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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

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.

Live life. Be fearless.

Featured photo credit: Taylor Swift-Shake it off/Boom Big via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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