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It May Not Be Easy to Love An Old Soul, But It’s Life Changing

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It May Not Be Easy to Love An Old Soul, But It’s Life Changing

There is a special type of person in this world who is often misunderstood. They tend to be the loner, the free spirit, the wide-eyed innocent lover. They see the world for all it can — and should be — though the world rarely sees them. They are the old souls, the dreamers, the people so in-tune with life, so intuitive of emotion, that they scare us. Not because of who they are, but because of who we aren’t, what we lack.

Old souls reach depths we cannot possibly comprehend. They have a connection with God, with the universe, with nature, and that’s why they’re the people who will change the world. We often feel inferior, like we have to work extra hard to be remotely close to their level, to be deserving of their love.

It takes a confident person to love an old soul. But man is it worth it. It will change your life.

1. They are romantic.

They are the Audrey Hepburns and Grace Kellys, the Gregory Pecks and Frank Sinatras of this world, who cherish our hearts and do it with style: with picnics and candles and elements of surprise. Old souls have a flair for fun, for passion and adventure, that they’ll reveal to those they love.

2. They’re loyal.

Give an old soul love, respect, passion, and they’ll be faithful to you forever. Old souls aren’t after superficial friendships, or one-night-stands. They value depth. Truth. Authenticity. And if you meet that need, the love they have for you will never die.

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They’ll be there for you when dreams shatter, when life gets tough, in joy and sorrow.

3. They help us grow.

Old souls have inquisitive minds. They’re easily inspired and desire to learn as much as they can about the world and those around them. They don’t fear change or adventure. They’re open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. They desire to grow as people (spiritually, emotionally, and physically) so they inspire us to grow and change as well.

One can’t live by fear when loving an old soul.

4. They’re not materialistic.

Old souls care more about experiences, about spending quality time together than they’ll ever care about expensive jewelry and flowers or what money buys. They value you, the wonderful person you are, the person they fell in love with.

And if you invest your time and energy into loving an old soul, if you make time for them — beach strolls, dinners out, chilling on the couch watching Netflix, etc. — they’ll be fulfilled and so will you.

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5. They understand the deep connections of life.

Old souls can seem withdrawn at times, almost burdened down with the stress of the world around them. They often reflect about love and pain and worry. Their minds are hard at work trying to solve the problems of the world and the problems of their soul. They do this because of a strong desire to heal the world. To help others and help themselves.

So, appreciate their rich, magical emotions that run deep. Accept their desire to write and draw and paint. Encourage them. Cherish the depths of their soul. Then let them fly so they may share their open heart with the broken.

6. They’re thankful.

Because what’s good in this world can seem few and far between, old souls seek out and appreciate beauty. Whether it’s a radiant sunset or an act of kindness from a stranger, old souls recognize that the clouds do roll in, that people don’t have to be kind. So when someone goes out of their way, old souls take notice and give thanks. Old souls look for the best in people, for the beauty in their surroundings, for the blessings in life. And they often find it. Which makes old souls a light to be around.

7. They model bravery.

To live life misunderstood, to be unappreciated, taken for-granted, the group outcast — and still survive — WOW. Old souls are the bravest, most courageous people I know. They walk a painful road few in this life are chosen to walk, and yet they somehow muster the strength to smile. To be selfless. To support others.

Maybe not all the time. Not every day. But old souls know the trenches of pain and instead of being bitter, they make the world a better place.

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8. They’re authentic.

Old souls are not fake. They don’t play games. And they won’t tell you what you want to hear when they don’t believe in it. So the good news: You get the truth–whether you like it or not. And yes, while sometimes the truth can hurt, at least it’s real.

And yes, when an old soul is sad, they can’t hide it. Which can be a painful process to watch when you love them. But remember, anyone can be fake.

Old souls are who they are and that’s why we love them.

9. They have faith in us.

They see the good in us when we fail to see it ourselves. We can be the biggest idiots, the most selfish, ungrateful people, and an old soul won’t give up on us.They push us to be better, stronger, more authentic people. They remind us of what’s beautiful in this world. They inspire us to follow our heart and pursue our dreams.

They’re the kind of people we need in our lives because they they see the potential we have yet to see.

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10. They love us.

To be loved by an old soul is to feel the vast expanses of oceans and heavens and stars collide into one. The love of an old soul is a deep, genuine, fire burning love that ignites the depravity within our own souls. It is intense and powerful, selfless and unfailing. To love and be loved by an old soul heals us, changes us, and molds us into more caring, more passionate people.

Old souls are the sun. They’re the spark. They’re all the colors of a rainbow, and the depths of the earth. They may be misunderstood, but they’re love is real, their hearts pure.

Fall in love with an old soul and you’ll never fall in love again.

Featured photo credit: Girl Chasing Seagulls on Beach/Anton Petukhov 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)

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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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