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25 Things To Do Before 30 That Will Make Your Remaining Life Better

25 Things To Do Before 30 That Will Make Your Remaining Life Better
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Your teens and 20s are like training wheels on an adult bike. However, once you hit 30, the training wheels are off. Hopefully, you’ll have fallen off and scratched your knees enough times to learn from your mistakes before 30, so your remaining life will be better. Most of you have had your hearts broken, made a few bad choices, and had your parents bail you out of financial bind (or two). Your 20s are a time to push boundaries, be a little irresponsible, and get to know yourself in the process. By the time your turn 30, you should know who you are and how far you’ve come.

Practice these tips before you hit 30, and it will make the rest of your life somewhere you’ll definitely want to be.

1. Have No Regrets

Your 20s are for making mistakes and learning from them. There’s no need for regrets because if you’ve reflected and learned from what you did there is no reason why you would do it again after 30.

2. Understand There is No Failure, Only Feedback

All the greatest achievers of our time have failed, failed, and failed again. The difference is that they understand the value of failing. Achievers see it as an opportunity to brush themselves off and try again. Michael Jordan said, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”

3. Love Who You Are

Take care of yourself and be proud of who you are. There are always opportunities to grow and change, but let it be out of love and not out of hate.

4. Travel Somewhere That Will Definitely Get You Out of Your Comfort Zone

You can often forget how lucky you are when you’re constantly surrounded by comfort. If you travel somewhere that doesn’t have first-world conveniences before you’re 30, you can begin to truly appreciate what you have and where you were born.

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5. Take Time for Yourself

You need to take time for yourself no matter how extroverted or social you are. We all need time to reflect and recharge, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

6. Find a Job that Makes You Happy

You don’t want to be stuck at a job that makes you miserable at 30. Stress and anxiety caused by a negative workplace can create serious health problems down the track. Think about what makes you feel good and how you can translate that into a career. Making money is another bonus.

7. Do Something that Contributes to the Greater Good

When you give back, you fee like you are part of something bigger than yourself — and that feels really good.

8. Be Okay With Not Knowing Everything

You don’t know everything and you never will. By letting go of being right all of the time, you allow yourself to be more open, honest, and ready to learn something new everyday.

9. Look Forward to 30

Thirty means more opportunity, self-awareness, and wisdom. Bring it on!

10. Accept Your Parents and Appreciate What They’ve Done for You

Your parents did the best they could. Once you appreciate them and accept them for who they are, your relationship will change from parent-child to peer. You may not agree with the choices they make or made, but it doesn’t matter because you have your own choices to make.

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11. Learn From the Mistakes You Made in Your Teens and 20s

Your teenage years and your 20s learn from your mistakes, hopefully without any major repercussions. Your parents bailed you out of that speeding ticket or paid for that phone you dropped in the toilet. However, once you hit 30 those responsibilities are solely your own. Be certain to learn from your earlier mistakes and be responsible in the future.

12. Be Grateful For the Life You’ve Led So Far

Gratitude is the appreciation for what you have. The more grateful you are for your past experiences, the more happiness you’ll have in your future life.

13. Anything Worth Having is Hard Work

You have to work to make things happen. You won’t be given things on a silver platter. Life is hard. Once you accept that, you can move on and start figuring out how to work through it.

14. Don’t Feel Rushed to Settle Down, Get Married and Have Kids

Life isn’t as short as they say. You have plenty of time before 30 to travel, explore, and experience life before you start the next chapter of your life.

15. Save Your Money

You spent your allowance on expensive shoes or on that new piece of technology, not really thinking about the future. However, you’ll be paying back student loans and your mortgage in no time, so start saving money now to set yourself up for the future.

16. Surround Yourself With People Who Make You Feel Good

When you were younger you might have hung out wit the popular kids or tried to get involved with groups that were seen as “cool.” When you’re older, hanging with the cool kids doesn’t matter anymore. It’s about surrounding yourself with people who accept you for who you are and help make you a better person.

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17. Learn to Control the Voice in Your Head

The older you get, the more you’re berated with society’s pressures of what clothes to wear, what car to drive, and what career to have; which can all fuel the ego and create self-doubt. Be kind to yourself and know that you are good enough, no matter what.

18. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Just because you’re growing up doesn’t mean you should stop playing. Play is an important part of our human existence. We’re very social creatures. Dr. Stuart Brown (from the National Institute of Play) compares play to oxygen. Brown says, “It’s all around us, yet goes mostly unnoticed or unappreciated until it is missing.” This might seem surprising until you consider everything that constitutes “play. Play is: art, books, movies, music, comedy, flirting, and daydreaming,

19. Take Everyday as an Opportunity to Become a Better Person

“The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.” – Anonymous

20. Be Aware that You Can’t Change Anyone

You might get frustrated by a friend, partner, or family member because they aren’t doing what you think is best for them. You have to realise that you can’t change anyone — you can only change yourself. Changing the way you respond or behave can shed new light on any situation, despite the other person’s actions.

21. Talk Less and Listen More

You might have a lot to say and want to share it with the world, but if you talk less and listen more you will hear things you might have never heard. You could end up connecting with someone you might have never connected with otherwise.

22. Don’t Make it About You

The Buddha said, “We are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act. Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them.” I would definitely like joy as a shadow, wouldn’t you?

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23. Slow Down

When you’re in your 20s it seems like everything is going a million miles a minute. Take time to slow down and be aware of your surroundings. Incorporating a mindfulness practice into your life is beneficial to your health and happiness. Check out Smiling Mind for more information about bringing mindfulness to your everyday.

24. Take Care of Yourself Emotionally, Spiritually, and Physically

Eating healthy, exercising, and looking after yourself on an emotional and spiritual level through meditation, yoga, or prayer will inevitably set the tone for a more balanced life after 30. A life of gratitude and understanding is certainly a life worth living.

25. “Dance Like There’s Nobody Watching, Love Like You’ll Never Be Hurt, Sing Like There’s Nobody Listening, and Live Like it’s Heaven On Earth”

This quote from William W. Purkey (educational author) says it all.

Featured photo credit: Girl with sunglasses in Bed via picjumbo.com

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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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