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8 Ways to Challenge Yourself and Face Your Fears

8 Ways to Challenge Yourself and Face Your Fears

Some days we ooze confidence, in other areas we tend to pull back where we should lead. Like anything, confidence takes work. Especially for those who sometimes feel the burn of self doubt. We must challenge ourselves in order to lead fulfilling lives!

1. Do as the Europeans do

Check out some of your European friends. Though all cultures have their fantastic individual traits, Europeans are generally confident, self-aware, and live life as if they deserve their place in it. Take a few pointers from their attitude. Whatever it is you want to be doing, approach it as they do. Push your ego out of the way and don’t ask anyone or anything for permission to battle forward for the life you want.

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2. Stand naked in front of a mirror and look yourself in the eyes

Giggle. But seriously, this is one of the most confronting things a human can do. Eye to eye communication is thought to be the most personal, so being eye to eye with yourself can be intense. But give it a go. The more you do it, the more comfortable you are with yourself, and in time your self confidence will know no bounds. If you can manage it, tell yourself ‘I love you’ too. It might seem silly, but we don’t do it enough.

3. Live in a new country

It is all well and good travelling to a new country, but we are talking pack your things, say goodbye to your home, grab one medium-sized bag and just take to the hills. Find a new home, that place you always really really wanted to go but never did. Go and live there. Ensconce yourself in the culture and habits and see what you learn from those around you. It will be the hardest and most rewarding thing you might ever do in your life.

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4. Take up a new activity/sport that scares you

Pick one. Do it. Stick to it.

Start small. Practise every day. Do it until you can feel the power of your efforts, and the triumph. Your physical and mental strength will reward you.

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5. Take aim at your most unrealistic dream

Think about the thing you really, really want but never thought you could really really have. Maybe it was a class, maybe it was a job, maybe it was a family, maybe it was becoming a clown or learning to walk on hot coals! Whatever it was, and whatever the reason you pushed it aside, remember your long lost dream. And however unrealistic, if you can imagine it, you can aim for it. And once you realize you can do it, you also realize how much in this life really is possible.

6. Practice communication

Sometimes it is the daily things that make us believe we aren’t confident or good. Learn what is making you feel a certain way and communicate about it. The first time might be really really hard and also uncomfortable, but the more you learn to do this, the better you get at being able to communicate in ways that truly benefit our lives and our relationships.

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7. Because practice makes perfect

Aim high. Keep doing whatever it is, every day, over and over, until it isn’t scary any more. Aim for the part that scares you the most, keep calm and don’t stop until you get there. Just a little bit every day, until your confidence grows, and then a little bit more. The important thing is to just never ever give up.

8. Look your fears dead in the eye

There really is a lot of worth in the saying “Face your fears”. When we run from something, or avoid it, it grows in size. It doesn’t actually disappear like we want it to, just because we want it to. When we practice meeting our fears head on, the fear begins to dissipate and we learn to approach all situations with much more confidence. Not only does it benefit your own self worth, but such fearlessness commands respect. You will attract similar people into your life which will only further your positivity. You will be leader of your destiny in no time!

Featured photo credit: Magdeleine via magdeleine.co

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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