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Last Updated on January 18, 2021

15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy

15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy
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Life seemed so much simpler when we were kids. Don’t you think?

There were much less things to worry about, and more things that could make us truly happy.

It was amazing how some simple things used to put a big smile on our face. I still remember how happy I was when I got my first hula hoop. So much happiness because of one simple toy!

The thing is, as we grow older and our world gets bigger and we gain new experiences, we get overwhelmed and see happiness as something that is hard to achieve, and fail to see it’s been here all along.

Why is it so harder to be happy when you get older? Well, when we were kids, we were completely focused on ourselves, everything we did, we did to make us feel good. As adults, we let the society define the notion of happiness, but we are we in that story? We need to look for happiness inside and stop doing things that aren’t helping us.

What You should stop doing and What You Should Do Instead?

1. Stop ignoring your own needs

Why? Trying to please everybody is a mission impossible. You will never be able to do that. And while you are taking care about everybody else’s needs, who is taking care of yours? No one. If you don’t think about yourself and what you can do to be happy, nobody else will. That’s the hard truth. The sooner you realize this, the better.

What you should do instead? Everyone is different, and nobody knows better than you what you really want and need. So, sit down and take a moment to think about your desires. Tune out outside voices, follow your emotions and they will tell you what you need.

    Source: Pinterest


    2. Stop comparing yourself to others

    Why? There are no two same people. And that is a wonderful thing. Being unique as we are, there’s no point in comparing ourselves to other people. We just end up being miserable and envious of the things we don’t have. We should have faith in our life journey and that everything we want will find its way to us in the right moment.

    What you should do instead? Stop spending hours and hours looking at perfect lives of other people on social media. Their lives might not be so perfect after all, they surely have their share of struggles. Instead, focus on your life and how to make it better. Start making some real changes instead of just staring at computer screen. Don’t just complain how some people have it all, and start working on achieving your goals. Praise yourself for the little achievements and from time to time, stop to think how far you’ve come.

      Source: Pinterest

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      3. Stop resisting your fear

      Why? Being afraid stops us from experiencing many great things. It limits us and prevents us from feeling happy. If you are constantly afraid of everything, you will isolate yourself from everything. But if you push yourself into overcoming your fears, you will see there are no limits as to what you can do, and you will realize your life is in your hands.

      What you should do instead? Approach every situation you fear as a step closer on your way of becoming a better person. I used to be afraid of saying “no” to people when I couldn’t or didn’t want to do something. I was so afraid people won’t like me anymore. But, I learned that not everyone can and should like me, and being afraid of saying “no” was doing no good to me – I was wasting my valuable time and energy on something I didn’t want to do. Now, I say “no” and feel so much better.

        Source: Pinterest


        4. Stop feeling bad for making a mistake

        Why? If you don’t make mistakes, there are no challenges and no chances for personal growth. Not wanting to make mistakes means you don’t get to try new things and learn new things. Mistakes are also valuable lessons that will stick with us forever and make us better.

        What you should do instead? Don’t look at mistakes as something bad and embarrassing. When I had my first translation job, I was so embarrassed because of the mistakes I made. But I learned so much, and those mistakes made me more experienced and much confident in my translation skills. Every time you make a mistake, just remember it will be really helpful in the future, and that at some point you will be grateful for it.

          Source: Pinterest


          5. Stop putting your happiness into other’s hands

          Why? If you don’t love yourself and know how to be happy on your own, nobody else can do it for you. Happiness is inside you, not outside. And no one can fill the void if you are not happy. Besides, nobody is in your skin and knows what’s best for you.

          What you should do instead? Take a few days and be on your own, just you and your thoughts. Do something relaxing, and figure out what makes you happy and what you can do to seek happiness without anybody else in the picture. Nobody can make the right decisions for you, because it’s something you live with, not other people.

            Source: Pinterest


            6. Stop trying to take control of all aspect of your life

            Why? Life is unpredictable, and that’s the beauty of it. Trying to control everything in your life is like trying to control the weather – simply not possible. Yes, there is rain and storm, but there is also sun and rainbows. There is no point in stressing out about something you simply cannot change. The trick is to go with the flow and look forward to the unknown. Life would be so boring if everything was planned in advance.

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            What you should do instead? Try to not have every step of every day planned. I learned from my experience there are always unpredictable situations, and I just get frustrated if things aren’t going the way I planned. So, I don’t make detailed plans and always have room for improvisation.

              Source: Pinterest


              7. Stop living to others’ expectations or social standards

              Why? We are all a part of a society, and every society will always have standards people should live by. But trying to achieve those standards will not make you happy. Why do you need to get married before 30? Why do you even need to get married if that’s not something you want?

              What you should do instead? You will never be able to please everyone, so just follow your heart and do what feels right to you. Forget what other people expect, and create your own goals.

                Source: Pinterest


                8. Stop aiming for perfection

                Why? There’s no such thing as perfection. You will just waste valuable time and energy and drive yourself crazy if you want everything to be perfect.

                What you should do instead? Put that energy into something more creative. Aiming for perfection is a never-ending battle, so stop trying so hard and do something more fun, like reading a book, or meeting your friends for coffee.

                  Source: Pinterest


                  9. Stop trying to make others happy and forget about yourself

                  Why? You must put yourself first. If you constantly put yourself last, you will be miserable as you will never have time for yourself. Being a little selfish is not always bad. If you are happy and fulfilled, people around you will also feel better.

                  What you should do instead? Every morning when you get up, do something nice for yourself. Forget about everybody else, and do something you like. Treat yourself with something nice every time you finish a demanding task. Spoil yourself, because nobody else will.

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                    Source: Pinterest


                    10. Stop putting off your dream

                    Why? It’s never a perfect time to pursue your dream. The conditions will never be perfect, and the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be for you to start.

                    What you should do instead? If you have a passion that drives you, start pursuing it immediately, don’t wait. When you do something you love, all the pieces will come together. If you want to change your job or quit it to start your own business, don’t be afraid to start now. Even if you fail, you will learn so much.

                      Source: Pinterest


                      11. Stop thinking what makes others happy makes you happy

                      Why? Every person on this planet is unique, and there is no universal recipe for happiness. Someone might feel happy while hiking in nature, but that doesn’t mean you will feel happy doing it.

                      What you should do instead? Forget about other people, and explore what you enjoy doing. Don’t be afraid to try out new things and find what fulfills you.

                        Source: Pinterest


                        12. Stop feeling bad to be alone

                        Why? It is always better to be alone than in a miserable relationship. It is wrong to stay in a relationship only because you are afraid of being alone.

                        What you should do instead? If you are truly looking for a meaningful relationship, you first need to have a meaningful relationship with yourself. So, if you are single, use the time to rediscover yourself and what you really want. Then you will know what you want from your next relationship instead of relying on your partner to make you happy.

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                          Source: Pinterest


                          13. Stop working too hard for the future and forget about the present

                          Why? Nobody knows what future holds and planning too much will only make you anxious. You can never relive the present and you will miss out on many great things if you just live in the future.

                          What you should do instead? Focus on what is around you and what you are doing now. When drinking your morning coffee, don’t think about things you need to do, just breathe in and enjoy your coffee. By focusing on now, you will feel more energized and concentrated.

                            Source: Pinterest


                            14. Stop neglecting small things in your life

                            Why? We often believe that only big things can make us happy, such as buying an expensive car. But everyday small things are the key to happiness, as they can make us feel better at any moment of every day, while big things don’t come so often.

                            What you should do instead? Find at least one small thing that will make you happier every single day, such as eating an ice-cream, watching your favorite TV show, or just sitting in the park in the sun. Cherish and practice those things constantly.

                              Source: Pinterest


                              15. Stop focusing on what hurts you

                              Why? Being hurt is inevitable part of our lives, but it is a passing thing. Focusing on things that make you feel bad will unnecessarily prolong negative emotions.

                              What you should do instead? You need to eliminate the cause of your pain. If a person is constantly hurting you, they probably shouldn’t be a part of your life. Work out why you are getting hurt and try to change something instead of just thinking how bad you feel.

                                Source: Pinterest

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                                Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/ via pixabay.com

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                                Ana Erkic

                                Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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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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