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Unwanted Situations Will Keep Happening Until You Learn Your Lesson

Unwanted Situations Will Keep Happening Until You Learn Your Lesson

We often forget this simple fact that learning is a lifelong process. As soon as we open our eyes to this world, we begin to learn how to get our basic needs fulfilled. Then as we age, we make attachments and learn how to associate feelings with people.

One vital part of our human learning process is making mistakes. It’s only after falling down or failing that we realise how to pick up the pieces and put them back together. But often when we encounter trouble, we lose our optimism and faith before succumbing to circumstance.

But simply submitting to these situations is not the solution. Instead, we should choose to grow, learning what went wrong and becoming wiser for the future. If you give into unwanted situations and don’t look for the lesson it is trying to teach you, you’ll be trapped in a cycle of pestering situations.

Beware the Lure Social Acceptance

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    As human beings, we are social creatures and naturally seek social approval. Sometimes we can go to an extreme extent to get that approval, without realising the degree of pain we put others through. And once we receive the approval we crave, the pressure doubles as we struggle to maintain this position in the hierarchy.

    At this point, we often forget the truth of our existence. We would be nothing without the people who helped us climb the ladder of life. But hurting people during this process can become a habit and with no remorse, or even a compulsion. But this doesn’t lead to true happiness, loneliness will always linger. This is something I did not realise until last summer.

    Learning From My Failures

    I had always been a very carefree and casual human. As a child, I was highly pampered and babied by my parents, specifically my mother. We were four siblings, two sisters and two brothers. All four of us were very different. My siblings had something against me from the very beginning, for obvious reasons. I didn’t care much at the time since I’d already gained a whole bunch of new friends.

    As I grew up, I was filled with self-esteem, confidence and high self-worth. A people’s person, as they called me, I was always in the centre of the spotlight at every gathering, meeting and party. I cultivated an interest in music and along with four of my friends, formed a rock band that proved to be extremely successful and (almost) famous. I fell in love with popularity and recognition. Out of jealousy, my “old-time” friends were no longer around.

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      But right at the peak of my happiness, I started losing people. My siblings had long abandoned me, which I never really cared about. Then due to some unforeseen circumstances, our rock band and our raging popularity seemed to shatter.

      Now I can see clearly it was not a circumstance that broke our band, it was my brash attitude towards life and people. It was not jealousy that repelled my ‘old-time’ friends; it was my crude behaviour towards them. I became so self-absorbed that I never cared how others felt because of my conduct. If I had bothered to stop my brothers and sisters from leaving, I may have learned the lesson of life and avoided this destructive process.

      Discover the Root Cause and Break the Chain

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        People tend to overlook the subtle signs life gives us as lessons, this prevents us from breaking these vicious circles of unwanted situations. We often attribute our flaws to misfortune or bad luck and fail to recognise the real faults that lie without ourselves.

        A rough conduct is the biggest culprit. It made me so blind to my own faults that I continued committing mistakes without taking responsibility for my actions. And not just that, if we fail to recognise the lessons life wants to teach us, these undesirable situations simply repeat themselves.

        The communication gap is another huge factor that contributes to this issue. We must always remember that communication is a two-way process. It happens between two people and compliance from both the sides is required. Communication distortion can lead to serious errors in expression, a disaster for our relationships. Most of these conflicts can be traced back to our relationships. People can become haughty and arrogant because of miscommunication, miss the cues and cause serious clashes. It’s arrogance that then prevents them from correcting their mistakes, so it seems they never learn.

        Grasp the Lessons Life is Trying To Teach You

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          Every one of us creates our own set of moral values and principles. They become the ethics and code of conduct we follow throughout life. While we are born with some values, others are pushed in by our parents and the society. These values determine our thought process, perception and attitude towards everything we come across. But it’s essential to keep an open mind, so new experiences can lead to new skills and proficiencies.

          Committing a mistake is not the end of the world, in fact, it’s entirely natural. But succumbing to the situation only stalls your  learning curve. Stat open minded and accept mistakes as the lessons they are. If you can comprehend what exactly went wrong, it’s a valuable life experience. To prevent these unwanted situations from repeating themselves, you need to face the consequences. You’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process!

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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)

          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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