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8 Signs You Will Be A Good Father (…Even You Don’t Think So At The Moment)

8 Signs You Will Be A Good Father (…Even You Don’t Think So At The Moment)

We live in a progressive age, where it is easier than ever for working fathers around the world to balance their personal and professional commitments. From flexible working directives (which will soon enable those without a fixed office to receive remuneration for travelling to and from their home) to increased paternity leave, the current generation of fathers are being afforded a helping hand like never before.

Despite these positive legislation changes, the emotional and psychological demands of being a father can be extremely challenging for first-timers. With no point of reference in their personal experience and conflicting opinions about what distinguishes a good father, it is easy for individuals to doubt themselves and the influence that they are having on their children. There are characteristics and personal traits that can empower you as an excellent father, however, and identifying these may offer comfort during times of insecurity. These include: –

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1. You can prioritize your Time Decisively

As a working father, the ability to prioritize is a key weapon to have in your armory. This will enable you to optimize your use of time in the workplace, which in turn means that you can return home in a relaxed and focused mood. Without the need to constantly check emails or handle professional calls, you will be able to prioritize time with your child and make the most of those precious moments before they are put down to sleep. Time is the greatest gift you can give your child as a father, so those with excellent prioritization and organisation skills are likely to be excellent fathers.

2. You are Playful and Spontaneous

The demands of nine-to-five work can alter your personality over time, gradually eroding your playfulness and instinctive sense of spontaneity. This can lead to workplace stress and anxiety, which can permeate every area of your life and impact negatively on your child. If you have managed to retain your sense of fun, however, you find it easy to engage your child through play and enjoy meaningful, spontaneous interaction. This will help you to bond with your child and fulfill your all-consuming role as a father.

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3. You are Nurturing

Whether you assume the role of a mother or a father, a good parent is nurturing and is selfless by nature. When a child is sick or injured, he or she becomes extremely vulnerable and needs their parents to provide unconditional support until they have recovered. If you have these character traits and are able to place the needs of others before your own, you have the core skills required to become a loved and influential father.

4. You Understand the Need to set an Example

While it is possible to hone sensory development and teach children through words alone, infants learn most effectively when they observe others. This is especially true with regards to relationships and interpersonal interaction, so parents play a significant role in teaching best practice by setting a positive example. If you already grasp this and understand the importance of your how your behavior may be perceived, you will be an effective father and role-model to your child.

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5. You are Patient

Lets’ face facts; being a parent is arguably the single biggest test of your emotional control and patience. Younger children do not understand the principles of reasoning, for example, while they may also be slower at completing certain tasks until their cognitive development reaches an advanced stage. This can be extremely frustrating (especially for highly skilled or intelligent individuals), but those with the potential to be great fathers are able to control these negative emotions and manage similar situations with genuine grace. They can also strike a compromise with other and communicate calmly, even during times of stress or duress.

6. You are Financially Responsible

We have already touched on the importance of setting a good positive example, but this extends beyond everyday interactions. It is also crucial that all fathers are fiscally responsible and actively teach their child about the importance of frugality, especially with the threat of a global recession looming large for 2016. Good fathers have a desire to financially support their family and reinforce good money management principles, so it is important that you are able to prioritize saving and frugal responsibility at all times.

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7. You are not afraid to be Unpopular for the Greater Good

This is something that leaders and those in management positions will appreciate, as occasionally you may need to make an unpopular decision for the greater good or in order to maintain a strategic course. While this may be met with short-term angst, it is crucial to remain focused on the bigger picture and the external factors that forced your hand. This mental fortitude and self-discipline is crucial if you are to become a parent and particularly a father, as you will need to punish bad behavior and reinforce any sanctions that you implement even if your child is upset. This can be challenging, but those with a longer-term outlook will be able to cope.

8. You understand the value of Teamwork

It is easy to become pigeon-holed in our everyday relationships, as we become increasingly rigid when ensuring that each individual fulfills their household chores and responsibilities. There is an occasional need for flexibility, however, where we must work as a team with our loved ones or assume additional responsibilities for a brief period of time. This is especially true for new parents, as the addition of a child can create considerable pressure and consume a huge amount of your time. If you understand this, the need of teamwork and its value to a successful relationship, you can use this to your advantage and emerge as a productive father figure.

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Featured photo credit: Pixabay / PublicDomainPictures via pixabay.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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