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10 Ways to Tell You’re An Evolved Person

10 Ways to Tell You’re An Evolved Person
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We all go through major changes at different times in our lives. The old saying about “putting away childish things” can hit you hard, especially when you don’t feel ready to take the next step. However, once you start moving in a positive direction, you’ll find that it’s not only easier than you expected, but it’s also much more worthwhile than you ever imagined. You’re on the path to success if:

1. You know who you are

So many people drift through life without ever really knowing themselves. A lot of us end up working a menial 9-5, come home, eat, sleep, and repeat every day of our lives, only to wake up at 40 and realize we’ve missed out on what we really wanted to do with our lives. Being self-aware at all times will allow you to understand what you want, and will help you start on the path toward actualizing your goals.

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2. You know what you want

If you know who you are, you’ll figure out what you want out of life. Take the time when you’re young to really figure out what you want to do with your life. You don’t have to follow in anyone else’s footsteps; make your own path. If you waste your youth thinking that you’ll figure it all out “someday,” you’ll end up putting it off until it’s too late. Once you step out into the “real world,” other obligations will take control of your life, and you might never end up doing what you wanted to do with your time on Earth.

3. You’re in control of your destiny

Successful people aren’t just lucky; they’ve planned out their entire life, and know exactly what they want out of it. This isn’t to say that everything will go according to that plan, but the evolved person understands that life doesn’t happen. Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t destined to become a billionaire; he made it happen. And it wasn’t just a fly-by-night, get-rich-quick scheme, either. Creating a service that literally billions of people use on a daily basis was no accident. There was careful planning involved, and a lot of hard work and time put into creating Facebook. If he spent his early 20’s at a bar with friends, he would never have gotten where he is today.

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4. Your life is set up by you, and no one else

You’ve earned everything you have to your name. It doesn’t matter if you don’t make much money; having a fridge stocked with more than just alcohol is an accomplishment if you bought everything in it with a hard-earned paycheck. You don’t accept handouts, because you know they’re meaningless. Even if you’re not in the exact line of work you thought you’d be in, you can still come home and say to yourself: “I earned this. This is all mine.” There may be no greater feeling in the world than to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

5. You set and accomplish goals with ease

“Ease” may not be the right word here. The higher your aspirations will be, the harder it will be to attain your goals. However, this doesn’t mean you set the bar low, and it definitely doesn’t mean you stop trying. On the contrary, every day you push harder than you did the day before. By doing so, it becomes more and more routine for you to keep grinding. You also are never satisfied once you complete a goal; instead, you take a short breather and look at what you can accomplish next. There’s always another way to improve, and the evolved person will keep at it indefinitely.

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6. You’ve surrounded yourself with the right people

We all have the friends who we love to hang out with, but who also hold us back from attaining true success. While it’s okay to visit in moderation, hanging out with the same people on a daily basis can severely impede your growth. The saying goes, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who are actually more knowledgeable and driven than you are will give you role models to look up to, and will keep you from becoming stagnant.

7. You’re reflective

The evolved person reflects on his or her accomplishments on a daily basis, as well as over the long-term. Evolved people analyze how they handled different situations and navigated different problems, and if there were any better way to go about their day. They also take stock in their life and decide if they are where they thought they would be five years ago, and if anything in their life needs to change in order to keep improving. By being honest with themselves about where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re headed, evolved people ensure they stay on the fast-track to success.

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8. You thrive on change

Some people prefer to stay stagnant, especially when they find a “sweet spot” in life. Of course, if everyone chose to stay in their comfort zone, nothing would ever get accomplished, and the human race would eventually start to falter. It’s incredibly important that humanity continues to evolve, on the small scale as well as large. Do your part by constantly pushing your comfort zone to its limits. Embrace vulnerability; putting yourself “out there” may be risky, but it will also be rewarding in the long run. And you’ll be making a contribution to the evolution of human beings as a species, which is no small feat.

9. You don’t compare yourself to others

If I looked at a list of “accomplishments of famous people by the age of 30,” I’d want to crawl into a hole and die. I might not be the creator of the “next big thing,” and I certainly am not a multimillionaire, but I have accomplished a lot more in my life than many others my age. But I don’t care about that. The only thing I care about is whether or not I’m better than I was yesterday. If the answer to that question is no, then I’ve wasted precious time that I’ll never be able to get back. Don’t look at what others have accomplished; look at what you can do better tomorrow.

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10. You want the best for yourself, and for others

Evolved people care deeply about themselves, and for the people around them. They don’t see life as a competition (see above); rather, they want to build themselves up, and push others to do the same. Evolved people let go of jealousy and animosity, and only look toward the future of humanity as a whole. By seeing all 7 billion of us as one enormous community, we can work toward common goals that ensure our species will continue to evolve long after we have left this Earth.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm3.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)

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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