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9 Quotes From Taylor Swift That Will Motivate You to Work Harder

9 Quotes From Taylor Swift That Will Motivate You to Work Harder
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Whether you go to her concert as a fanatic teenage fan or a “sacrificial” parent, one thing is for certain: Taylor swift inspires.

Honored as one of Time magazines “100 Most Influential People”, T-Swift has made her mark. Not only on the music industry, where she’s the recipient of seven Grammys along with a slew of other prestigious awards — but on all our hearts as well, recently becoming the most followed person on Instagram. Yes, she’s more followed than the President of the United States and the Kardashians. That’s saying something! Perhaps it’s her raw lyrics, her authenticity, and her passion to make the world a better place, but there’s no better role model out there for teenage girls.

At fourteen years old, Swift moved to Nashville, Tennesee to pursue a career in music. She became the youngest singer-songwriter ever hired by the Sony/ATV Music Publishing House, and has gone on to sell more than forty million albums.

Radiant in wisdom and poise, Swift instills fearlessness, a strong work ethic, and abundant heart into everything she says and does. Here are nine of her most influential quotes to inspire and motivate us to work harder.

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1. “Life is like walking — you take one step at a time.”

Most things in life don’t come easy. The sooner we understand this, the faster we’ll roll up our sleeves and get to work. Every single decision we make either propels us toward ours dreams or away from them. So the next time we find ourselves sitting around, waiting for a fairy godmother or a magical lamp — we should get up and do something productive for our dream. Taylor Swift wouldn’t be the success she is today if she never practiced on her guitar or sang in local restaurants and bars. Everyone has to start somewhere, and the first step is a willingness to put in the time and hard work. The rest — baby steps.

Put one foot in front of the other in pursuit of your dreams.

2. “Never believe anyone who says you don’t deserve what you want.”

In other T-Swift words, “Haters gonna hate.” We should expect some jealousy, some envy from others, then laugh it off. We DO deserve what we want — we deserve the best. People who say otherwise aren’t worthy of our time or energy.

So ignore them, push on, and surround yourself with people who believe in you, who inspire you, and who love you just as you are and are yet to be.

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3. “Lost your balance on a tightrope. It’s never too late to get it back.”

Following our dreams often feels like we’re walking on a frail, wobbly, rope. Sometimes all it takes is one bad step, one slip-up and we’re face-first on the ground listening to the hater’s boo. But what separates the dreamers from the bitters is they get back up and start again — and again — until they find their balance. Taylor Swift kept singing until a record label would give her a chance.

So, dust yourself off and get back on the rope. Maybe next time you’ll make it a little bit farther than you did before.

4. “So don’t you worry your pretty little mind. People throw rocks at things that shine.”

People are intimidated by success. Why? It’s human nature. We all have a desire to be known, to be recognized, to be seen. When we’re overshadowed by those around us, it’s easy to get resentful and be jealous, even when we care about the person (and especially when we don’t).

What we need to remember is that we’re all on this journey together. When someone else is in the spotlight, applaud. When we’re in the spotlight, enjoy it, then use our influence to help others shine. But we shouldn’t worry or let someone’s jealousy bring us down.

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5. “There are two ways you can get through pain. You can let it destroy you, or you can use it as fuel to drive you: to dream bigger, work harder.”

In interviews, Taylor often talks about her pain from being bullied and left out in high school. Yet, because she wasn’t invited to parties, she stayed home and played guitar until her ‘fingers bled’. I’m sure there was moping and lots of tears, but she harnessed her pain through music. This helped not only her to heal, but millions of others suffering.

So we shouldn’t let pain get the final say in our lives. Instead, we should use it to motivate us: Push harder, rise higher, and loosen pain’s deadly grip.

6. “Shake it off.”

Studies show that people who can “shake it off” are more likely to reach their goals than people who dwell on their problems. Which is why resiliency, the ability to bounce back, adjust, and cope with life’s disappointments is key to Swift’s success — to all our success.

So, the next time you feel like calling it quits: Blast the music, dance around the kitchen table, and shake the worries off. It will allow you to relieve some stress and be far more productive.

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7. “So this is me swallowing my pride. Standing in front of you saying, ‘I’m sorry.'”

Sometimes our best ideas come from others. Hard work often requires us to let go of our egos and listen to others’ advice — to be open and willing to new ideas and new ways of doing things. Believe it or not, we’re not always right. And when we make a mistake, it’s critical that we’re honest. Sometimes the biggest obstacle standing in the way of our dreams is ourselves.

So, swallow that pride and use the expertise of others to make your work the very best it can be.

8. “I’m intimidated by the fear of being average.”

Aspire for greatness, and don’t settle for less. I’m reminded of a quote by Les Brown that says, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

9. “FEARLESS is not the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. To me, FEARLESS is having fears. FEARLESS is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, FEARLESS is living in spite of those things that scare you to death.”

We should never let fear prevent us from reaching our goals. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to step toward our dreams. There will be haters and tightropes and a slew of other challenges in our way. But none of these things stopped Swift. Nor should they stop you.

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Live life. Be fearless.

Featured photo credit: Taylor Swift-Shake it off/Boom Big 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)
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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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