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10 Signs You’re an Old Soul

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10 Signs You’re an Old Soul

Being an old soul is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you grow up having the almost super-human gift of perspective unlike any of your peers. On the other, this often alienates you from everyone else your age. You grow up thinking many of the things your peers are interested in are silly and childish, and end up being caught on the outside looking in. However, the best part of being an old soul is, as you grow older, you continue to grow into your personality and toward your inner age. You might be an old soul if…

1. You’re bored by your peers interests

When you have an old soul, you are able to get along with your peers but you may be bored by them. An old soul will find themselves out with friends in a place that everyone else thinks is fun, but they think is not ideal. If you are an old soul, you might find yourself thinking, “I don’t want to be here”. An old soul likely has friends but much prefers being in a situation where deep conversation is the focus of the activity. For example, you may find yourself preferring meaningful discussions with teachers rather than superficial interaction with peers. As your peers age, they just might catch up to your inner age and you will share more common interests than when you were younger.

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2. You bore your peers

As an old soul, you probably have a lot to be passionate about. Unfortunately, this passion is most likely not shared by many of your peers. At a young age, you might care deeply about a variety of social and political issues, while others are more concerned with what they’re going to wear tomorrow or who won the big game last night. Again, even though your friends enjoy your company on the whole, they sometimes have no idea what you’re talking about. This is why you tend to gravitate toward older people who share your worldly perspective.

3. You’re not taken seriously by older people

Even though you enjoy the company of people older than you, you’re often not taken seriously by them at a younger age. Unfortunately, this is cannot be avoided. Until you reach a certain age, you’ll be seen as “just a kid” by adults, no matter how mature you may be. This is simply because you don’t have the years of experience to back up your thoughts and ideas. Even five to ten years from now, you may be surprised at how much your ideals and beliefs completely shift. Give it some time. You have the rest of your life to be old.

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4. You’re okay with being on your own

So you’re not accepted by your peers, and you’re not taken seriously by your elders. Being an old soul can feel like an isolating experience. Often, old souls find themselves feeling okay with being isolated. This is because you’d much rather stand up for your beliefs and yourself than fall down for the newest trend or fad. Because you feel isolated from almost every other age group, you probably spend a lot of time in deep thought and taking up solitary hobbies like writing. Of course, this only contributes even further to your old soul persona. Tough it out; one day you’ll be old enough to just be considered a “true soul.”

5. You’re usually an observer

As an old soul you often stay on the outskirts of your friend circle, being more of an observer. There isn’t anything wrong with this. You simply need to embrace this aspect of your personality and put it to good use. For example, many of the most successful writers are good because they have spent so much time observing others and listening to their stories.As an observer, you most likely have a knack for understanding what the masses are into, so take advantage of your analytic abilities and create something that just might be the next big thing.

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6. You’re not bothered by “small stuff”

As an old soul, the minutiae that bothers most people your age just seems frivolous to you. You simply don’t spend time worrying about what you’re wearing or how your hair looks; you’re more worried about the major issues affecting modern society. Your apathy toward “the small stuff” even furthers your “old soul persona,” as you appear much calmer than most others around you.

7. You’re more reserved than most of your friends

When you think of someone making a scene, you either think of a small child throwing a tantrum, or an adult who hasn’t quite learned how to act in public. Old souls hate calling attention to themselves, and even when they find themselves in situations in which it’s socially acceptable to “let loose” a bit, they won’t drop their cool, calm demeanor. While many of your friends may have been the crazy teenagers or college kids willing to do anything for a laugh, you could never imagine making such a fool of yourself. Again, you’d much rather sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

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8. You’re extremely sensitive

You’ve probably been told to “lighten up” by your peers more times than you can possibly imagine. Same for being told you’re “boring.” Don’t let these statements get to you; they usually come from people who have no clue about what makes you tick. On the other side of the coin, you also probably have elders telling you your ideas are “cute” or something equally dismissive. Again, to them, you’re just a young kid trying to act mature. Stay persistent, be true to who you are, and soon enough your ideas will be taken seriously.

9. You think mainstream society is silly

Old souls have the uncanny ability to look at mainstream society and not take it too seriously. You are able to see all of the silly facets of mainstream society. From the obsession with celebrity’s relationships to the invention of products like the beer helmet, you see how ridiculous things truly are. Old souls don’t get so caught up in what is trendy or cool, they focus on deeper issues. This could leave you on the outskirts of groups made up of your peers.

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10. You’re always looked to for advice

As you grow older, your peers and elders will realize you’ve been right about a lot of the ideas you’ve had over the years. They’ll probably start soliciting advice from you, regardless of how many times they’ve ignored it in the past. Don’t be “that guy” that refuses them. Be a good friend, and help them out. They’re not “using you”; they actually have just realized how valuable your input is. Appreciate them, no matter how long it took them to appreciate you.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm7.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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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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