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10 Quotes That Will Surely Motivate You When Facing Huge Challenges

10 Quotes That Will Surely Motivate You When Facing Huge Challenges

When you’re going through something truly difficult, or if you have hit a roadblock, you may just want to roll over and give up. Everyone feels like that sometimes when they are facing challenges. But that’s where inspirational quotes come in! Hooray!

But really, some of these quotes are truly poignant, and might be just what you need to change your perspective and see your struggles for what they are: an opportunity.

1. “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” ~ Bill Cosby

Often, our stresses involve people: people not approving of your decisions, or wanting to change how you live your life, or even change you as a person.

Bill Cosby knows what’s up. It’s impossible to please everybody, and if you attempt to do it, you’ll completely abandon any goals you had for yourself. If you believe you’re doing the right thing, do it. And if anybody objects, pull on your Cosby sweater and give them a good, intimidating stare.

Cosby

    2. “Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to be truly affected by things.” ~ Zooey Deschanel

    So you’re really sad about something. That’s okay. Let it all out.

    Our society seems to think that if you’re sad, or angry, or anything but happy really, that it’s a terrible thing. Of course, you should strive to be generally happy. But you’re allowed to have fleeting moments of intense emotions, even if they hurt.

    If you’re facing a huge challenge that is truly difficult, let your emotions out, and talk to people you care about. Allow yourself to be affected.

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    Zooey

      Okay, maybe not quite that intensely.

      3. “If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.” ~ Seth Godin

      Maybe your challenge involves being scared out of your wits, because you’re afraid to fail, or you’re going into completely uncharted territory.

      Embrace that fear and just do it. On your deathbed, you won’t regret trying—but you will most definitely regret not trying just because you were afraid.

      4. “Every flower must grow through dirt.” ~ Unknown

      I love this quote. And it’s true: if you’re going to grow, flourish, and bloom, you’re going to have to work yourself through some dirt first.

      flower

        Just keep on growing.

        5. “Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo.” ~ Jon Sinclair

        So many people fear failure—often, more than anything else—but it’s something everybody does at some point.

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        You’re learning. Just like walking or riding a bike, the beginning stages might involve a few tumbles and a few bruises. That’s all failure is. It’s a little fall, and it’s a bruise. You get back up, brush yourself off, and keep on going. Soon, the bruise will be completely gone.

        I mean, unless your failure involves something like this:

        tattoo

          Can’t help ya there, bud.

          6. “I said, ‘Somebody should do something about that.’ Then I realized, I am somebody.” ~ Lily Tomlin

          You can, and will, make mistakes. But never make the mistake of thinking that you can’t enact change.

          When life’s giving you some hurdles, it can be easy to feel small and insignificant. But that is never the case.

          You can change the world.

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          Barney

            7. “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

            lost

              No, not that kind of lost.

              Being totally happy with life is great, but you learn nothing about yourself from it. Most of what we learn about ourselves, we learn during our struggles.

              Use this as an opportunity to see what you’re really made of.

              8. “What am I doing?! Oh, yeah. Following my dreams. Okay. Calm down.”

              This is just a little tidbit I found on Pinterest that really resonated with me. There’s going to be a point when even the most dedicated of us doubt our paths.

              When you are going after your dreams, you’re trying something totally wild. Of course you’re going to feel like a fish out of water every now and then. Don’t flop around and freak out—just keep on swimming, like this overly extended metaphor is.

              swimming

                9. “Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 20.” ~ Unknown

                So you fail at something, or you’re facing a challenge. And you think, “I’ll never be as good as *insert famous example here.* I might as well give up.”

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                This is where this quote comes in.

                It’s something that I’ve always had to repeat to myself as a writer. And if you want to do, well, anything, it’s a quote that you will need at least once in your life.

                Never compare yourself to anyone but the past you. Everyone has different experiences, different opportunities, different lives.

                There’s just no point to comparing yourself to someone with far more experience than you. You’ll get there.

                dinosaur

                  10. “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.” ~ Rolling Stones

                  This is a classic that everyone can use every now and then. Maybe you didn’t get what you wanted this time. But that’s because you didn’t need it, and your life is making room for new opportunities.

                  You’ll only be able to fully see this in the future, when you can look back on it (hindsight is 20/20, after all). So for now, while you are actively facing challenges, just breathe and let it happen.

                  Benedict

                    Anything you say, Benedict.

                    Featured photo credit: Millie Robertson via flickr.com

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                    Last Updated on January 15, 2021

                    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                    The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                    Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                    Posture

                    First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                    • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                    • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                    • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                    • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                    All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                    Facial Expressions

                    Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                    • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                    • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                    • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                    If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                    1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                    A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                    The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                    This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                    2. Relax Your Face

                    New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                    The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                    To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                    3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                    Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                    The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                    To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                    3. Smile More

                    There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                    Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                    4. Hand Gestures

                    Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                    It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                    5. Enhance Your Handshake

                    In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                    “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                    It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                    6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                    As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                    Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                    Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                    Final Takeaways

                    Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                    If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                    More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                    Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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