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10 Things Only People Who Love Their Career From the Heart Would Understand

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10 Things Only People Who Love Their Career From the Heart Would Understand

I used to have jobs, positions where I put in my best effort and was paid in return, but who I was and what I did for a living were two disparate things. Once I had the focus and bravery to address and say out loud, “I’m a writer,” everything changed. I began doing what I love and the world became an expansive and breathtaking place.

There’s no shame in doing what you have to do to make ends meet, but getting to a point in life where you can realize and seize what you’re truly built to do is nothing short of exhilarating.

Here are some things known only by people who love their careers from the heart. And if you’re not there yet, I hope this encourages you toward achieving it.

1. You feel invigorated after a long day of work

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that you’ll never feel tired again. Some days after hours of staring at the screen; dealing with the administrative aspects of entrepreneurship; graciously, yet as realistically as possible, interacting with clients regarding rates; and, oh yeah, writing, I am pooped.

But I lay down at night glowing with the satisfaction that I’ve earned this rest and that I’ve made some real strides with my day.

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2. You wake up with a sense of contentment and excitement

There have been times in life when I would feel consciousness creep over me with a sense of dread. When one day is too much like the last, or a mind-numbing row of hours lay ahead, it’s easy to get bogged down.

But when you open your eyes and your mind starts assessing what to tackle today and how you’re going to get it onto your “done” list, you feel a sense of furor that only comes when you’re using your skills to shape the career and life you’ve wanted.

3. You feel the world expanding

Your perception shifts when you find you’re validated in things you only used to vaguely dream about. You kind of always knew you could do it, but you were intimidated. You knew you had skills but didn’t know how those skills could apply to the real world.

When you find your skills clicking in real live interaction with the larger picture, and you meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise, you realize that promise is truly endless. What a thrilling feeling.

4. You feel more connected to humankind

When you make new connections and particularly when you see your work has helped people in one way or another, it reinforces the fascinating symbiotic successes we can achieve only through collaborating with others.

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This feeling is powerful and brings about a whole new level of the human experience.

5. You feel charged, rather than bummed, when it’s time to head back from a break

Everyone needs breaks. Working in beast-mode all day every day will wipe you out and hurt you in the long run. But the difference when you’re doing what you love is that breaks are nice, but getting back to it is nice too.

No sense of dread or counting down the hours ’till you can finally call it quits for the day.

Hours are tools you can’t wait to get your hands on.

6. You love it when someone asks you what you do

When someone inquires as to your career, your heart swells.

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When the words come out of your mouth, it makes sense to you, it feels right to you. In fact, if they’re interested to hear more, you could really talk their ear off about it. That’s a good sign.

7. You feel aspects of yourself come alive when you work

I’m a big believer in the fact that we all have inherent talents which are the hardware of our functioning in the world. The skills and ideas we take in allow these bits and pieces to really spark and ignite the way they were made to.

When you do what you love, you’re alive in a way you could never be otherwise.

8. You feel a deep sense of purpose

You’re driven by something other than money. You don’t punch in and out, you embrace each work day as your own. You have a reason to do what you do and it’s inextricable from who you are.

It’s a psychological principle that the harder you have to work for something, the more pleasure you get out of it. Sayonara instant gratification! Challenges are now opportunities.

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9. You feel disappointments to the core

Gone is the luxury of indifference. When you really care, your heart is on the line and the more you feel it when things go awry.

When you love what you do, it’s an extension of yourself, and there are agonizing times when that makes you incredibly vulnerable. But it’s worth it.

10. You see the future as holding promise, rather than uncertainty

You have goals that you know you can achieve. You frequently review the progress you’ve made and look to what’s next, both short-term and long-term, and your consciousness swells with potential energy.

There will be days of doubt, days of discouragement, but, all in all, your mind is on the precipice of all that is possible; just breathing it in deeply and ready.

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Hannah Glenn

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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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