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10 Reasons Why We Never Forget Our First Love

10 Reasons Why We Never Forget Our First Love
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There are a lot of firsts we encounter in life, like owning our first car, having our first drink, and our first day at school. Firsts are some of the most memorable moments in life, and depending on the situation can either bring us a feeling of ecstasy or a sense of devastation. Either way, one thing most people remember is their first love.

Love is always special, but your first love moves you in a way that is inherently unique. It introduces you to feelings you have never had before, for better or for worse, and is accompanied by a sense of wonder, intrigue, and excitement. Even though your first love may not have lasted, it will be a part of who you are for the rest of your life.

When we think about our first love, there is a mixture of emotions we all feel which can be hard to explain. But why, even though our first love may have happened 5, 10, 15, or even 50 or more years ago, do a lot of us still think about it today?

Here are 10 reasons why our first loves are unforgettable:

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1. Your First Love is Powerful

The first time you fall in love can feel practically earth shattering. All of a sudden, you realize you care about someone else in a way that you didn’t fully understand was possible. Even though we are aware of love, the first time you experience it in the romantic sense opens up a world of possibility and excitement, coupled with a hint of fear. It is unlike anything you have felt before, making the person associated with this discovery a permanent fixture in your memory.

2. Your First Heartbreak is Powerful, Too

The only thing that rivals the intensity of your first love is your first heartbreak. Often, these feelings are surrounded by memories of the same person. For those who didn’t remain with their first love for the rest of their lives, the ending of that relationship was likely very painful, regardless of who initiated the end or whether it was amicable.

It’s hard to let go of your first love, to walk away from those early feelings that were almost magical. The amount of effort required, and the amount of pain felt, will likely stick with you for a lifetime.

3. Your First Love was Innocent

For most people, their first love was innocent. It was free of manipulation on their part and often developed organically over time. It wasn’t something you were trying to do, it just happened. The lack of motive or intention makes it seem even more special.

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After our first love, we are highly aware of what outcome we desire from any subsequent relationship. We may put more pressure on these relationships as we attempt to find something that brings us back to those initial feelings we felt the first time. This can cause us to act differently as we actively pursue that kind of connection again.

4. Your First Love Came with Other Firsts

Your first love was likely not the only first you experienced with the person who captured your heart. They may have encouraged you to try new things and take on new challenges, and were at least partially responsible for some of your personal growth. You also bore witness to the changes you incited in them and saw how people could support each other in a positive way.

In some cases, your first love may have also been involved in various physical firsts, and the emotional and chemical reactions that come with them. Whether it was a first kiss or the loss of virginity, these physical firsts are also memories we tend to carry with us throughout our lifetimes. Even in cases where things were clumsy or uncomfortable, most of these memories are looked at with a level of affection.

5. Your First Love Was Part of Your First “Us”

Though you may have identified as part of a couple before, your first love is often the first time you actually felt like you were part of an “us” or a “we.” This may represent the first time you made decisions based on what made sense for you as a couple, instead of you as an individual. You may have even prioritized the other person’s thoughts, opinions, or feeling above you own when faced with a decision, relinquishing a few your preferences in favor of someone else’s.

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6. Your First Love May Not Have Ended by Choice

It isn’t uncommon for first loves to be pulled apart more by circumstance than pure choice. For example, two students preparing to attend different universities may end a relationship instead of trying to make it work over a long distance. The same may also occur when presented with a job opportunity that would prove significant for one person’s career.

First loves are often young loves. During our youth, we do not always have the highest level of control over where our lives take us. Before reaching adulthood, we are tied to the activities of our families, which may require us to relocate based on the decisions made by our parents. Educational opportunities and early career options may also be a factor, as it may not be feasible to sacrifice one’s future in order to stay together.

7. Your First Love Represents Your Youth

Over time, thoughts of your first love don’t just refer to them, but to where you were at that point in your life. It may bring back memories of your youth, of a time that may seem much simpler when viewed in hindsight through the eyes of an adult. Longing for your first love may represent a longing to return to that simpler time.

8. Your First Love Represents Possibility

Along with representing your youth, your first love may also remind you of a time when the possibilities seemed endless and much of life felt new and exciting. Thinking of your first love may conjure up a variety of what-ifs, as you consider what could have been had you made different choices at key points in your life.

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9. Your First Love Changed You

Part of what inspires a first love is the positive effect you have on one another. A first love is often marked by a period of personal growth and development, a time of new experiences and facing your fears. As a result, the relationship helps shape who you are and how you proceed through the world, and may represent the first time you allowed someone else’s influence to have such a significant impact on who you are at your core.

10. Your First Love Only Happens Once

The biggest reason your first love will always be with you is that, no matter what, it is always your only first love. The first of any event can only happen once in a lifetime, making it special in it exclusivity. No matter who you later love, or how you change over time, your first love will always be the first, for the rest of your life.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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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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