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Once You Learn These 8 Hard Truths About Life, You’ll Become Much Stronger

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Once You Learn These 8 Hard Truths About Life, You’ll Become Much Stronger

Life is many things. Life is beautiful and miraculous, and it’s wonderful. But there is one thing life isn’t: easy. There are times when this is more apparent than others. We don’t always make it any easier on ourselves either; we hold onto notions and habits and notions that are incorrect, ludicrous, or even harmful to us. We walk through life refusing to see simple truths because we’re worried they’ll be too hard to bare, without realizing that accepting them will actually make every day much easier and much more joyful. William Beteet’s list[1] describes perfectly some difficult truths that we need to learn to accept.

1. Everyone You Love is Going to Die

Grim as this may sound, realizing that eventually you and everyone you know won’t be around forever will enrich and deepen your relationships. So many people take their loved ones for granted and feel an unrelenting sense of regret when they’re gone. Parents, grandparents, friends — we never know when we may find out that they’re no longer with us. Have you called your parents lately? Call them now. Our relationships are the most meaningful things we have in life and should be cherished.

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2. We Give Our Lives Meaning

Buddhists believe that we create our own world with our thoughts and actions. Having a meaningful life, then, is a choice. We don’t have to go out and join the peace corps or end world hunger to have a meaningful life; a bagger at the grocery store can feel just as fulfilled as the CEO of a major company. Often times, we’re too focused on what we don’t have and what we want and this makes our lives feel empty no matter how much we’ve achieved.

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3. The Perfect Partner Doesn’t Exist

Many people dream of the perfect romance and a partner that will sweep us off of our feet and into the sunset of an eternally happy ever after. In fact, most of us are probably guilty of daydreaming about our “perfect match” sometimes. But how can it affect our real relationships when our partners don’t meet our picture perfect dreams? This doesn’t mean we should settle for someone we’re miserable with, but it does mean that we should always expect to put work into a relationship. Think of it as an artistic masterpiece; you and your partner are the tools and you have to work together to make the canvas beautiful. We can be happy and fulfilled in a relationship, but not if we expect the canvas to paint itself! Check out the article below. It highlights some key things and the basic line for a fulfilling relationship. After learning these, you’ll be less likely to go overboard.

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4. Life Is A Game

Why should we walk on eggshells our entire lives, worried about getting something terribly wrong? This life is ours to learn from and experience. We should think of it as a game; decide what it is we want to do in life, learn the rules, and level up. We can never achieve anything or be successful if we’re too afraid to play. Have you ever heard of someone becoming a pro football player without ever setting foot on a field?

5. Everything Ends

This is a lot like the first only it may be a little harder to hear. Nothing lasts forever. We’ll only be young for a little while and then we’ll be old. We’ll fall in love, we’ll fall out of love, or lose the ones we love. We’ll live and then we’ll die. So many people before us have lived, loved, succeeded, failed, and died. We need to remember that we aren’t any different. Rather than being depressed by this, however, we can feel grateful, excited, and even empowered in this life. If things lasted forever, what would make them special? Time and endings make things valuable. We need to appreciate everything.

6. Be Romantic About The Little Things

Since we know now that everything comes to an end, we also know that we need to love everything we can in life. Things can become so mundane when placed into the mundane mind of someone viewing life as “the daily grind.”  Things are beautiful when we take a moment to let it be so, though. Take a different route to work or school, lie down in the grass and watch the clouds, and look up at the stars. Be romantic and the world will always feel magical. Take a day off from the stress and enjoy life! The article below highlights some good ways to slow down and enjoy the end of your week.

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7. Be A Realist About The Big Things

Even though we shouldn’t take life too seriously, it’s important that we don’t let our right brain reign all hours of the day. There are some things in life we just need our more analytical mind for. For example, those of us wanting to become famous authors can’t just write some words and then find that, BOOM, we’re a best seller! No. We have to take the appropriate steps to edit, promote, and publish our work. Most things worth doing take time and energy. Basically, everyone has to use their head sometimes. Take a look at this  article for some tips on using your head to get things done.

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8. Figure Out A Way Or Don’t Complain

Almost everyone has met someone who does nothing but complain about how his or her life isn’t turning out the way they like it. We either tune it out or feel frustrated with them. We think why don’t they just change it if they don’t like it? But, if we’re honest with ourselves, we realize that we’re not always much better. “That teacher is too picky, her tests don’t make sense.” “I just can’t learn how to do that, I have a condition.”The truth is that complaints rarely change anything and more often than not, they hold us back. We need to be proactive and positive. We need to believe that we can figure out a way. Otherwise, we can keep our complaints to ourselves.

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    Marina Richter

    Freelance Writer

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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:

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