“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” – Brian Tracy
Most of us hope that by the time we turn 30, life just magically falls into place. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. We can’t just blow the candles out from our thirtieth birthday cake and hit the fast track to life. Success when turning 30 is all relative to personal perspective, and finding that path means identifying what success actually looks like to you.
If you’re turning 30 and have yet to feel successful, don’t be alarmed because you’re not alone. To build a successful future for your thirties and beyond, forget about comparing your life to others, and start putting your energy into mastering theses 15 habits.
“Great people, no matter their field, have similar habits. Learn them and use them in your own quest for greatness.” – Paula Andrew
“I’ve talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show, and all 30,000 had one thing in common: They all wanted validation…I would tell you that every single person you will ever meet shares that common desire.” – The Oprah Winfrey Show
If you are searching for validation from others before you take your first steps to success, you may never get there. Finding validation from within means that you are freeing yourself to trust in your life’s purpose, when no one else does. Once you begin to trust yourself, more people will want to hear what it is you have to say.
Successful people seek self-validation by embracing their own self worth, even when someone is trying to tear them down. While some negative comments can be very constructive for their personal growth, others can be just plain rude. Successful people always remember their life purpose and they always believe in their abilities.
- Don’t take negative comments too seriously
- Do remind yourself of your strengths daily and experiment with daily mantras
2. Body Empowerment
“Thirty was so strange for me. I’ve really had to come to terms with the fact that I am now a walking and talking adult.” -C.S. Lewis
Your body can be a great tool for success. People tend to base first impression on appearance, so something as subtle as poor posture can really damage your alpha composure, no matter how well dressed you may be.
Successful people empower their body by treating it like a temple. They eat balanced meals with fruits and vegetables to keep a strong mind and a healthy body. They stand tall and confident, insist on eye contact, and they shake hands firmly to debut their confidence. Taking care of their body also means exercising regularly, avoiding fast foods, and dressing the part.
- Don’t let physical limitations determine the rest of your life
- Do know success is not about what you have, but how you use what you have
3. Living In The Now
“One must simply take the days of their lives as they happen. If you spend time worrying over what is to come, which may or may not happen, then you will only be wasting precious days you will wish in the future you could have cherished a bit longer.” ― R.J. Gonzales
You want to live in the present because you can’t change the past and the future is yet to come. Moments can change on a dime, and over planning anything can ultimately become a waste of time. It can be easy to remain stagnant or stuck on an idea, but the goal is to move onward and upward with the present to achieve success.
It’s rare that you will ever find a successful person bogged down from their past. They tend to always express and address all of the skeletons in their closet. Successful people are also always prepared for the unexpected, but continue to keep a strong momentum for the present in order to reach their goals ahead.
- Don’t believe there’s only one way to achieve your success
- Do use past experiences to make wiser decisions in the present
“Order is the sanity of the mind, the health of the body, the peace of the city, the security of the state. Like beams in a house or bones to a body, so is order to all things. – Robert Southey
Organizing your sleep schedule, your work schedule, or even your workout schedule, can help keep you on a productive track. Starting each day with goals and objectives to complete, can really give you something to work towards. Setting aside time for each individual project allows you to feel fulfilled when you see work actually being accomplished.
For successful people, it’s all about schedules and lists. It’s not about planning every second of every day, but simply outlining priorities and listing the steps that are needed to meet deadlines and complete projects on time.
- Don’t navigate around everyone else’s schedule
- Do make time for hobbies, reading, traveling, and relaxing (this is important for your creativity and well-being)
5. Time Management
“Successful people make their decisions quickly and change their minds slowly. Failures make their decisions slowly and change their minds quickly.” ― Andy Andrews
The older I get the more I realize how valuable time is. There’s only 24 hours in a day, and to make the most of that time, we have to make quick decisions, we have to do what we love, and we have to stop complaining if we are not willing to make a change. To use your time wisely ask yourself, “Am I doing anything right now that is amounting to my life goals?” If not, ask yourself, “What can I be doing right now to help myself succeed?”
J.K. Rowling is a prime example of a successful person who made great use of time. Although she struggled to find work after her divorce, she used her free time to write while her daughter attended school. Creating the “Harry Potter” series, Rowling went from welfare to best-seller because she made use of her unemployment.
- Don’t multitask; this leads to holes in your work
- Do turn 6 individual tasks into 1 bigger task by creating flow in your schedule. i.e Avoid the back and forth commutes to the city and make one big trip, checking one thing off your list at a time.
6. Separation From Technology
“Learning to power-down technology is an important life skill with numerous benefits. It is becoming a lost art in our ever-connected world. But the wisest of us take time to learn the discipline. And live fuller lives because of it.” – Becoming Minimalist (Website)
From personal experience, I’ve been addicted to social media, checking my followers, my likes, my comments, and my messages. It’s strange how quickly it can become a full time job. I soon realized that I needed step away from social media because it was actually more of a burden than it was worth. The trick is to find balance and to not forget the reason why you began your path to success in the first place.
Technology brings much convenience to successful people, but success does not mean being held captive of your own devices like a GPS system. Successful people are people who recognize when they should turn their phone down or off. They understand how important it is to step away from technology to spend time alone or with their family. This is because mental breaks are important for their sanity, and a great way to declutter their active minds.Advertising
- Don’t let your phone and social media notifications own you.
- Do make designated times throughout the day to check yours devices so you can avoid checking for notifications every 3-5 minutes. (wasting time)
7. Selecting The Right Relationships
“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey
It’s not about cutting everyone out of your life who has ever done you wrong; it’s about surrounding yourself with like-minded people who will put in as much energy as you.
Successful people avoid others who are negative, disabling, and manipulating. It’s easy for a successful person to cut someone out of their life if the relationship does not add up to 50/50.
- Don’t think that you owe anyone your time if they stump your growth or drain your enthusiasm
- Do give time to the people who deserve it
“Critical feedback is the breakfast of champions. Defensiveness is the dinner of losers.” – Dharmesh Shah
Sometimes your feelings can be hurt when someone points out one of your flaws, but it’s part of the territory when you become successful. Being open minded allows to you take criticism and apply it in positive light. Sometimes the judgment of others can just be their fear of the unknown, and you have to just open your mind to their world and understand that they have different thoughts, ideas, belief and values from you, and that’s okay. If not, feedback can really wear you down.
Successful people are accepting to new ideas and have mastered compromise and colabering. They have no expectations of others, other than the truth and respect. By keeping an open mind they put more energy into their self, rather than the business of other people.
- Don’t gossip, spread rumours, or stretch the truth of others.
- Do confront people in private if you hold concerns for their actions and/or words.
9. Supporting Others
“You were born with the ability to change someone’s life – don’t ever waste it.” – Dale Partridge
“Before you dismiss a beginner’s work, remember how much you sucked when you started. You probably sucked worse, actually.” – Jason Fried
Turning 30 means that you should be getting out of any selfish ways to help make a difference. It takes teamwork to be successful and now that you are coming into your own, this is the best time for you to not only surround yourself by mind-liked people, but also encourage them and build lifelong partnerships.
Successful people don’t want to fall down the rabbit hole of comparison. They want to inspire, build, and network with like-minded people that they believe in. It’s all about building unity and working as a team to become successful together. Often they make kind gestures to help others excel without expecting anything in return, however, when a pay it forward gesture is made they are grateful.
- Don’t lead someone for solely your own benefit, be respectable
- Do feel proud to see someone achieve success knowing you played a role in their greatness.
10. Getting Uncomfortable
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” – Zig Ziglar
“Obstacles are those things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.” – Henry Ford
To be successful in life, you need to take risks. In order to take risks you need to stop worrying about what might happen if it doesn’t work out. Yes, it can mean being in an uncomfortable situation, but instead of looking at something like a financial burden, think of it as an investment in your future.
They are successful because they try new things, and they know that there’s an exception to every rule. Vera Wang, once known as a professional figure skater, moved into fashion with no formal experience. She spent 17 years working as an editor for Vogue, and when she was denied the editor-in-chief position she left the company. For the next two years Vera worked as a design director for Ralph Lauren, but after struggling to find the right dress for her upcoming wedding, she left the company to open “Vera Wang Bridal House Ltd.” The rest is history.
- Don’t stay stagnant if you are not growing
- Do understand that as long as you are not hurting anyone in the process of success, taking risks will help you rise above
11. Letting Go Of Perfection
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
To let go of your type-A personality, sometimes you have to just remind yourself that this will not be your last and only chance. Success is to follow your passion, and passion needs to be implemented into your lifestyle. If you think you will nail everything in one go, you might be fooling yourself.
The main ingredient to success is failure, so it’s no surprise that most successful people have the capacity to let go of perfection to take their first steps. They know that success is ongoing and learning never stops.
- Don’t think that perfection exists, it doesn’t
- Do know that you can make something perfect for you, for the moment, but like time, everything eventually evolves, including your idea of perfection.
12. Addressing Problems
“Telling people ‘no’ does not need to be an act of rejection. Learning to say no the right way can prove you’re an attentive teammate.” – Brian de Haaff, cofounder and CEO of Aha! Labs Inc.
When you address a problem at the root, you are buying yourself time and energy. Whether that’s admitting a mistake before the mistake has even surfaced, keeping open communication with the people around you, or using a strong “No” to avoid unstable situations. None the less, being proactive in every situation will be beneficial to you.
Before anything gets out of hand, successful people like to source the root of their problem as soon as possible. This helps them bypass hours, days, or even weeks of troubleshooting a situation.
- Don’t bush problems under the rug, that’s where problems go to manifest and marinate until they become unmanageable.
- Do be aware of high-risk potential problems (like knowing the fire doors on a airplane), keep a close eye without obsessing.
13. Being A Leader
“If you are honest, truthful, and transparent, people trust you. If people trust you, you have no grounds for fear, suspicion or jealousy.” – Dalai Lama
To be a leader, you mentor the people around you instead of having expectations of them. Success is teaching, rather than barking demands and reminding people why you are the one barking.Advertising
Most successful people are successful because they lead and encourage, rather than bully others around with their “superior” status.
- Don’t gloat, people wont respect that quality
- Do your part, get in the action, get messy, and have fun with the people around you, you’re a team player
14. Working Hard
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’” – Audrey Hepburn
“I will not waste time on second thoughts. My life will not be an apology. It will be a statement.” ― Andy Andrews
To make success out of the impossible you have to believe that you can make something out of anything. You have to always go that extra mile, and no matter how crazy of an idea you may have, just go for it. It might just be the next best thing.
At 36 years old, Julia Child, had moved to Paris, France with no experience in great food. It didn’t take long for her interest in French cuisine to spike, steering her in the direction famous Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. By the age of 50 she had published the book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”, and went on to have her own TV show. Successful people don’t always know what they are going to be successful at, but with healthy lifestyle habits anyone can find success in new or old passions.
- Don’t discourage your ideas because it hasn’t been done before
- Do see opportunity in the untouched field
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
“Failure is a prerequisite for great success. If you want to succeed faster, double your rate of failure.” – Brian Tracy
The goal is to not let any hiccup or roadblock discourage your passion to dream big. Turn that dream into reality and never give up on yourself.
Successful people can’t be stopped once they start. They might not always know what they are trying to achieve in the moments, but all of their failed attempts usually lead to a form of greatness.
- Don’t see failure as a dead-end but as an opportunity to grow
- Do learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others
“For the most part, “naturals” are myths. People who are especially good at something may have some innate inclination, or some particular talent, but they have also spent about ten thousand hours practicing or doing that thing.” ― Meg Jay
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell
Featured photo credit: Man Looking At Sun Whilst Hiking At Red Rock Man/Ed Gregory via stokpic.com
Last Updated on July 20, 2021
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:
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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:
- How to Give a Presentation Like a Pro
- 10 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations
- Tricks to Deliver an Impressive Presentation Every Time
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