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15 Things To Forget If You’re Not Satisfied With Your Life

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15 Things To Forget If You’re Not Satisfied With Your Life

If you’re feeling frustrated and stuck, it’s probably time to make some changes in your life. Otherwise, you’ll likely continue to feel dissatisfied. As Tony Robbins said, “By changing nothing, nothing changes.”

It can be difficult to make changes in your life, but if you want a different outcome, it’s necessary. Just as important as “what to do” advice to change your life is “what not to do; what to forget” advice.

Here are 15 things to forget if you’re not satisfied with your life.

1. Forget to ask permission

If you’re waiting for everyone in your life to approve of a change you want to make – whether it is starting your own business, changing careers, relocating, or adopting a new lifestyle – you will never change. Choose wisely who you seek approval from, and tune out the others.

Start today: Write a list of people whose opinion of your life should truly matter.

2. Forget negativity

A negative mindset only makes you feel worse. Practicing an attitude of gratitude; an attitude of thankfulness and abundance instead of jealousy and scarcity, will help you immediately feel more satisfied with your life.  According to Oprah Winfrey, “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”

Start today: Start a gratitude list and hang it somewhere visible, such as your bathroom mirror. Each day, add something you are thankful for to your list. You will soon realize you have a lot of goodness in your life.

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3. Forget the past

Maybe you’ve been fired from a job, have a history of broken relationships, or have been rejected repetitively when applying for graduate school. Guess what? Nobody cares. You might feel like the whole world has seen your setbacks, but they really haven’t. The world is huge; there are millions of people who have no idea what you’ve gone through. If the past is holding you back from the life you want to have, it’s time to work on letting go.

Start today: If you feel you’re carrying major baggage around, it’s time to make an appointment with a counselor, therapist, or coach, depending on your specific situation.

4. Forget procrastination

How many time-suckers do you give your hours to every week? Time is our most precious resource, and wasting it on mind-numbing activities can drain it quickly. If you struggle with procrastinating, work on setting yourself a schedule every day. Writing down your to-do items on your schedule will help ensure that they get accomplished, and also help you visualize where you’re actually spending your time and what you tend to procrastinate.

Start today: Write out a schedule of your tasks for tomorrow.

5. Forget about immediate gratification

Immediate gratification feels great now, but not so good long-term. Make decisions from your future. Think about who you want to be, and make today’s decisions based on future you. For example, if your long-term goal is to spend a year traveling the world, you’ll need to save some money for your future endeavor. When you are tempted to upgrade your cell phone plan or purchase a new vehicle, think about whether the future you, the one who is exploring the world, would like you to spend or save that money now. More than likely, you’d be thankful in the future for saving money now.

Start today: When you purchase something today, see if there is a more economical option, and save the difference for a future expensive goal.

6. Forget about cultural norms

It doesn’t matter if society says you should work 9-5 at a job you don’t really like and retire at 62. If that’s not the lifestyle you like, give yourself the freedom to break free from the norms.

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Start today: Research one inspiring person who has paved his or her own trail.

7. Forget the time it takes

A goal that takes many years to accomplish can be overwhelming. It may be daunting, and take a long time, but if it’s something that’s truly your heart’s desire, that’s perfectly fine! Whether or not you move toward that goal, eventually you’ll be a decade older. If you want to be more satisfied 10 years from now, take steps today to move toward that goal.

Start today: Write down one large, 10-year goal you have.

8. Forget about toxic people

Toxic people can quickly drain your positivity and hope. As Jim Rohn, a businessman, said: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Spending time with toxic people might be a big part of your problem if you’re not satisfied with your life. If you want to be more satisfied, hang out with the following groups of people: people who are doing what you want to do, and people who have infectiously awesome outlooks on life. Surrounding yourself with positive, encouraging people can help you feel more happy and satisfied.

Start today: Think about the 5 people you spend the most time with. Is there a toxic person in your inner circle?

9. Forget about having everything planned out

If you wait until you have every detail planned out before you start a new endeavor, you’ll never start. It’s easy to get caught in analysis paralysis mode, where you’re constantly researching but not really making any forward progress.

Start today: Decide that you have enough information about one of your goals to actually start the project. You can study more of what you need to know along the way. Taking the first step forward is the most important step; without it you will never start.

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10. Forget about blaming everybody

Harboring anger toward someone who has wronged you hurts you and holds you back from living the wonderful life you deserve. Forget about spending excessive amounts of time blaming others for your current life situation. It does you no good. This doesn’t mean you have to feel completely happy toward somebody who has been malicious toward you; it just means you aren’t going to let thoughts about that person continue to hurt you as the years go on.

Start today: Focus on the positives of the future.

11. Forget about material items

If you want to be satisfied with your life, there are ample studies showing that having more money and material items, past a certain point, do not increase life satisfaction. You really only need a few things to be content: safety, nourishment for your body, connection with others, work that is meaningful and stimulating to you, and a feeling that you’re part of something greater than yourself. You don’t need a million new toys or the latest gadgets. It doesn’t matter if your neighbors have the “best” everything. Get over it.

Start today: Begin a decluttering habit by cleaning out one drawer in your home. Decluttering can set you free from materialism, and also free your physical space and mind so you have more room in your life for what you love.

12. Forget your uncertainty

When you think about making a change in your life, your mind may start racing as you consider all the “what ifs.” Here’s the deal: there will always be uncertainty. You will never know the future. Being able to embrace this uncertainty and realizing you’ll have to take some risks to get unstuck is key to being satisfied.

Start today: Think about a big dream you have for your life. When the “what ifs” and doubts fill your mind (and they will!), replace those thoughts with the positive version of “yes, but what if…” with all of the great things chasing that dream could bring into your life. For example, if you want to start a business, and every time you think of it you immediately think “what if I fail?”, replace the thought with “yes, but what if I succeed?” and let your imagination run wild in that direction instead.

13. Forget changing everything at once

If you’re not satisfied with your life, it can be tempting to want to revamp your entire life all at once. But actually, choosing one habit at a time to focus on may be a better option. If you focus on changing one habit, one week at a time, you can analyze whether or not your habit change is working for you, and tweak it as needed. I frequently recommend working on exercising first; exercise is a mood booster and makes us feel empowered. As we challenge our bodies and improve our health, we feel like we can tackle other areas of our lives we want to change.

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Start today: Choose one area in your life you’d like to change. Write down a small goal within that area for each day of this week (For example, bring a healthy snack to work instead of going to the vending machine every day). As you meet your small goals, you’ll gain the momentum to work toward larger goals (For example, fuel your body with healthy foods 90% of the time).

14. Forget about waiting for someone else to lead you

If there is something in your life you want to change, chances are, there are others in your life with a similar goal. Choose to be a leader and seek them out. Unsatisfied with your health? Find a buddy to cook some healthy meals with, or exercise together over your lunch hour with a coworker.

Start today: Think about something you’ve been wanting to do. Email your coworkers or friends and ask if anybody’s interested in joining you on your mission.

15. Forget about doing it alone

When you desire to change your life, find an accountability partner. This can be a family member, friend, personal coach, or mentor. Having someone to encourage you, inspire you, and keep you on track when you’re discouraged is extremely important.

Start today: Ask someone to be your accountability partner for a specific area in your life you’d like to improve.

Take away points:

It’s difficult to feel dissatisfied in your life. The good news is that your life is a story, and you get to write a lot of it. There will obviously be things in your life that are out of control, but practicing an attitude of gratitude, surrounding yourself with positive people, enjoying the ride of life’s uncertainties, and writing down your goals will greatly help increase your life satisfaction.

Featured photo credit: Think/Nastya Birdy via flickr.com

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More by this author

Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

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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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