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15 Differences Between Positive People And Negative People

15 Differences Between Positive People And Negative People
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As you know, it is a drastically different experience being around positive people versus negative ones. If you are striving to be more positive yourself, here are 15 ways you can do so:

1. “Failure is part of learning.”

Positive people view failure as an opportunity to learn and get better. They understand that failure is an event, and doesn’t define who they are. Negative people are emotionally disabled by failure because they allow it to define who they are. They fail to understand that it’s part of the learning and growing process.

2. “I can do hard things.”

Positive people love to be challenged. They understand that there is no growth without struggle. Positive people embrace difficulty, and look for ways to overcome them. Negative people love the easy road. Because obstacles increase the likelihood of failure, they try to avoid them like the plague. To negative people, hard times don’t make you, they break you.

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3. “I always give my best.”

Positive people focus on giving their best effort, regardless of the situation. They understand that there are many things they cannot control, but effort is not one of them. No matter what, the positive person strives to give their best — even if it isn’t much. Negative people want things to come easy to them. If they have to try hard, they believe they just aren’t good at it and give up. They are more likely to give their absolute best if they know people are watching them.

4. “She is inspiring!”

Positive people are inspired by the success of others, they look at those who are excelling and ask themselves the question, “What can I learn from them?” Negative people become jealous and threatened by the success of others. To negative people, when others succeed it means they are failing.

5. “What can I do better?”

Positive people embrace feedback. Because they are always striving to get better, they are open to learn anything that will enhance their skill set. Negative people get offended when they receive correction or feedback. Instead of seeing it as means to improve, they interpret feedback as a sign of their incompetence.

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6. “I give power to what I focus on.”

Positive people focus on things they can control. They understand that their happiness is dependent on how they choose to respond to what happens to them. Positive people believe that they give power to what they focus on, so they use it wisely. Negative people center their focus on things they can’t control. For example, they ruminate over past conversations, beat themselves up on past mistakes, and allow their fear of the future to stop them in their tracks today.

7. “People can change.”

Positive people know that the only thing that doesn’t change is change. They believe that they can change, and that other people can change. Negative people believe that people are fixed; therefore, they don’t try to improve because they believe, “What’s the use?” Additionally, negative people don’t allow others to change. Once a negative person puts a label on something, it’s very difficult for them to see it in a different way.

8. “I still have a lot to learn.”

Positive people love to learn. They understand information evolves, and what used to work 10-years ago, might not be effective today. Negative people believe they know it all, and are less likely to welcome new information if it contradicts what they believe. They care less about what’s right, and more about who’s right.

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9. “Let’s go big!”

A positive person isn’t afraid to swing for the fences because they don’t fear striking out. A negative person not only thinks small, but they also try to convince others that their dreams and aspirations are too big.

10. “Have you heard about [insert name]?”

Positive people build others up when they aren’t around. Negative people tear people down to make themselves feel good.

11. “I am my own worst enemy or best friend.”

Positive people have effective self talk. They are aware of the story they tell themselves, and don’t allow their own thoughts to discourage them. Additionally, they are realistic with their expectations. Positive people don’t feed themselves lies about their weaknesses or how difficult the situation is. Instead, they tell themselves what they need to do to succeed. Negative people are their own worst enemy. They struggle to see the bright side of anything, even if they are successful. They are also masterful at focusing on all the negative aspects, and diminishing their own confidence.

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12. “What is my body saying?”

Positive people carry themselves like champions. They are purposeful in the way they interact with people and their facial expressions show positivity. Negative people carry themselves small. They hang their heads, and look down. Just by looking at them, you would think they are mad, sad, or indifferent — definitely not happy.

13. “Teamwork makes the dream work.”

Because they are team players, positive people will get behind and support ideas that are not their’s — even if they might disagree with it. Negative people have a hard time fully supporting ideas they feel won’t be successful. When an idea that wasn’t their’s doesn’t succeed, they are sure to give their teammates the “I-told-you-so” expression.

14. “What’s the bright side?”

Positive people have an attitude of gratitude. They can see the good in a situation, and don’t take things for granted. Negative people struggle to see the silver-lining in difficult situations. They don’t often take the time to stop and notice the positive aspects of a situation.

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15. “You’re so good!”

Positive people like to spread positivity. They pay close attention to when others do well, and they are quick to tell them. Negative people say, “Why would I compliment people for things they are supposed to do?” What they don’t understand is, it’s not about the compliment, it’s about showing the other person that you notice them. A simple compliment can strengthen relationships and motivate the person to do even better. Positive people don’t underestimate the power of encouraging words.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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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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