Advertising

10 Reasons Waiting is Good for You

10 Reasons Waiting is Good for You
Advertising

We live in a society based on instant gratification. Hungry? A microwave will have you eating in minutes. Getting your dream car is a simple matter of signing up for debt. And months of pining for a perfumed reply from your true love is replaced by a simple click on send/receive. Life has become convenient, but are we better off for it? Here are 10 things we miss out on by not be willing to wait.

1. Priorities become clear

More than ever, we find ourselves bombarded with opportunities and possibilities. It’s easy to get sucked into too many activities that have nothing to do with your purpose and drain your energy, time and resources. Waiting is the perfect vaccine for those things that have no place in your life. The ‘meant-to-be’s’ have built-in staying power that distractions don’t. Given time, temporary things will drop out of your life effortlessly, leaving you free to focus on that which is truly you. Time has a beautiful way of sifting the important from the fluff.

2. Develop perseverance

With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable -Thomas Foxwell Buxton

Perseverance is defined as “persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”. Did you catch the sneaky little keyword there? A swimmer builds muscles by putting in hours in the water, a body builder pushes ever-increasing weights and us…we stick at what we want to do. Then we get up tomorrow and do it again. We keep on until we reach our goals. Persevering builds our emotional, physical and spiritual muscles so when we crack the goal we’ve been aiming at, we are equipped for the demands of the new season. We’ve been trained by the process of persevering. That kind of toughening up cannot happen in a day, or by popping a pill. It takes time.

3. Productive habits

Whatever you are waiting for–whether it be a spouse, a book deal, or a promotion–your waiting time need not be wasted time. Start making the changes now. Rearrange your schedule to accommodate what you are working towards. Don’t be scared to shift priorities, move furniture, set your alarm an hour earlier each morning. Do whatever you feel would help position yourself for the breakthrough you are waiting for.

4. Understanding yourself

There are high and low points in all our lives, yet these are not what define us. The best place to find out who we really are, is in the sticky bits in between the two. It’s in the slog of daily living that we discover our greatest strengths and weaknesses. Embrace normal life; don’t fight it. Knowing who you are while you’re up to your elbows in soap suds and floating leftovers will keep you grounded when success comes.

Advertising

5. Rest & regroup

Allow yourself downtime. Sleep until you’re finished; take walks in the fresh air. Ride a bicycle and read a book. Recharge your soul with things that feed you. Learn a new recipe, plant a tree. Break out of the mold that life has you trapped in. Waiting creates space in your life, precious time to get in touch with what is going on inside you. It creates space to come to grips with what makes your heart beat faster–what is important to you. Don’t waste it by filling it with rushing or busyness.

6. Patience

Did you grow up wearing hand-knitted sweaters made with love by your granny? It’s becoming more rare by the generation. Knitting takes patience, and there are few things left in our highly efficient society that are geared towards growing patience in us. Waiting is one of them. Like any classroom full of scholars, there are some who resist learning and others who embrace it. If life has you in a headlock and you know you’re going to be there for some time, use your energy wisely–don’t fight it; embrace it.

7. Resourcefulness

The process of waiting is often linked to lacking something. Think about it. If you’re waiting to meet your life partner, you are missing having a significant other. An empty fridge is a sure sign of someone waiting for payday, and someone hankering after a promotion does so because they are hungry for a challenge, a boost in self-esteem, or a bigger paycheck. Waiting forces us to work with what we have in hand. This sounds terrifying, but once you shift your mind, it becomes liberating. Start to see things around, and inside you, with different eyes. It’s an adventure to make do with what you have, and not rush out to buy something new at the first twinge of lack. Try it! You’ll surprise yourself with your resourcefulness.

Advertising

8. Tolerance and empathy

Getting exactly what you want, when you want it, is not always a good thing. Ask any mom. Continual immediate gratification over a long period of time can sow seeds of entitlement and pride. When these mindsets are allowed to take root and grow, the end result is not pretty. On the other hand, waiting is a great humbler. A humble person is aware of the struggles of others and can empathize with their troubles. In short, waiting can make you a better person.

9. Capacity

Waiting will lead you through situations you don’t believe you can cope with. You will come out the other side stronger, more capable and with a shot of Vitamin C to your self-confidence. We are not built to be rescued at the first sign of discomfort. How would we have learned to walk if those caring for us had been too worried to put such strain on our leg muscles? Waiting is hard. It is uncomfortable, inconvenient, and makes us face things about ourselves that we’d rather avoid. But if we let it, it stretches us beyond what we think our limits are, and there we discover there was a whole lot more to us than we ever knew.

10. Gratitude

Once you bend your head around the fact that waiting is your friend, and not your enemy, some important things will shift in your head. Instead of being frustrated by delays, you can be grateful for them, make the most of each one and soar through your time of waiting. On the other side of it, you will see how much has been grown in your character even though it felt like nothing was happening at the time. Now that is something to be grateful for.

Advertising

Featured photo credit: beautiful young girl resting in a cafe via shutterstock.com

More by this author

10 Hacks to Tame Toddler Tantrums The Difference Between Being Successful and Being Happy 21 Gifts for Mom That Don’t Cost Money How to Fake It Till You Make It While Running On No Sleep 10 Reasons Waiting is Good for You

Trending in Communication

1 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 2 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 3 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 4 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People 5 13 Simple Habits of Happiness To Change Your Outlook on Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

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)
Advertising

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:

Advertising

  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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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:

Advertising

  • 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

Read Next