“If you look at the world one way what, it takes from you – it’s a thief of time, energy and your creative mojo. But if you look at the world another way, it gives you an endless supply of motivation” Julianna Baggott
When you have your mojo, your view of the world is positive, optimistic and hopeful. You are full of energy and have an endless supply of motivation. You have your spark in life and people feel it and are attracted to you.
The reality however is, at some point in your life, you will lose your mojo. How long you lose your mojo for depends on how long it takes you to figure out how to get it back. For some of us, it can be a matter of a few days and for others, it can be months or years.
The reason why it takes so long for many of us to get our mojo back is because we don’t know how to or even where to start.
To get your mojo back into your life, you have to be prepared to change the way you think and the way you do things. This all takes energy and motivation and you don’t have much of either when your spark in life has gone out.
I know this to be true because this was how I felt when I lost my mojo about three years ago. When I lost my job for the 3rd time in 18 months, I lost my mojo big time – no energy, no self-belief, and no self-confidence. For about 6 months I was miserable and I shut myself away from the world. I was still functioning in life but my “spark’ had gone. I did not feel alive inside.Advertising
I like to think I am an optimist and I like the feeling of being energised and hopeful about life. After spending six months of my life feeling the opposite, I realised that if I didn’t get my mojo back, my quality of life would be bleak.
I decided to take action to get my mojo back in my life. I knew it was going to be hard work because the biggest obstacle I had to overcome on this journey was going to be me.
I have a record of giving up when the going gets tough, so I decided that I would focus on bringing back into my life six positive feelings that I had lost along with my mojo. These five actions below brought back into my life, energy, a positive attitude, hope, optimism, a sense of purpose and joy. This is what I did to get my mojo back.
1. I Got Active – This Creates Energy
I have always been an active person and attended the gym regularly. I gave up all physical activity when I lost my mojo.
I once read an article that said that the key to sustaining motivation with any type of physical activity is to focus on doing an activity that you enjoy. The article then went on to say that once you identify that activity you enjoy, write down and memorise the 5 benefits/feelings you get when you do the activity or exercise.
The next thing you do is: when you are about to start this particular activity you say “I am going to____ and I feel_______________” Name five feelings/benefits.Advertising
When you finish the activity, recite the same 5 benefits/feelings starting with “ I have completed my ______ and I feel_______.” I look forward to doing ________ on_____” (you name the specific day and time you will do the activity).
This is what I did to help me get back to the gym and yoga. I needed a strategy to help me get started and this worked. I have never looked back and yoga definitely was a huge help in getting my mojo back.
2. I Changed My Thoughts – This Creates A Positive Attitude
The conscious and subconscious minds operate at different levels. The conscious mind is your logic and reasoning. It controls your actions and intentions of the present moment. Your subconscious mind, however, controls your emotions and it is also where all your beliefs and memories are stored.
My conscious mind knew I had to get my mojo back but my subconscious mind stored the beliefs and emotions that supported the fact that I had lost my mojo. For me, to get my mojo back, I had to get my conscious and subconscious mind aligned because if I didn’t, my mojo was never coming back.
Again, I decided not to over-complicate things and so I came up with a practical way where I could start to work toward having alignment with my thinking and my actions.
Every time I had to choose between doing or thinking something that would help me get my mojo back or something that would block me from getting my mojo back, I would ask myself this one question;Advertising
“Is this decision/choice/action/thought/attitude going to get me closer to my goal of getting my mojo back or further away?”
I found this to be a powerful question that helped me to align my conscious and subconscious minds so that they were on the same page. As a result, I felt more positive about life and my thinking and attitude reflected this as well. This, without a doubt, was key to me believing that I could get my mojo back and sustain it in my life forever.
3. I Connected With People Who Had Mojo –This Creates Hope and Optimism
I am very lucky in my life as I have wonderful friends and family who I know love and support me. I realised however that for me to get my mojo back I needed to be with people who lived their lives embracing their mojo.
I set myself a challenge that twice a week, I would engage with someone who I didn’t know but felt they had mojo. The mojo qualities I looked for in people were those such as energy, enthusiasm, positivity, and motivation and had a joyful attitude about life.
This was an amazing experience. I met some incredible people who truly lived inspiring lives. They came from all walks of life. I learnt about gratitude and the gift of life. The more contact I had with people who embraced their mojo, the more energised, optimistic and hopeful I felt about my future.
4. I Clarified My Life Priorities – This Creates A Sense Of Purpose
Writing down what is important to you in your life helps you get clarity about how you want to live your life. When I wrote down my life priorities, next to each one I wrote down one feeling that I felt belonged with that life priority. For example, one of my life priorities that comes at the top of the list is FAMILY and the feeling I put next to it is LOVE.Advertising
I looked at my list every day and, over time, I began to realise that the more I focused on what was important in my life, the easier it was for me to commit to getting my mojo – my spark back in my life. This action was so important when taking up the challenge to get my mojo back, as it gave me with a sense of purpose in my life and also clarity and focus.
5. I Went And Had Fun – This Creates Feelings of Joy and Happiness
When you have lost your mojo, it is so easy to spend days in the doldrums feeling miserable for yourself. Doing any kind of activity, even if you like doing it, is often too hard. All elements of laughter and fun soon disappear from your life.
I certainly felt like this when I lost my mojo. Even though I didn’t like living my life this way, for a long time, I had no energy to do anything about it. One morning, out of the blue, it hit me. I realised that if I didn’t do something about changing my life for the better, I had to accept that living a joyful and happy life was not going happen. At that moment, I decided to do an activity that brought me joy – having a coffee with my best friend. I rang her up and went to have coffee that afternoon.
When I got home, I wrote a list of 30 activities that I loved doing and brought me joy. Every day for the next 30 days, I worked my way through my list and guess what came back into my life? The feelings of joy and happiness. Over the month, I learnt how to appreciate the gift of joy and happiness in the present moment. The more aware I became of the joyful, fun and happy moments, the more joy and happiness came into my life. That was when I felt my mojo was back!
Getting your mojo back is critical for your quality of life. Your physical health and emotional well-being are under threat if you don’t start to take action to get your mojo back into your life. These 5 actions helped me get my mojo back and I hope in a small way, they help you to take action to get your mojo back into your life forever.
Last Updated on July 20, 2021
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:
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:
- How to Give a Presentation Like a Pro
- 10 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations
- Tricks to Deliver an Impressive Presentation Every Time
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