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13 Incredible Things About Highly Creative People You Can’t Miss

13 Incredible Things About Highly Creative People You Can’t Miss
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Creativity works in a mysterious way often leaving us baffled. Inspiration and great ideas often pop up out of the blue and fail to show up when we need them. The science gives us a complex picture of creativity. However, there is a couple of telltale characteristics creative people possess that make them so unusually attractive, odd, and worth admiring at the same time!

1. They daydream a lot

They are here, but their minds are miles away during your conversation. Don’t be mad at them. It’s just the way they are! In fact, despite what teachers may have always told you, daydreaming isn’t a waste of time. According to this research, letting your mind wander can boost the process of “creative incubation,” or idea generation. Many of us know that often our best ideas come seemingly out of the blue when our minds are hovering in the clouds. Daydreaming actually involves the same brain processes associated with creativity and imagination.

2. They choose to work at odd hours

Many great creatives are known for working during odd hours. Haruki Murakami and Sylvia Plath preferred to get up at 4 a.m. and focus on writing for 5-6 hours during the day, and so did Nabokov, who also preferred to start writing once he got out of bed. On the other hand, Feodor Dostoyevsky was a night owl and wrote when it was dark and quite. Frank Lloyd Wright woke up at 3-4 a.m., and worked for a few hours before returning to sleep for a couple more hours. The creative type will figure out the times when creativity strikes most and structure the rest of the day accordingly. Don’t expect them to fit into a standard 9-to-5 grind.

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3. They have special rituals

The little unusual things they do when they need to spark creativity, focus on work or just get into the mood. Nabokov liked to soak for 20 minutes in a hot bath, with a sponge on his head when he needed to restore his mojo. James Joyce had a signature white coat he preferred to wear during work and mainly wrote lying on his stomach in bed with a blue pencil. Dali invented his own power nap technique. He would clutch a key in his hand, sit down in a chair and place his hand over a metal dish. Once he was falling asleep, the key would slip from his fingers and bang noisily on the plate, waking him from the brief moments when he had barely lost consciousness. Igor Stravinsky, the composer, began his day by standing on his head for 10 minutes to “clear the brains.” If you live with a creative type, you’ll soon discover their odd and curious habits and fascinating rituals that help them stay inspired.

4. They easily lose track of the time

Once a creative gets “into the zone” or what’s defined as the flow state – a mental state when a person transcends conscious thought to reach a heightened state of effortless concentration and calmness – they become immune to any external distractions and can stay focused on crafting for hours without keeping an eye on the time. Have you ever noticed how baffled they look when you say them it’s been already late evening and they spent the whole day at work?

5. They surround themselves with beauty

Creative folks usually have excellent taste and prefer to surround themselves with aesthetically appealing things. Studies show that musicians express particularly strong response to visually appealing objects and goodness.

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6. They are always curious

Creatives are not afraid to challenge the status quo and ask big questions typically starting with “What if….” They are immensely curious about different things surrounding them, always eager to know how things work and why do they work this and not the other way.

7. They take advantage of the life’s hardships

When life give them lemons, they squeeze out the juice, drink it and in the process create a new art piece about their painful experience. Numerous songs, books and paintings were created as a result of some strong emotional pain like heartbreak, grief or some other serious trauma. In fact, scientists proved that overcoming wrenching emotional pain and stressful life experiences if tackled correctly, can boost personal growth, interpersonal relationships, spirituality and creativity as one starts to see new possibilities in life and treasure them more. Today, there’s a whole new field of psychology called post-traumatic growth helping people turn their past emotional traumas into creative energy and subsequent growth.

8. They have no fear of being alone

Embracing solitude and appreciating it helps the creative to free their mind and let it wander – just like when daydreaming. A lot of creatives are often labeled as loners, yet they just need some alone time to think and listen to their inner creative voice, whispering the new powerful idea. Best works of art are often visual representations of the internal dialog the artist has been cherishing inside.

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9. They are very observant

People-watching is one of their favorite pastimes. Nothing escapes the eye of the artists. They love taking notes, they love making sketches, and they always comment on some random things like the color of someone’s hat in the crowd or a shape of the shadow that reminds them something. They pickup and gather those tiny observations to weave them later on in their next artwork.

10. They can’t stand routine

They need strong stimulations in order to stay active and they often neglect tasks they find uninspiring or repetitive. The thing is, creatives devote all their energy to focusing on their inner universe and don’t have enough strength to carry on effectively with the day-to-day tasks.

11. They combine playfulness and discipline

The light playful attitude is what we typically see or expect from the creative type. Yet for one quick moment think how many razor sharp pencil strokes were made before you could see this painting? How many hours the sculptor spent trembling over the stone, methodically cutting down piece after piece until it transformed into a beautiful statue? Despite their carefree attitude, creatives devote long hours and tremendous efforts to work, stubbornly aiming for not less then perfection.

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12. They are their own worst critics

Each writer loves each paragraph she writers, yet at the same time she’s being objective and knows which sentence doesn’t sound good enough. A painter will never be 100% satisfied with the final product and neither will the composer. It’s a huge struggle for the creative type to find a balance between adequate self-criticism and self-worshipping.

13. They are smart and naive at the same time

The paradox is that most well-known creative contributors had a high-level of general intelligence and gotten high scores on IQ tests. According to a study conducted in Stanford children with very high IQs do well in life, but after a certain point IQ no longer correlates with superior performance in real life. The cutoff point is around 120. It might be difficult to do creative work with a lower IQ, but an IQ beyond 120 does not necessarily imply higher creativity. At the same time, creatives often show immaturity and inability to deal with “adult” problems and important decisions. Often they never grow up and live with childish reactions and attitude towards various life difficulties.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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