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6 Things I Am Too Old For (But That Means I’ve Matured)

6 Things I Am Too Old For (But That Means I’ve Matured)
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Getting older is tough. You’re not as energetic and vibrant as you used to be. Your health deteriorates, and sometimes you may even lose your precious hair. But there is another important aspect of aging, and it is that you don’t find time or patience for the things you have done as a younger person, things that you are too old for. Now, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can actually be looked at as a good virtue–it means that you have matured.

If you’re experiencing this feeling, rejoice and take pride in it, maturity the result a full life’s learning. It is wisdom. Here are six things that you may feel too old for, but it just means that you’ve matured.

1. Keeping What You Want To Express In Heart

Older, more mature people, simply do not find the patience to bottle up their thoughts when they sense that something was done wrong, or unjustly. Either to them, or to other people around them. Younger people, fearful of stepping out of line of their peers, do not always do the same, unless it is widely acceptable for them to shout out. Yet, older, mature people, do not care for their popularity scale.

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When something is wrong, it needs fixing, plain and simple, even if it means that you’ll have to face some social inconvenience.

2. Worrying How Others Perceive You

If there’s anything that is associated to young people, is the strive to make good impression on others, the need to fit in. You simply cannot act as you’d wish to, always keeping yourself concerned about “what will others think of me?”

This is where growing up and becoming mature shows its virtue. As you grow, you realize that whatever others might think of you, will not really change your everyday life. Especially if those involved are actually complete strangers. It finally befalls on you that walking around down the streets with a stained shirt will not make much of an impact on your life, and most definitely should not shape your everyday behavior.

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One important aspect of being mature is being able to differentiate the crucial from the ridiculous. And to be completely honest, you really don’t have anymore patience to change shirts over a small stain after all of these years.

3. Making Excuses For Your Mistakes

As a young person, every mistake you make seems like the end, and your world swirls and turning upside down the more you think of it. If it was bringing a friend over and finding out that you have unclean laundry dropped down on the floor, or if you loaned something from a friend and you realized that it simply slipped out of your mind to bring it back to him the next time you met. Mistakes, for young people, are devastating. Therefore, they will always find excuses to make up for them, not much for others, but more for themselves, so they’ll be able to sleep peacefully at night.

As you get older, and more mature, you realize that mistakes are simply mistakes. No reason to beat yourself down for them, and no reason to justify them for other. You are human, and you make mistakes, just like everyone. You will try to do better next time, but even if you will not, it’s not like you have done it on purpose.

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4. Spending Time On Anything That Is Not Worth It

It can be a person, an animal, or a thing. It doesn’t really matter. Unlike young people, who are obsessed with enlarging their social circle, and with having many things, older and mature people perceive these things as suitable use of their time. When you keep in touch with people you don’t care for only to increase your number of Facebook friends, or when you accumulate possessions as a result of a constant fear that you might “need them one day”, you are actually throwing away that precious little time you have in this world.

Older, more mature people understand this problem, and so they do not bother with people they don’t care about, and possessions they have no sentiment or need for.

5. Guilty Pleasure

Why does the phrase “guilty pleasure” even exists? Why do we need to feel guilty for whatever it is that give us pleasure? Truth is, that it should not, and mature people understand this best. Guilty pleasure comes from the fear of younger people from being percieved as “different” or even “weird”, forgetting that whatever we like best make us special and unique.

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Older and mature people couldn’t care less of what other people might think of their own personal pleasures, and quite frankly, there’s really no reason for them to start.

6. Looking For The Good In Every Person You Know

Well, it’s not like mature people don’t want to look for it, it’s just that they do not care for trying too hard by now. They go by their guts, and take a calculated assumption on whether they’d get along with the other person or not. Young people, on the other hand, are compelled to getting along with different people as part of their never ending social life.

Older people care more dearly about their time, and on whoever they might invest it upon. They don’t want to dig into another person’s life in order to find a shining good in it, they simply have neither the patience, nor the time.

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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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