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8 Powerful Thoughts That Can Make All Your Relationships Easier

8 Powerful Thoughts That Can Make All Your Relationships Easier
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Thoughts. We create them nearly every second in our lives. We cannot help it. It is part of our nature. Our parents, friends, and environment have a strong influence on our thoughts. Our most powerful thoughts are often attributed to the influences of our surroundings. Your thoughts and natural processes can change the way your relationships develop. Overcoming your natural inclinations and taking time to show compassion for all people makes all of the difference in your life. Here are eight powerful thoughts that can make all of your relationships easier.

1. Race Will Not Impede My Ability To Show Compassion Towards Others

Race is an attribute that was inherited by birth. Some people are born of a race that faces more racial discrimination. In contrast, there are others who are born of a race who faces less racism. The reality is that racial discrimination exists all throughout the world. The best thing that we can do is show compassion towards others. Try to understand what it would be like to be of a different race and how you would feel being faced with those challenges.

Utilizing empathy can dramatically enhance the quality of our relationships. Do not view the world as a spectrum of colors. Love does not care about colors and it will always exist, regardless of the color of someone’s skin.

2. Gender Will Not Impede My Ability To Show Compassion Towards Others

Gender is an another attribute that was inherited by birth. Some people are men. Some people are women. Besides our genitals, we are no different. The unfortunate reality is that there are people who will favor one gender over another regarding career opportunities.

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Gender inequality is a real issue, which is why it is important to show compassion towards others. Try to understand what it would like to be a man or a woman and how you would feel being faced with those challenges. If we want people to show us empathy, we must give empathy.

3. Religion Will Not Impede My Ability To Show Compassion Towards Others

Religion is often something that we embrace during childhood. Commonly, our parents tell us why they subscribe to a religion and why we should subscribe it too. Religion is a choice. Whether we were raised in a certain religion or chosen one later in life, it is still our choice.

Nonetheless, religious discrimination is still an occurrence. I cannot control the demeanor of others but I can control my own demeanor. I like to look at the good qualities of someone’s religion and make that my focus. It is one good way to preserve or enhance the quality of your relationships. If you don’t know anything about a certain religion, take the time to learn about it. You might be surprised to see just how similar a lot of our traditions are to one another.

4. Sexual Orientation Will Not Impede My Ability To Show Compassion Towards Others

Like religion, sexual orientation is a part of who you are. Forcing someone to be a heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual is no different than forcing a horse to eating food that he or she hates. Sexual attraction differs from person to person. There is nothing wrong with any sexual orientation. People are entitled to make their own choices.

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How much is it going to cost you to show compassion towards others? Nothing. So, why not do it then?

5. Politics Will Not Impede My Ability To Show Compassion Towards Others

Besides religion, politics is another thing that often keeps us divided rather than united. We all have our own political views. I personally do not care to argue about them. People share different political opinions because of their external influences. If you were born and raised in a household of Democrats, it is very likely that you are a Democrat now.

I do not care about your political views. I am just happy that you care about political issues within your society. Learn to appreciate the people that care about the nation’s issues.

6. My Diet Will Not Impede My Ability To Show Compassion Towards Others

I have found dietary lifestyles to be less of an issue overall. Although, there are groups of people who think they are better than others because they eat a certain way. I am a holistic nutritionist who cares about health – particularly my health. I do follow a diet that others may find unacceptable. However, their opinions do not matter to me. My health does matter to me, so I will do whatever is necessary to keep my body in the best condition.

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Many people fail to realize that there is not a blanket diet that suits everyone. There are so many factors to consider – blood types, genetic predispositions, and food sensitivities to name a few. The reality is that I do not care about your dietary lifestyle. I am just happy to see you enjoy your favorite foods.

Instead of judging someone’s diet, learn to appreciate the people that care about their health.

7. Cultural Customs Will Not Impede My Ability To Show Compassion Towards Others

If you have visited or lived in another country, I am sure that you have realized that life abroad was not quite the same as life in your native country. It can be easy to become insensitive to the customs of another country when you are not familiar with that way of life.

It is not only respectful to be adaptable but it is honorable to the citizens of that country. Some people may argue that they do not want to travel and prefer to stay their native country. Although, it is impossible to ignore that immigration exists In almost every country.

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So, while you may not opt to go abroad, you will still encounter immigrants who are new to your country. Some natives are unwelcoming. Some are empathetic. Why not choose to empathize? As stated before, how much will it cost you? Nothing!

8. I Am A Human With Flaws Just Like Everyone Else

The one thing that we share is flaws. They may differ a bit but we are born with some. However, our ego often refuses to accept the reality. It just makes us ignorant and arrogant, which ultimately destroys a lot of our relationships. Over the years, I have learned that I cannot kill my ego. It is part of me. Although, I know that it does not contain my best personality traits. Therefore, it is better for it to lie dormant.

Not only will a dormant ego save your relationships but it will birth new ones. Furthermore, it will allow you to accept help from others – something that will transform the quality of your life.

None of us is perfect. We all have weaknesses. So, why not let someone who is stronger in your weaker areas to help you out?

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Featured photo credit: geralt via pixabay.com

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Kallen Diggs

Bestselling Author / Magazine Editor / Syndicated Radio Show Host

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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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