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Success Is What You Make It No Matter Where You Started From

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Success Is What You Make It No Matter Where You Started From

Jim Carrey has been on our movie screens for decades and, love him or hate him, he has been hugely successful in creating a career based on his natural humour and creativity. But it hasn’t always been an easy path for the actor. When we look at successful people we often see them as being lucky or fortunate, however is this really the truth?

For Jim Carrey, life has been tough to get where he is today and we often don’t get to hear about the courage and determination that lies behind the stories of success. We sometimes judge people who seemingly ‘have it all’ or compare our own lives with those that have what we want, but comparisons only lead to unhappiness and we are unaware of the whole story behind their achievements. Here is why Jim Carrey should be such a source of inspiration and shows us some lessons that we can apply to our own lives.

Positive Things Can Come From Desperate Situations

Jim Carrey 1

    Our childhoods are a time when our thoughts, beliefs and perspectives are being developed and shaped. So experiencing hard times can have a huge effect on us without realising. When our childhoods are spent in poverty, lack and sometimes desperation, it can affect our outlook on life, creating limiting beliefs for ourselves and what we can achieve.

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    Despite his huge success, Carrey didn’t have an idyllic childhood. He suffered from ADHD and undiagnosed dyslexia at school that caused him to struggle as well as finding it hard to make friends. His parents were poor and at one time they had to live in a van to make ends meet while Carrey worked a job alongside finishing his school work.

    But instead of using his tough circumstances as a catalyst for struggle, he used his experience of desperate times to cultivate an empowered, positive mindset towards his dreams and ambitions. Whether you believe it or not, you have a choice about how you choose to look at life – you can let bad experiences knock you down and influence your beliefs that life is just never going to bring you what you want, or you can choose to use it as determination to make things better for yourself.

    Determination Is The Key To Success

    Jim Carrey 2

      When Carrey decided to move to Hollywood to pursue his career in acting and comedy, he wasn’t an instant success. In fact, it took him 10 years before he got his first break. Despite being broke and feeling beaten down, he didn’t give up on pursuing his dreams.

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      Motivation and determination is something we all have inside of us but sometimes find hard to sustain when things don’t quite come as quickly as we thought they would. If we have a particular goal or dream we want to achieve we have to celebrate the small steps, the continuing of forward motion even if it doesn’t feel like it’s moving in the direction we want. Carrey believed in himself and believed that one day he will achieve what he moved to Hollywood to do.

      We can’t predict life and everything it throws at us, but we can have faith that if we want something badly enough, and strive to work towards it, then success will happen. Determination is a powerful determent of achieving our goals in life.

      Everyone Is Going Through A Battle You Don’t Know About

      Jim Carrey 3

        Many people would be surprised to know that the funny man of Hollywood has suffered from debilitating depression for a large portion of his life. With many great and inspirational people in the limelight secretly suffering from mental illness, it can seem slightly ironic that success and depression can live hand in hand. But Carrey hasn’t shied away from his sadness and shows that fame, success and being the ‘funny man’ doesn’t mean he’s automatically happy on the inside.

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        Carrey shows depression doesn’t discriminate but he continues to beat his depression by accepting that life isn’t always smooth, embracing negative feelings and accepting them for what they are, channelling his energy into what makes him happy, changing his perspective on the positive things he already has in his life and appreciating them, together with avoiding stimulants like alcohol and drugs.

        Never assume that success equals happiness. Never look at someone else’s life and see them having what you don’t have – assuming they are feeling happy and abundant. No matter how successful or not someone is, a lot of people are going through battles we don’t know about. Stop comparing yourself to others and seeing lack in your own life but instead see the abundance already there no matter how small it is.

        Do What You Can To Help Others

        Jim Carrey 4

          Jim Carrey’s hardship in his early life has helped him develop a mindset that cultivates a perspective of helping those in need. He set up a charity called The Better U Foundation in 2005 that promotes sustainable agriculture allowing farmers and workers to earn a better living in third world countries. While it’s easy to say Carrey is a millionaire successful actor and can afford to help others, he doesn’t have to. In fact, none of us have to help others in need but it’s all about the importance of altruism; giving our help to others and expecting nothing in return.

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          Helping to improve the welfare and happiness of people is an important factor in our own happiness. Not all of us can start charities but charity starts at home with your family, friends, neighbours, and your community as a whole. Putting a tiny amount of time aside to go out and help someone in need is all it takes to make this world a better place.

          So whether you’re a Jim Carrey fan or not, it’s always good to take away the perspectives of someone who has experienced the bad times, gained success, suffered and cared for others. Remember, success is what you make it no matter where you started from.

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          Jenny Marchal

          A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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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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