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20 Signs You Have The Coolest Dad In The World

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20 Signs You Have The Coolest Dad In The World

I am part of Generation X, which has experiences the recession, the Tech Bust 5 and the Credit Crisis. Wages have been relatively flat the last ten years so most Generation X households have both parents working. When dads get home there is still much to be done around the house because Mom is just getting home from work too. I am not the father my Dad was. I wish I were. I am learning how to be a cool Dad in the society that exists now. There are many good messages a household with two working parents give to their children. Examples of partnership and equality, but I can’t help wish that I could stop the duties that begin after I get home to spend more time with my children. Here are things my Father did with me and I am trying to find time to do. He was a cool Dad.

To make you feel like you are the whole world to them even when you have other siblings, that is what makes a Dad cool. When all the external pressures they are under never seep into the space you occupy with them. That makes a Dad cool.  A Dad can create that for a child by doing little things all the time. As children we do have the fond memories of a few big vacations with the family. Some of those fond memories are the ones of vacations that may not have gone so smoothly. The memories we have that are the clearest however are the times that were consistent and were small gestures. In this day and age it is growing more difficult for children and parents to have those moments together. Times they can just focus on eachother. Dad may have a cell phone he is always looking down at, or the child may be the one with the phone.

Here are 20 signs that you have the coolest Dad in the world.

1. Every summer day after work he takes you to the neighborhood pool to play catch in the water.

I loved playing catch with my father and brothers. I also loved the fact that the pool was away from the house. It allowed us to really focus on eachother without any outside distractions. My Dad had a gym bag in his closet by his shoes that was always packed with balls for the pool. He would slip off his shoes and quickly change and grab the bag. Taking his kids to a pool makes them feel appreciated.

2. He wrestles with you and lets you win until you are 13…then all bets are off.  How else are you going to learn to be a man?

My Dad was perfect at “fake losing” and as we got older we realized he was no longer doing that. My Dad was strong and a good athlete, but he never competed with us. He saw any time together as quality time.

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3. He is your soccer coach even if he doesn’t want to be, and you think he wants to be.

My Dad hated being the coach. He only did it because our first coach quit out of the blue. We were a terrible team. My Dad did his best and I’ll always love and respect him for it. If a father does something selfless for his children and their friends, this is how they can tell he really cares about them.

4. He gets up at dawn to pack the car for your family vacation, and always makes every suitcase fit perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle or the video game tetris.

No one, and I mean no one, could pack a car like my father. A father has a duty to teach his kids life skills, even if they may seem simple, they will help his children to get along in their future.

5. He has the route to your family vacation spot memorized and doesn’t need a map.

I thought this was a special power until my third trip to California with my family. After you drive a route a few times the first of which you’re under deress you never forget your turnoffs. In many ways a dad is also a role model for his kids.

6. Before there were thermometers in cars he pressed the back of his hand to his car door window to see what the temperature was outside instead of rolling down the window creating a huricane in the car.

I once had a girl develop a crush on me in college because I did this. I swear it’s the truth. Children look up to their dads if they have smart and extraordinary ways of doing simple things.

7. He puts your homemade pen holder on his desk at work and actually uses it.

I was not artistic. He was so proud. If your dad is proud of your childish creations, he really cares about you.

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8. He will act silly infront of you like pretending to play the guitar on a tennis racket in his underwear with a child’s cowboy hat on his head.

My mother has actual photographic documentation of this. Dad’s lucky there wasn’t social media back then. Still, nothing makes a dad happier than to see his children laugh.

9. He wears a Halloween costume every Halloween.

I’ve started doing this. My kids love it. Older kids will give me a nod of approval as well. You’ve got to stay young at heart.

10. He’s the first person you shared a beer with.

It takes the mistery out of drinking. I think it helps kids not binge drink because drinking is not so forbiden.

11. He’ll drink scotch with you even though he doesn’t like scotch.

My Dad is a wine drinker. But he’ll try anything if it means we can sit on the back porch and talk longer.

12. He is proud of you and wants you to live your life and not the one he didn’t get to live.

I didn’t even know what sports my Dad played in high school until I was in high school. He also down played his major in college. Still he never made me feel bad about not persuing his career because their children’s happiness is the only that matters to a father.

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13. He teaches you to respect people and prepares you to know that you must earn respect.

My Dad was a hard worker to put food on the table. He never brought his problems home and he treated my Mom and us three boys with respect. That made it easy for us to respect him.

14. He doesn’t shave on vacations. He also knows that there is a time and a place where personal hygene is less important, like on a camping trip.

I’ve continued this tradition. It is important for kids to see that their father can let go and simply enjoy time with his family now and then.

15. If you get injured in sports or playing with your friends he tells you to “shake it off” and teaches you the difference between a “battle wound” and a serious injury.

I wish I saw more of this in kids today. My son has a few “battle wounds”. He’s tough. But it’s the responsibility of a father to teach this lesson.

16. He treats your Mom like a Queen, and is a good role model for how to treat a spouse.

My parents are true partners and respect eachother. Teaching his kids to treat women with respect is one of the most important tasks a father has.

17. He treats every failure you have as a learning experience and allows you to fail. He gives guidance but does not let it interfere with you choosing your own path.

My Dad wanted us to live our own lives and be our own persons. He used to say that my brothers and I were all very different people.

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18. He understands why you want to be dropped off 100 yards away from where you and your friends are meeting girls at the mall (or boys at the mall).

I never did this. I had a friend who would make his Grandma drop us off this way. She took it in stride. Great lady.

19. When you have a bad game or race he knows it is not the time to “coach”.

I have adopted this from my father. I know my son appreciates it. No one is harder on you than you. Nothing is as bad as you think it really is. My Dad once told me that people are concered with their own lives, they are not giving you much thought.

20. He understands what builds your relationship are the small things. The everyday moments you spend together.

The big vacations were great, but they are fading in my memory. The day to day experiences are what I remember.

Featured photo credit: http://www.wealthysinglemommy.com/ via google.com

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

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

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

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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