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These 12 Things Would Happen When You Can Enjoy Being Alone

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These 12 Things Would Happen When You Can Enjoy Being Alone

Lets face it, we live in a society where our value is judged by the radius of our social circle. A society which rewards the hyper-social and labels loners as weird and withdrawn. Admittedly whilst having a strong social group is beneficial to our health both physically and psychologically, those who can enjoy being alone in addition to social situations will become the happiest people out there.

In honesty, if you can’t enjoy being alone then you’re probably not doing anything important in life. Here are some reasons why.

1. You’ll Become Familiar With Exactly Who You Are

Anyone who spends a significant length of time alone will tell you of the enlightening effect it can have. When you’re alone and in silence, the voice in your head grows louder and more revealing.

It compensates for the lack of input usually made by other people, and eventually — if you listen to it — you’ll know your character on a much deeper level. Who said mindfulness was a social practice?

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2. You’ll No Longer Need Others to Be Happy

Let’s think this for a second. Who is more normal, someone who needs to remain around others to be happy, or those who can be happy solely within themselves? In reality, those who have a constant need to be surrounded by others in order to be joyful are the ones with the problem, though society would have us believe otherwise.

If you can’t enjoy being alone, then you can’t enjoy life in its fullest.

3. You’ll Be Better Off When The Going Gets Tough

It’s a known fact of life that if you’re trying to be successful, you won’t be surrounded by people you like all the time. In honesty, there will be people you hate. There will be people around you who try to bring you down, meaning that you’ll have to spend some time by yourself in order to get away from them. It’s better that you’re comfortable with it when you do.

4. You’ll Be More Confident In Social Situations

It sounds paradoxical doesn’t it? In order to be confident in social situations you need to be comfortable within the opposite of them. But it makes sense. If you lack the confidence to be alone you’ll panic and overcompensate, often coming across as needy — a code-red clinger around people. They’ll just think you’re weird. Only when you become okay with standing by yourself, only when you practice a level of detachment will you genuinely attract others.

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5. You’ll Have Clearness Of Mind

When you drop your attachment to being super-social like our society expects us to, you’ll stop caring for all the gossip which comes with it. Who is going where with who, or doing what. Who’s seeing who. Who hates who. Keeping tabs on all of these social aspects is energy consuming. When you’re good at being alone these things stop being a major concern.Your thoughts will occupy more important matters and will be put to better use. Leading me to my next point.

6. You’ll Be More Productive

Yes, with clearness of mind comes a rocketing in your productivity. Obvious right. Since you’ve freed up a lot of time and energy by forgetting about all the social dimensions, you’ll be free to spend them on things which will actually, y’know, get you places in life. Starting that business or reading that book, it will all come easier.

7. You’ll Notice Those Who Didn’t Appreciate You Much

After a period of time of becoming comfortable with being alone, others will wonder why you’re not so needy and attached to them as you once were. “OMG why aren’t they texting me!” or “Ugh he’s probably with someone else”, and you’ll be dropped quicker than a hot potato. These people are exactly the type who aren’t comfortable with being alone. They need social interaction to feel value in themselves, a toxic mindset.

Those who genuinely appreciate you will be thankful any time they get to spend with you, and they’ll be happy with your new-found confidence and productivity. The others will slowly fade away.

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8. You’ll Attract Similar People

This goes back to point 6. The combination of your confident aura and newly free social space will mean that you’ll begin to attract others who can handle not seeing you for prolonged periods of time. People who have other important stuff to do in their alone time and who aren’t concerned with gossip and the drama that comes with it. That is to say, people who enjoy being alone.

You’re the average of your peer group, if it’s filled with people doing important things and going important places, you too will do the same.

9. You Won’t Be As Disappointed When Others Let You Down

We’ve all been there, you’re all excited to meet your friend(s) for that fun night you planned, only for them to bail on you last minute. People who are attached to being around people will readily jump to a better opportunity if it arises, and quickly drop other plans they may have had. You won’t get this when you enjoy being alone because you’ll be around people who appreciate you more.

Even if they do bail you’ll always have your comfortable, productive self to fall back on to.

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10. You’ll Appreciate Others More

When you spend less time around people, gather your thoughts and get important stuff done, you realise the value of having people with integrity, self-confidence and low social attachment around you. When you eventually do get to spend time with others, you’ll appreciate it all the more, and ultimately have a better time with them.

Sometimes you have to take a couple of steps back to appreciate the bigger picture.

11. You’ll Become More Adventurous

When you’re comfortable with yourself and no longer require the acceptance of others in order to be happy, various social norms and expectations fly out the window. Pressures are lifted and you feel free to do whatever it is which makes you happy. Whether it’s trying a new hobby, planning a solo trip or practising meditation.

There’s no one to laugh at you. The social rope binding you will be cut, and you’ll be free to spread your wings and fly, or something.

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12. You’ll Become More Reflective

It’s easy to get caught up in the lightening quick pace of the world, and often times we loose track of exactly where we are going in life. When you can enjoy the solitude you experience from being alone, it becomes possible to reflect on recent times. What went well, what could be improved, where you’re going. All things which need time and attention. Spending time alone will give you that.

Featured photo credit: Young guy siting on the roof via shutterstock.com

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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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