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15 Signs You’re Obviously The Youngest Child

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15 Signs You’re Obviously The Youngest Child

We are basically all spoiled eggs, right? That is our reputation. Before we begin the checklist to unite us all in our perceived spoiled ways, let one thing be known. The proverbial apples in your parents’ eyes were set aglow in ways never before illuminated the day your oldest sibling was born; but, they were once again equally illuminated the day they realized their last child had grown up and was on his or her own…well, at least we have that.

1. You know how to handle rites of passage

You have rites of passage just like everyone else. Your advantage, though, is that you got to witness your older siblings walk through the fire before you and observed how they stepped. Whatever burns they sustained, you can choose to also sustain or avoid. Whatever new and amazing discoveries they make you now have access to. Your older siblings explore unknown things and the further down the line you are the more cheat sheets you have to get you through your life.

2. Your parents are too tired to care

You, for better or worse, were allowed to juggle chainsaws and light fires in your backyard after school because your parents were too tired to care. The first, second, maybe even third, or more, were monitored far more than you as the watchful eye was gradually closed shut on your adolescence. The others turned out okay, right? Besides, someone is getting married, another is graduating high school, one more will be a freshman soon, and then there you are, melting ants with your magnifying glass, eating already-been-chewed gum off the sidewalk, and wondering what Santa Claus will bring you regardless of how adamantly your older siblings strive to convince you no such giver of toys exists.

3. That which does not kill you, makes you stronger

You, in memory of what Friedrich Nietzche once said, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger”, were able to test limits on a spectrum never before seen. You had an ability to absorb this world free of preconceived notions and the pressures parents put on the first of their line. Your parents were preoccupied isolating those before you as you emerged as a nearly unnoticeable drifter not encumbered by expectation, which might have made you the bird with the biggest wingspan in the nest.

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4. You idolized at least one of your older siblings

You idolized at least one of your older siblings as a child if not only for the simple fact that they were older. Well, now that we are all older and playing out the lives we had all imagined in high definition reality you take great joy in realizing that the brother or sister before you is forty, whether you are twenty-nine or thirty-nine.

5. You’re sensitive

You are sensitive because you were the last out the gate. You have the least to gain because you were so far behind. You noticed things the front runner wouldn’t. It wasn’t a fair race and you came to terms with that immediately. There is nothing to win, only things to notice and enjoy along the way.

6. You’re an “Old Soul”

You have been called an “Old Soul” many times and tend to hang out with people who are older than you. The reason you are wise beyond your years is because you have been quietly watching multiple life experiences, which will eventually play out in your own life, occur over and over in the form of older brothers and sisters.

7. You’re accustomed to insults

You are quite accustomed to treatment many others would find utterly insulting, even when you are older. Constantly being given torn or scratched hand-me-downs, never getting a window seat on family trips, and being forbidden from ever sitting at the adult table for holiday gatherings until you were thirty-years-old have all contributed in your modest world view and resistance to irritability.

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8. You’re not very sentimental

You are not very sentimental because it did not take long for you to realize that hardly any pictures were ever taken of you from infant through teenage years. Meanwhile, your oldest sibling has archived films and picture albums dated by the week until he or she turned eighteen.

9. You get called by the wrong name

You do not mind as an adult if a friend, acquaintance, or even your own boss calls you by the wrong name because it has simply always been that way. Your parents’ inability to use your correct name is as natural as calling an apple an orange…”perhaps it is” you might think to yourself.

10. You can sleep anywhere

You can fall asleep standing up, hanging upside down, on the floor, or duct taped to the wall…instantly. It has always been this way because there was no other alternative.

11. You never fail to stun

You never fail to stun your aunts and uncles each time they see you because for some odd reason they expect you to still be eight-years-old even though you are twenty-seven.

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12. You will hear many stories from before you were born

You pay no attention when your family gets together and begins talking about childhood memories. Being the youngest child, your whole life has consisted of random, unfamiliar anecdotes given by your siblings that always end with, “Do you remember that?”

“Ummm…no I don’t. I wasn’t born yet.”

13. You leave your siblings’ jaws dropped

You leave your siblings’ jaws dropped in the event that you display any level of intelligence. Knowing something that no other sibling in the room could answer is a felonious family act punishable by silent treatment and dismissed as dumb luck.

14. You really, really, really enjoy it

You really, really enjoy being younger than your siblings in adulthood…Did I mention that already? You really, really, really enjoy it.

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15. You realized that maybe we are all spoiled eggs

Maybe we are all spoiled eggs, but it is through the exhausting energy exerted on those who came before us that made us the laid back, happy-go-lucky, adaptable, and adventurous creatures that we are.

Featured photo credit: Happy Children Siblings via bing.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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