, how do you avoid giving off the wrong signals when you don’t want to be in a situation or when you are really nervous?
Vanessa Van Edwards: Power posing! Sometimes you can't help being nervous. But you can help your body’s response to nerves. When you expand your body--widen your arms, tilt your chin up and forehead back you power up your testosterone and this helps you feel good and perform well.
SDB: Can you give me an example of a before-and-after, so to speak, how improved body language made a big difference in a positive way?
Vanessa Van Edwards: I have a very specific example for you. I pitched a conference to be a speaker. They did not book me. That year I learned how to use my hands as trust indicators and to use the power of leaning (2 body language techniques). When I pitched again I got the gig! One lady on the committee said I was like a completely different person--but it was the exact same pitch.