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Last Updated on March 24, 2021

5 Reasons You Will Never Be a Fighter

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5 Reasons You Will Never Be a Fighter

Everyone fancies themselves as a bit of a fighter. We will stand up for ourselves, defend our values and beliefs, and occasionally even engage in good ol’ fisticuffs if we feel that strongly about a matter. Yes, there’s a small part of us all that believes we’ve got what it takes to face off against one another.

Some even learn a martial art and have a good crack at it. Fight nights for amateur boxing, muay thai, and MMA are frequently held, and it’s never been easier to get matched against a willing opponent.

However, true fighters are cut from a different cloth. Very few people have the heart, determination, and mental toughness it takes to succeed in the ring, and I’m willing to bet that you aren’t one of them. Sorry to burst your bubble, but here are five reasons why competitive fighting will forever remain a pipe dream.

1. You don’t have a strong enough “why.”

We all have a calling in life, and for some, it’s fighting. Natural talent and ability will only get you so far, and to succeed in the fight game, you’re going to need more than just neat skills.

Successful fighters have a deep-rooted “why” they tap into in times of low motivation and hardship—and in the life of a fighter, there are plenty of tough times.

Everyone’s why is different, and it doesn’t matter what it is. The motivation could be money, success, a shot at fame, attracting hot girls, or just going toe-to-toe with another in the ultimate challenge.

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Ask a hundred fighters what their why is, and each one will have a different answer. It really doesn’t matter what the motivation is, as long as it has profound meaning to you and is worthy of your devotion.

2. You are not obsessed with fighting.

Success 101: no matter what you choose to do in life, you need to work hard at it in order to succeed.

The only way you can sustain the tremendous effort it requires to rise to the top in your field, is to be completely obsessed with your thing.

You have to eat, sleep, and breathe, whatever it is you choose to do.

This couldn’t be truer of a fighter.

When fighters wake up in the morning, the first thing they do is put their trainers on and start the morning roadwork session. Rain, hail, or snow, whether they feel like it or not, and regardless of the pain, their body is in.

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When they’re not training, they’re thinking about training, and agonizing over what they can do to become that little bit better than the competition. When they eat, only nutritious foods that fuel intense workouts pass their lips. Fighting and training is on their mind 24/7, and they prioritize it over socializing, leisure time, and even family and friends.

This is the level of commitment it takes.

If you’re not completely obsessed with fighting to the point where you shadowbox on autopilot while you work, eat, and even while you sleep, find a new hobby.

3. You’re only fueled by anger.

Fighters are not angry people. While they compete in an aggressive sport, most live balanced and successful lives outside of the ring. If anger is all you have, then you can kiss your shot of becoming a fighter goodbye. You see, anger is only a temporary motivator, and something will come along and extinguish your hot-headedness. Whether it is the meeting of a soulmate, the birth of a child, or some life-changing epiphany, your hatred and venom will eventually fade.

And as all professional fighters know; it’s better to stay cool, calm and collected in a fight in any case. That way you’re not likely to make mistakes or take unnecessary risks.

4. You don’t have faith in yourself.

While a certain amount of self-belief is required to be successful in all of life’s endeavors, fighting calls for an unshakable belief in yourself. You have to know that you are the one.

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You have to truly believe you are stronger, faster, and technically better than your opponent.

Harbor just the slightest feeling of self-doubt, weakness, or inferiority, and you’ve already assigned yourself to defeat.

Nowhere is this truer than when fighters stare into each others eyes at the beginning of a bout. You can predict the winner in nine out of ten fights, as he’ll be the one that holds eye contact the longest. The fighter that believes without a doubt that they are going to win isn’t scared to look their opponent in the eyes.

5. You can’t handle pain.

Call it stating the bleeding obvious, but fighters endure a lot of pain.

I’m not just talking about the persistent niggles felt during training, but unbearable pain that would bring an ordinary person to their knees. And best of all? As a fighter, you have to feel the pain, and push through it.

No matter where your pain threshold lies, fighting will take you there, and beyond.

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There will be times when all you want to do is go down on one knee and cry out that you’ve had enough. But you can’t. Fighters don’t quit. Ever. They fight till death—or at least until the bell of the last round dings.

Answer this question truthfully, as in it, lies your mental fortitude for becoming a fighter: would you continue to fight despite being exhausted, wounded, and with no chance of winning?

Still not put off?

Some people will read this and think “so what? Big deal.” Nothing you’ve said has fazed me, and I’m still going to take on any man that dares to lay down the gauntlet.

To the battle-hardened few that compete, whether as a hobby or professionally, I salute you. Fighting is the ultimate form of competition, and only a small percentage of people have what it takes to succeed in this arena.

If you believe this is you, my parting advice is this: if you dream of becoming a fighter, ensure your reasons for doing so are worth dedicating your life to.

Featured photo credit: Winner Looser via pexels.com

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Jane Hurst

Writer, editor

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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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