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How To Develop Your Full Potential: Bias And Strategies

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How To Develop Your Full Potential: Bias And Strategies

Life presents limitless possibilities and we are all filled with exciting potential. Exploring your fullest potential will lead you on a path towards the greatest fulfillment life can offer. Yet, it is never easily achieved and, in many cases, not pursued at all.

The first challenge you must face is realizing where your true potential lies. Once discovered, you must cultivate your skills using effective strategies. For those setting out on this path of self-discovery, the following guidance will serve you well.

Discovering Where Your True Potential Lies

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    First and foremost, you’ve got uncover exactly where your potential lies. It’s going to be a deeply personal search and you must be completely honest with yourself.

    It doesn’t necessarily have to align with your current skills or qualifications, but it must resonate with you. Watch out for these 3 common potential blockers!

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    Convention And Social Proof

    You shouldn’t allow others to influence your search, and social-proof tendency may force you to play it safe. But simply following the mainstream may cut you off from your true area of potential.

    As an example, let’s say your potential lies in writing. You feel energized as your thoughts transform into words and sentences. Yet, if you were persuaded into an unrelated (and uninteresting) career, it’s likely your writing potential would be left to starve.

    Comfort Zones And Exploration

    Don’t let your comfort zone stop you from exploring. A nagging curiosity could be the whisper of your potential. Remember: the more things you try, the closer you’ll be to finding your true calling.

    As a potential writer, you might need to take a leap of faith. It could be a financial risk to pursue your interests. Yet, sticking with what you know could be holding you back from an astonishing writing career!

    Inconsistency And Distractions

    In order to develop full potential, it must be cultivated consistently. Misalignment with your mind or actions will hinder or halt progress. If your potential is neglected for too long, you may lose sight of it completely.

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    As a budding writer, working a demanding job could zap you of the physical and creative energy needed to pursue your true potential. If the other job always takes priority, you may eventually stop writing altogether.

    Develop Full Potential Through Effective Strategies

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      Even with true potential uncovered, simply setting goals does not guarantee it will reach maturity. Lack of action, smart planning, and negative environments are the most common pitfalls.

      These two powerful strategies will support you in developing your full potential.

      Aligning Goals With Dreams

      If you can see yourself inching towards your dream, you’ll be compelled to continue through hardship. Setting achievable goals keeps us motivated and moving in the right direction.

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      Developing your full potential certainly won’t happen overnight, so you’ll need smart goals to keep you on track.

      As a writer, your dream could be to write for a famous publication or earn a fortune from your words. This may seem ambitious, but look at how aligning actionable goals can quickly grow your potential:

      1. Launch a personal blog and write about subjects that interest you.
      2. Publish articles at least 3 articles per week.
      3. Contact websites you admire and offer to write for free.
      4. Build a portfolio of your writing experience.
      5. Negotiate terms for paid writing jobs.

      Continue with the following milestones:

      • Earn X amount of money monthly from writing
      • Contact X number of prospects

      As you work through this list, you will feel the momentum building and potential awakening. You can easily create a similar list to help you develop full potential in any field you choose.

      Building a Supportive Network

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        Surrounding yourself with individuals that energize, inspire, and encourage you works wonders. Similarly, cutting negative influences from your life allows you to develop full potential unhindered.

        It’s amazing how much faster you can explore your potential in a positive environment. Choose the right people and you will receive support, motivation, and guidance.

        Interacting with those you aspire to be is rocket fuel to your potential. Most importantly, it compels you to take real action.

        As a growing writer, meeting with other professional writers could be an excellent experience. There’s so much to gain: tips for honing your style, advice on landing clients, and possibly invitations to exciting opportunities.

        Here’s a great strategy for building yourself a supportive community:

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        1. Cut out negative influences, possibly including social media.
        2. Register and become active in relevant online communities.
        3. Attend scheduled meet-ups and network with other attendees.
        4. Find an accountability partner with whom to share progress and reflect ideas.
        5. Build a following or mentor someone starting out.

        Remember, you only live once. There’s no greater duty you have to yourself than exploring and developing your full potential!

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        Joseph Summers

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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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