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What To Say To Yourself To Be Happier And More Successful

What To Say To Yourself To Be Happier And More Successful

Do you have negative beliefs about yourself? Statements you tell yourself before you try something new and potentially rewarding?These negative self-talk scripts are convenient excuses to avoid change. They serve as limiting beliefs, naysayers in our heads – mental myths.

Sometimes we don’t even realize the influence they have on our mindset and decisions.

You may be quick to say to yourself, “I’m shy, introverted, and socially awkward. There’s no way I’ll ever speak in front of a crowd.”

But because of this, opportunities can pass you by. And it is up to you to flip this script around to destroy the negative thoughts, turning them into positive self-talk script.

Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus, who believed in self-responsibility and self-discipline, was an early proponent of positive self-talk:

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”

Think about your limiting beliefs and how you can flip them around to become positive self-talk scripts. Smash through your mental myths and use these positive scripts to guide your behavior.

Then, talk in the second-person (“you”) instead of the first-person (“I”). Psychologists in this study found that – counter-intuitively – using the second-person increases your chances of success.

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To inspire you, here are 10 positive self-talk scripts from successful people.

1. “You are enough.”

Before going on stage, actress and singer Demi Lovato tells herself: “I am enough.”

She uses this to silence her limiting beliefs about both her achievements and her body image. For Lovato:

“‘I am enough’ means being comfortable with your body, with what you have achieved — and with what you haven’t. It means accepting who you are without caveats. It means rising to the bar you’ve set for yourself instead of conforming to the outlandish expectations of others. It translates to a confession of self-acceptance, and it’s something we could all stand to say to ourselves more often.”

2. “You make it happen.”

Aarthi Ramamurthy, founder of Lumoid, borrows this self-talk script from a Michael Jordan quote: “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”

It’s simple as that. Tell yourself to go out and take action.

3. “You give of your talents freely, and you are wonderfully blessed financially.”

This script is from the classic book The Power of the Subconcious Mind by Dr.Joseph Murphy.

The idea is to assume that success is inevitable, especially if you constantly help others using your talents. Wealth is a by-product of your effort to provide value in the world.

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4. “You are possible.”

Actress Audrey Hepburn was quoted as saying, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”

Except where it violates the laws of physics, anything is often possible. But most people wait until they’re “ready”.

Instead, tell yourself “You are possible” and take the first step. Then the second. Don’t let perfection paralyze you. Just put one foot in front of the other and you’ll achieve success.

What other negative beliefs can you flip around just by re-arranging letters? How about this: instead of “No Way”, say “Now, ay!”

5. “Stay focused. Stay positive. Keep your chin up and your feet on the ground.”

Amy Sacco, founder and partner of the Bungalow 8 nightclub chain in New York City and London, tells herself this script every day while blasting her favorite songs.

Borrow this idea yourself and take your self-talk to a new level by playing the high-energy tunes you love while verbalizing the script out loud.

6. “Trust yourself and your gut rather than conventional wisdom.”

This script by Linda Boff, an executive director at GE, reminds you to be skeptical of the experts, to test everything, and base your decision on what you think will work for you.

Like Amy, Linda also accompanies her self-talk with music:

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“I love the theatre and often have a song going through my head. One that I frequently turn to in the morning as a motivator is the song ‘Defying Gravity,’ from ‘Wicked.’ It always picks me up and reminds me to trust myself and my gut rather than conventional wisdom.”

7. “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

Steve Jobs delivered this line during a commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005. He said that he was inspired by the final issue of The Whole Earth Catalog magazine:

“It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

And I have always wished that for myself.

And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.”

This script reminds you to keep pushing while being open to new ideas and opportunities.

8. “Failure is your stepping stone to greatness.”

This is a modified version of a quote by the super-successful Oprah Winfrey, who is no stranger to ups and downs in her life.

Obstacles and adversity are your best path to success and greatness, according to The Obstacle Is the Way. Only by trying and failing repeatedly and relentlessly will you develop a growth mindset, rather than a fixed one.

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9. “You are the greatest.”

Muhammad Ali said, “I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.”

Tell yourself you are the best at what you do, and let that inspire you to take action to get there.

10. “What good shall I do this day?”

Benjamin Franklin asked himself this question first thing every morning.

The message is to first think about doing good. If you can solve other people’s problems, they will value you. This is a win-win mentality that accelerates success for you and everyone you interact with.

What do you think of these “flip it around” self-talk scripts? Comment below and click “Share” to inspire your friends!

Featured photo credit: Ashley Campbell via flickr.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)

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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