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Are You A Control Freak? Use It To Your Advantage

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Are You A Control Freak? Use It To Your Advantage

There are many people who are considered as the controlling type. Everybody has met someone like this at some point in their life – Type A, OCD people or control freaks. On the other hand, there is a completely opposite group of people who just couldn’t care less about things. These labels usually have a negative connotation, as nobody likes being controlled or manipulated by someone else. However, being a control freak doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a bad person.

Think about it, there are many pleasant people out there, but does that make them good by default? Maybe, and maybe not… it depends. Every kind of personality has good and bad sides. It is important to know yourself and work on your bad sides, or to try and use the things which are “negative” to your advantage. Being controlling is undesirable in certain situations, but there are times when it may be mandatory. If you are a control freak, then you’ve come to the right place because today, we will talk about how you can use your personality to your advantage, both personally and professionally.

Use your readiness and creativity

Most control freaks think about everything. We are not just controlling about other people, but about ourselves as well. This is why we are always ready for the things that await us; prepared for all obstacles. Not only that we think about things that await us, but we take even further steps.

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Things like designing situations that might develop, thinking about them, planning your moves and taking all the necessary things in account are not uncommon to people who want to be in control. This quality of yours can give you a key advantage in your career, enabling you to prepare well for job interviews, give creative suggestions at work and never disappoint your boss by breaking deadlines.

Take control of your environment

You don’t enjoy messiness! Period. This is a valuable trait you should definitively look to nourish even further. Nobody loves messy people. Its OK while you are teenager, but as you get older, people will think you are an immature kid. When I was in my early 20s, I used to boss people around, telling them how they are messy and stuff, but on the other hand, I didn’t take care of my own living environment.

Not because I was too lazy to do it, but just because I liked to spend most of my time controlling everyone else, rather than myself. That’s why people despised me. Take that inner voice that demands perfection and use it on yourself to make your living or working space sparkle. However, you need to make sure that you are being smart and efficient about organizing your environment, so that you don’t spend a lot of time on making your office just right, instead of actually doing your job.

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Get the job done

As a control freak you don’t shy away from working hard. This is something you should look to take advantage of, as people are getting lazier and lazier. I personally used this excessive energy to progress in my career and work hard towards brand new promotions and better job positions. Employers love hard workers, and my devotion gave me a key advantage in the workplace, as most of my employers respected me for my hard work; and they rewarded me as well.

Let your tidiness and punctuality shine

Nobody schedules time better than control freaks, and nobody has a tidier office and home. Punctuality and tidiness will earn you quite a few bonus points with your employers and business associates, so feel free to let your controlling inner self shine. The compulsion to have everything just perfect will allow you to spend some time on tidying up, e.g. performing regular rug cleaning and maintenance and ironing your clothes every morning, and ensure that both you and your immediate surroundings look presentable.

Also, very few people are going to be at their desk exactly on time every single day, turning in projects ahead of schedule or paying incredible attention to detail, and this gives you an edge over the people you are competing against in the business world.

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Use your toughness to get what you want

I am a tough person by nature, and people know this. Why? Simply because I don’t let anything slide, I like to cover every case scenario and consider all possible roads ahead. This is something that can be annoying to others, since many people don’t think that much when arguing with someone, or they are influenced by emotion. Being assertive and confident can do you lot of good, both in your career and personal life, as you will be able to negotiate what you want and prove your dominance to others. It may sound harsh, but this is how life works. It’s every man for himself.

Make decisions that nobody else will

Focus and decisiveness is something all of “us” have and this helps us get to the bottom line of every issue. This is something that presents a problem to other people and that’s why they can’t make hard decisions that concern their life or career. Constantly staying in your comfort zone and not having the courage to do what has to be done never got anybody anywhere. Luckily, you have the potential to overcome these issues easily.

Your desire for leadership will give you progress

Why do people call us control freaks? Simply because we want to tell everybody what to do. Luckily, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as there is a constant need for quality leaders. For example, if you are planning on starting a business of your own, your desire to organize things the way you see them can be very useful. A business owner needs to be a leader who can quickly organize people and tell them what their next steps are. Furthermore, employees usually have greater respect if their superior is a confident business leader.

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These are the things you should look to use to your advantage, but be careful how you use them. There is a right place and a right time for each of them, and you should learn what they are in order to use them positively.

Featured photo credit: ARTZ5143 SCM HANDS MASTER/Juan Carlos Pachón via flickr.com

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Ivan Dimitrijevic

Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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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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