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15 Habits That Make Ultra Successful People Stand Out

15 Habits That Make Ultra Successful People Stand Out
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Who the heck doesn’t want to succeed in life?

Despite our drive and ambition for success, we all define success differently. For many, it is all about the benjamins. For some, it’s building good and healthy relationships. For others, it’s simply being content with what you have.

As the founder of a blog called Run For Wealth, I have spent many years studying the concept of success. The pay off line at Run For Wealth is “Run A Fulfilling Life Race”. As such, to me success means leading a fulfilling life.

Whatever your definition of success, I have listed 15 habits of ultra-successful people that will help you live a fulfilling and abundant life.

1. They have an incredible amount of faith

Success begins with faith. You have to dream and believe in a concept. Before anything tangible, deep inside there has to be a conviction that drives you.

You then have to constantly cultivate that dream and concept.

Speak to any ultra-successful person, and they will relate a story that began years and possibly decades before what was seen with the naked eye.

2. They think abundantly

Ultra-successful people understand that the world has more than enough for everyone.

As such, they are constantly in abundance mode. That means they are not stuck on the limitations caused by small-mind and scarcity thinking that leads to greed and manipulation.

They realize that if they simply work hard, smart, and follow their passion they will get their share of the massive cake of ultra-success.

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3. They constantly invest in themselves

Self-investment is the most important practical step anyone can take when pursuing success.

Ultra-successful people sow life seeds all the time. They invest both time and money into their future.

In this hectic and crazy world we all live in, the ultra-successful set aside time for themselves. In this world of materialism, they realize the power of spending money on their future success.

4. They work according to a life plan

Nothing happens by osmosis where ultra-successful people are concerned.

They plan their lives. Then, they constantly work their plan. Does the plan always work to the tee? Absolutely not! In fact, most of the time, plans fall apart.

However, the few plans that work, put ultra-successful streaks ahead of the ordinary Joe Sope because the majority of society doesn’t have a plan. They live an erratic life that has no sense of direction and purpose.

5. They lead a balanced lifestyle

Ultra-successful people understand that money is not everything.

They are multi-dimensional. They know that relationships are just as important (if not more important) than money. They know that physical health is just as important as money and relationships. They understand that cultivating a healthy spiritual foundation is just as important as money, relationships and good physical health.

As such, they constantly dedicate time to nurture all the important areas of their life.

6. They treat people with respect

Success is centered around people. Your mentors are people. Your colleagues and/or business partners are people. Your employees are people. Your clients are people.

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As such, to succeed, you have to treat people with respect and dignity regardless of their status in life.

7. They focus on their strengths

We have all been blessed with gifts and talents. Within those gifts and talents lies an incredible amount of potential that we need to tap into by working hard.

Ultra-successful people are able to find their mojo. When they do, they spend most of their time harnessing that which they are good at. This doesn’t mean they don’t have weaknesses. It does not mean they negate to improve areas where they are weak.

However, they will not waste their time on areas they are not naturally gifted in under the umbrella of “you can be anything you want to be in life”.

You need only watch shows like Idols to realize that you CAN’T be anything you want to be in life by constantly focusing your energy on areas you are not naturally gifted at.

8. They are transparent

Ultra-successful people believe in honesty and integrity.

In a world where there is so much corruption, the habit of constantly cultivating a transparent disposition can be a massive challenge. In the face of challenges and times of doubt when pursuing your dreams, the temptation to drop your moral compass has the potential to show its ugly head.

Ultra-successful people understand that no amount of success is worth it if you live a life of dishonesty.

9. They take each day at a time

Patience is a virtue. This sounds so cliché until you hit your head against the challenges of life when pursuing your success.

Ultra-successful people understand that “easy come, easy go” is a reality.

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10. They manage their time

Time is the most important resource we have.

Ultra-successful people guard their time like hawks. Because they work according to a life plan, their day-to-day activities are deliberate. That way, they are able to navigate themselves through the many distractions that life can throw.

11. They manage their money

Earning and accumulating income and wealth is important. Keeping it is just as important.

Ultra-successful people understand this. As such, they account for their expenditure as much as they do their income.

To them, the ultimate is to build financial acumen to a point where your money works for you. Your money will never work for you if you don’t manage it well.

12. They constantly bless others

“We are blessed to a blessing” is perhaps one of the most basic ‘secrets’ to success.

Firstly, most people live in scarcity mode (vs abundance). Secondly, when pursuing your dreams, life throws so many challenges you become so protective over what you accumulate when you eventually succeed. This is why many ‘successful’ people are loathed when they have to share and bless others.

Yet, blessings increase when you are able to share them. Sharing means you are able to give your time (as a mentor to others) and your money (to less fortunate and those around you). By doing that, your blessings and success accumulate.

13. They use positive body language

They say actions speak a thousand words. Ultra-successful people work hard at ensuring that their body gestures are constantly positive.

Be it eye contact or body posture when sitting in a meeting, they know that these ‘small’ matters go a long way.

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14. They constantly challenge themselves

Where challenges are concerned, you only have two options: Either you pro-actively challenge yourself of life will challenge you by force.

When you pro-actively challenge yourself, you have the edge. When life challenges you, you are on the back-foot and you eventually lead a reactive life of putting out fires.

Ultra-successful people understand that challenges bring out the best in us. They don’t wait for challenges to come their way. They go out there and constantly challenge themselves.

15. They are grateful

Although ultra-successful people have been wired to be ambitious, they cultivate an ability to balance ambition with contentment and appreciation. Being content doesn’t mean you settle for mediocrity.

Contentment and appreciation means you appreciate fully what you have in the present. It means you acknowledge those who are your support structure and have helped you to be where you are currently. It also means that your drive and ambition is not fueled by greed and other negative catalysts.

Yes, be ambitious. But, equally important, be content and fully appreciative of where you are currently.

Ultra-success is a constantly evolving status on your life timeline.

Even for those who are “self-actualized” on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, their need to give back or contribute goes through numerous stages that can never hit a ceiling whilst they live here on Planet Earth.

Featured photo credit: Image courtesy of John Hope via flickr.com

More by this author

Peteni Kuzwayo

Peteni is the founder of Run For Wealth. He shares about entrepreneurship and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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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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