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12 Reasons Why You Should Always Choose Love Over Fear

12 Reasons Why You Should Always Choose Love Over Fear
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Life is an unpredictable maelstrom of events, people, thoughts, and feelings. Times get tough for everyone at some point, and it can be all too tempting to give in to the lies of fear. We foresee the obstacles ahead of us and think, “I’m never going to make it.”

Every individual is given the chance to choose between two avenues at multiple junctions in life: fear or love. The way to live in abundance and freedom is through love, and below are 12 reasons why you should always choose love over fear.

1. You are more often motivated by what you can gain and take part in. Love is a natural pathway to travel towards something you can gain.

If you’re excited about an opportunity ahead of you, it shows you recognize there’s something to gain from it. This opportunity to gain – whether it’s a new job, a valuable business partner, a new place to call home, or a romantic relationship – will be fully realized when you are acting through love. Embrace the sacrifices necessary to achieve your goal, and forget that fear was ever there.

Vince Lombardi, the famous football coach, reminds us that in order to be successful, we must embrace the kind of hard work that we love. “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”

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2. If you truly love something or someone, you will continue working towards success, allowing your love to motivate you.

Despite the appearance that some people have it all together, life is not easy for anyone. The truth is, anyone who has established long-lasting success in life had to continually fight for it until it arrived. The exact same will be true of your story. Nothing that lasts comes easily, and nothing that’s easy will last. Allow your love for your quest to keep you fueled as you encounter hardships and rigorous trials.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once remarked about the need to collectively continue working towards success: “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

3. Love requires sacrifice, and if you are willing to sacrifice for what you love, you will grow exponentially.

When we find something we love in life, it requires sacrifice. The magnificent events, people, and circumstances we come across in life are almost always the result of intentional sacrifice. We need to give something up in order to get something greater. Henry Ford once said, “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” Let the power of your love for your journey overtake any fear that claims you’re incapable of making the necessary sacrifices.

4. When you begin something great, it is because you “fell in love” with your project. Keep this mindset at the forefront of your actions.

Our brains possess an incredible power that awakens when we strike out to succeed at something we love. When we’re committed to achieving something we truly desire, it makes the work far simpler – practically a cakewalk! We become so enticed by our goals and results that our internal drive finds a way to make it happen.

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Your goals exist for a reason. They motivate with a keen love for your work. Famous author Jack Canfield says, “Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.” Let the fact that you “fell in love” with your goal or project guide your steps toward success.

5. Biologically speaking, the human brain is more likely to respond to something positive than something negative. Choosing love will guide your brain positively.

On a simple biological level, your brain responds with greater clarity and vision when thinking about something positive rather than something negative. This is why it’s a fundamental human inclination to listen to people who agree with us, rather than people who speak from a starkly contrasted point of view. Take a moment to reflect on how diving head first into a project you love will keep your brain focused on positive action.

Speaking of action, Confucius offers sage advice when you encounter unexpected roadblocks with your goals: “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” It’s better to keep your path flexible than to give in to fear and abandon it entirely.

6. Fear will darken and cloud your path, but love will broaden and enlighten it.

Embracing your fear toward a project or goal will only hamper your ability to move forward. Concentrating on love will show you that anything is possible if you care enough to make it happen. As Franklin D. Roosevelt would say, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” Don’t let fear have any place on your path towards success!

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7. Recognize that fear is an emotion felt when something huge is taking place, but that love will allow you to push through those obstacles.

Fear is a natural human emotion, and you should understand that everyone becomes afraid at different times in life. You’re normal and healthy if you encounter fear from time to time. But moving forward under the visage of love shows you that fear only creates obstacles through our own choosing. You have the capacity to look past those obstacles when harnessing love.

Famous basketball player Michael Jordan shares his own thoughts on overcoming obstacles: “If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

8. In the words of Jim Carrey, “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love.”

One of the world’s most beloved comedians Jim Carrey delivers an excellent point about the battle between love and fear. Fear can keep you constrained within the belief that many things are “impossible.” Love is the key that unlocks the cage, showing you that it’s okay to mess up, even when you’re pursuing what you love.

9. Love frees you to act with confidence and courage.

Love will be the driving force that activates courage and confidence during your journey. These two characteristics are not experienced or delivered when acting through fear. Even Helen Keller struggled with maintaining courage and confidence at all times, but reached this conclusion: “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

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Fear seeks to place limits on what you believe you can achieve; love will be the patient reminder that confidence in taking risks and courage to arrive at results is all you need to fight through failure.

10. Fear says, “I can’t be enough.” Love says, “I already am enough.”

Fear tries to stunt your growth and sell you lies; love returns to your door every day and knocks until you open it. Famous psychologist Albert Ellis reminds us that “The art of love is largely the art of persistence.” Stick with what you love long enough, and you will be able to accomplish.

11. Love creates new opportunities out of problems.

Even with the most detailed or precise plan, sometimes life throws us a curveball and we’re forced to make do under less-than-ideal circumstances. Fear attempts to tell you this is the end; love is confident and secure in its ability to derive fresh opportunities out of unexpected events. Desiring something strongly enough can keep us on the path of love and success. Personal-success author Napoleon Hill shared much wisdom during his time, with one of his most famous quotes speaking about desire: “The starting point of all achievement is desire.” Let your educational or career desires create new opportunities that can powerfully alter the face of the world.

12. Love supports others and creates a more beautiful world through cohesion.

Ultimately, it takes every individual striving towards living in love to create a more beautiful world. Fear tries to keep people separated, discouraging beneficial and incredible collaboration. Love is the undying force that creates teams out of unassuming individuals, and empowers each person to contribute their best. In the words of famous speaker and author John C. Maxwell, “Teamwork makes the dream work.”

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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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