Advertising

18 “Mistakes” You Should Make And Never Apologize For

Advertising
18 “Mistakes” You Should Make And Never Apologize For

Ask any business owner and they’ll tell you that the only way to improve is to try and fail until you get things right. And believe it or not, life works the same way! Here are 18 “mistakes” you ought to shamelessly make, and never apologize for.

1. Not giving your job 100%

There is more to life than work. Sure, it’s what people say you need to do if you’re going to be successful. But it comes with a lot of side effects, not the least of which are burnout and general empathy.

Make the mistake of working for the weekend. Enjoy life outside of work. Who knows, maybe what you enjoyably pursue outside the office will be the key to your hefty and steady paycheck.

2. Staying out late the night before work

Ted Mosby says nothing good ever happens after 2 am. Nay, we say! How in the world are you supposed to find out when good things stop happening until you find the end? You have friends you need to spend time with, right?

Go build those lasting friendships and write those stories you’re going to tell your kids one day. Eventually you’ll settle down and you won’t want to stay out late anymore, so enjoy it while you can. A few rough mornings in the office are worth it.

3. Going after that risky opportunity

Ask any entrepreneur how they became successful, and their story will begin with taking a massive risk. It’s scary. People will tell you you’re wrong or naive all day.

And you very well might fail more royally than the prince himself, but in doing so you pursued something to its end with passion and fervor. That’s what matters.

Advertising

4. Ending a friendship or relationship that doesn’t let you pursue your dreams

You’re a strong independent woman that don’t need no man! But seriously – people come and go; your mind stays. Do you really want to live constantly thinking “what if”?

Let’s answer that for you. You don’t. It doesn’t matter if you achieve great success. What matters is that you made a commitment to yourself, to fulfill your dreams, and you might find success along the way.

5. Spending all your money on experiences

Not everyone wants to work hard for 30 years, then settle down in a little house with a white picket fence. And that’s okay. It’s also okay not to save all your money. It’s okay to travel around the world with no certainty about where you’ll find income.

Spending money doesn’t mean you’re wasting it. You’ll only find out what’s really valuable to you by investing in yourself, so go have that unique experience!

6. Blowing off friends for some you time

Introverted or extroverted, everyone needs alone time. Even if your friends are going to some big party, don’t worry about missing out. Blow them off! You’re valuable, and time with yourself is important.

Indulge in some guilty pleasures. You deserve that bubble bath with a glass of wine and a Nicholas Sparks novel! You go, Glen Coco.

7. Treating Yourself

Money is a fickle thing. You, however, are invaluable. Splurge on yourself! Neglect responsibility and indulge in your hedonistic tendencies, because yes, those shoes do look great on you, and  yes, you will have a paycheck coming in later that week.

Advertising

Life isn’t always about making the “right” financial choices. Yes, you’ll get older and feel the need to spend less. But don’t you dare feel bad about treatin’ yoself. You deserve it.

8. Neglecting to keep up with the latest trends

When was the last time that keeping up with Kardashians provided you with any lasting value? How bad will you really look at family gatherings if you didn’t hear the latest political banter? You can only learn and be interested in so many things everyday.

We recommend spending that mental power on topics you actually find interesting. Migration patterns of the Brazilian Horned Frog? Fascinating!

9. Quitting your job without knowing what you’re going to do

Your parents may kill us for saying this, but, psst – it’s okay not to have a plan. Really. Yes, quitting your job is relatively serious. So is paying rent. But what’s the worst that can happen? Couch surfing while you live the bohemian lifestyle? Big deal.

If you’re completely unhappy in your current place of employment, quit! Figure out what you want to do later. Try for a bunch of odd jobs. Quit your job and moved to a new city with no plans, and you may just be all the happier for it!

10. Moving to a new city with no plans

Live a little. Experience the country, or different countries. Everybody grows up wondering what it would be like to randomly move off to New York, L.A., Venice, or London. Take the leap and go for it!

Worst case scenario, you meet a few sketchy people and have to freelance write to get by. Isn’t the potential pay-off and enjoyment of a world of new experiences worth the risk? Wrecklessly, go!

Advertising

11. Dating that one person you know is terrible for you

You’re attracted to them for a reason. You know the situation won’t end well, but does that really mean you have to lose out on weeks or months of a good time?

Besides, it’s much easier (and more meaningful) to learn what you do not want in a significant other than it is to really conclude what you do want, day-in and day-out. Future you will be thankful.

12. Using free time to accomplish personal goals

You don’t have to feel bad about bailing on friends. You don’t have to get ahead on work. Maybe you simply want to read one book a week for a year, or build a business on the side, or visit every major city in the U.S.

People will say to use that time to boost your career. Nay! Pursue your goals! Achieve your dreams! And don’t look back.

13. Making a complete fool of yourself in public

Acting out probably isn’t going to be in anybody’s best interest. But making a complete fool of yourself teaches you one of two things: either you definitely need to never do anything like that again, or that it’s okay to come out of your shell a bit.

Sure, people will feel uncomfortable for a moment. But what if that one ridiculous moment is the key to relieving your social anxiety, enabling you to experience more things in life and achieve more of your goals without constantly worrying about failure? Would you say that’s worth a few laughs at your expense?

14. Taking an awful job

Something’s got to pay the bills, right? However admirable it may be to wait it out for your dream job, or for that one position you really deserve, sometimes you just need to take a lesser position.

Advertising

Pros? Because you enjoy your job less, you’ll find more distractions throughout your day (usually other friends also unhappy with their jobs), and you’ll be more inclined to pursue things you love outside the office. Those little moments of friendly distraction will turn into tight bonds, and that time you spent on your dreams will become invaluable.

15. Trying something new

You’re right, raw squid does sound like a terrible idea. So does working in an industry you have no prior experience in.

But even just one try, just one attempt at something new, can do more than simply broaden your horizon. It could be a crucial next step to how you live the rest of your life. Fear not, and try often.

16. Getting a pet

They cost money, poop everywhere, and take up way too much of your time and energy. But aren’t they just the cutest? Taking care of a pet actually teaches you a ton, and not just if you’re ready for kids or not.

It teaches you to be considerate of another, how to organize your time, and to get into a routine (like when your cat jumps in your bed at 6 am every morning, meowing in your face to feed it).

17. Doing something for yourself despite others telling you not to

Your friends are right. Doing that one thing will end badly. But maybe you need to go through that to understand what’s bad about it, or if it’s really a bad choice at all. You can tell someone not to write a book all day, but that it will only be a waste of time and a failure.

Listening to you doesn’t bring them closure and understanding. People have to “waste” that time and try their hardest before they can come to grips with their poor choices. And then, they will know how to better handle things in the future.

Advertising

18. Trying to live a life separate from your family

We all have to go through this at least once. Yes, we love our families. But dang, are we sick of them! You have to prove to yourself that you can make a go of it on your own and not end up in a van down by the river.

You’re going to make a ton of mistakes, and it’s likely going to be really difficult. But if you don’t try to do things on your own, you’re never going to learn about yourself, your place in this world, and all the wonderful things you’re capable of.

More by this author

Kenneth Burke

Director of Marketing

Mittens Holding Coffee 12 Scientific Reasons Why You Should Drink Black Coffee Every Day Man Reading Kindle 14 Books To Help You Always Reach Your Goals 8 Steps to Ensure Success With Your New Website 8 Steps to Ensure Success With Your New Website Simple Steps Hiring Your First Employee 5 Simple Steps to Hiring Your First Employee Tips Help You Rent Dream Apartment 8 Tips to Help You Rent Your Dream Apartment

Trending in Communication

1 How to Live a Happy Life: 10 Keys to Happiness 2 10 Signs You Are in a Codependent Relationship (And What To Do About It) 3 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 4 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 5 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

Advertising
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:

Advertising

  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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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:

Advertising

  • 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

Read Next