Relationships in general are difficult. Although everything about them is exciting, adventurous, daring, etc., they still take a ton of work. It’s more difficult when you’re a woman who is difficult to love. You shouldn’t look at yourself and think something is wrong with you. You’re just careful about who you invest your time in.
People are drawn to you like you would not believe. But, if they happen to get too close, they may wish that they had kept their distance. Because of your complicated nature, there will be intense arguments, but intense make-ups follow. I’ve heard people talk about complication as being a bad thing, and I always wondered how happy living a simple life could possibly be.
There are few who can keep up with your beautiful and brilliant self because more often than not, you’re driving them absolutely crazy. Unfortunately for your partner, you drain them of their energy because you just so happen to feed off it so easily.
You’ve probably noticed these qualities about yourself, and after a few failed relationships, you’re looking to make some changes. You want to become easier, someone who’s easier to love, but all of that is boring and foreign to you.
Everything you do is circled around passion — you swim in it so gracefully. Without passion, life is meaningless to you, and so are your relationships. You’re a nightmare and a dream in one woman’s body. You’re captivating and alluring to everyone around you.
You may be hard to love, but you are so worth it. You are deserving of the most passionate kind of love there is out there, and you won’t stop until you discover it.
When you find a love that lasts, embrace it, hold on to it so tightly because for the first time in a long time, you finally have something right. Here’s what women like you can learn from relationships.
1. Love takes work
When you take a look back at all of your failed relationships, you may start to ask yourself what is wrong with you. The answer to that question is absolutely nothing.
You may find yourself settling for these lukewarm sorta-kinda’s to satisfy your longing for an intensely passionate relationship with someone who understands what it’s like to be loved by you. The truth of the matter is that those people can’t handle you and everything that you have to offer, that’s why they haven’t worked out. You should be loved so fiercely that it ignites your inner passion to the fullest.
It may be difficult to love you, but the truth is, the person who deserves you, earns you.
2. Love is patience
The only kind of person who is going to be able to handle someone like you is someone who has an incredible amount of patience. You understand that patience and love come as a package deal.
You’re chaotic, and most times there’s no point in trying to fix it because, I mean, why would someone want to change who you are? The right person will be able to work with you side by side instead of trying to “fix” you.
3. Happiness comes from self-love
You have probably heard it a million times before, but you will truly never be able to love another person until you are able to love you for exactly who you are.
When you begin to truly appreciate you, and spend quality time alone for self-improvement and self-development, you’ll begin to notice why your shots at love before tended to fail.
4. Love is compromise
You have never been a good compromiser. You have a routine and anything that disrupts that routine is not allowed. So, in return, all of your relationships fall to the ground.
Once you come to the realization that no love worthy of your time can survive without compromise, you’ll be able to embrace it for what it is. It’s all about give and take.
5. You must live with your craziness
Most of us try and hide our craziness for as long as we possibly can. But what’s the point? You can’t possibly do that forever — that’s not who you are.
Truthfully, it gets hard being told that you’re absolutely nuts, but in all honesty, you are kinda (really) a crazy woman. It’s fine. Your craziness isn’t a bad thing. It lights up the world. You make the world different.
6. Love yourself just the way you are
Just because you are difficult to love does not mean that you are a bad woman or someone who is unable to be loved. You are just complicated, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that or you. You’re beautiful, fun, caring, adventurous, and fierce.
Take your failed relationships as lessons and just that. Don’t spend your time analyzing them after they’re over, wondering what you could have done differently to make them last.
You are an incredible human being and only a truly brave heart can love you. All the others will take it with a grain of salt and walk away, no questions asked. It’s not impossible to have a relationship with you just because you are difficult, and you learn to love yourself in spite of that.
The right love will love you as passionately as you deserve.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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: