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10 Superpowers You Gain As You Learn To Love Yourself

10 Superpowers You Gain As You Learn To Love Yourself
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So, you aren’t perfect, and you have flaws. Do you realize that seven billion other humans fit this same description?

You must find a way to love yourself: mistakes, regrets, weaknesses, and all. You are valuable and important, and to be happy you must discover a path that leads you to love yourself.

You Don’t Need to Be Perfect to Love Yourself

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Abraham Lincoln In confident pose. You must learn to love yourself as  well.

    Abraham Lincoln learned to love himself in spite of repeated failures.

    Even genius historical figures like Abraham Lincoln moved past failures to accomplish the extraordinary. Lincoln as an entrepreneur drove several businesses into the ground. He even claimed bankruptcy twice and was severely beaten in more than 25 campaigns for elected positions. His heroism and genius obviously were not hampered by his failures.

    Lincoln came to a point where he accepted who he was.

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    What Self-Love Means

    Perfection is not necessary to love yourself or to achieve success, although most of you expect it of yourselves. Psychology Today explains that:

    Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic.

    You grow to love yourself by behaving in positive ways that help you physically, psychologically, and spiritually. You can’t let failure or imperfection keep you from growing love for yourself.

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    This is a complicated psychological skill that you absolutely have to master through practice: loving yourself, without exceptions or qualifications.

    Superpowers Develop As You Love Yourself

    When you learn to love yourself, life will improve dramatically. Oh, you won’t be perfect or flawless, but you will acquire “superpowers” that will make your weaknesses trivial. Self-love empowers you with the mental toughness to accomplish your dreams and conquer any obstacles.

    As you begin to love yourself, your life falls into place, and you design your life around events that make you healthy and happy. The 10 superpowers below build on each other and create a new you:

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    1. Using mindful practices such as meditation, you accept yourself and you value your existence. Exercises and activities where you care for your body and mind help you to love yourself. They also provide additional mental and physical health benefits such as reduced stress and increased stamina. Mindfulness means that you are conscious of the present moment, and you love yourself, regardless of the chaos that might surround you.
    2. With mindfulness, you begin to care about and satisfy your physical, psychological, and spiritual needs. You will take better care of yourself, finding health and peace. This increases your capacity to succeed in your environment at home and work. Your needs are met, so you are able to work efficiently.
    3. As you work and give to others, you develop respect for yourself as a valuable individual within a community. You see the interconnected relationships that you have with other people. Both independent and cultural respect are important to progress. You see yourself as a great person who has a lot to offer a community that you value.
    4. These changes push you toward the growth and maturity that are necessary to be a healthy, functioning adult. Think about all you have gained: all the superpowers that make you stronger, powerful. You find yourself taking on new and challenging tasks and pushing yourself to develop the talents you possess.
    5. With maturity comes competence, which means that you increase your capacity to accomplish difficult tasks. Your respect, maturity, and love increase your potential to perform beyond what you thought possible. You are able to do more, and perform better than in the past. The tasks are not easier, but your ability to perform competently is empowered.
    6. As you prove to yourself that you can act competently in the world, you acquire self-confidence, a knowledge that you can handle whatever obstacles you might confront. Confidence enables you to encounter greater independence and the power to act.
    7. Competence and self-confidence make security for you and your loved ones possible, a necessity for a happy adult life. You feel secure as a human being, and you know that you can provide for your family.
    8. You have moved to an advanced level of human development where you can feel empathy for other human beings in your community and the world. This is a tremendous power to sense and feel the emotions of others. You further connect with the people around you because you understand them better.
    9. When you feel the emotions that others experience, their pain and pleasure, you learn how to love someone else. Empathy draws you close to people, making it possibly to truly know them. You love other people because you care about their emotional wellbeing and happiness. You are now looking outside yourself to other people, an essential step.
    10. Directing your love from your center outward to the world, you find the secret that all humans search for. Loving and serving other people gives you fulfillment and makes happiness possible. You act out of love for yourself and others, and at this point you can accomplish anything you desire.

    Awesome superpowers, right? They are well worth the effort.

    A Tedx Talk by Gala Darling titled Radical Self Love shows what is at stake in loving yourself, especially for women. Darling vividly describes the superpowers of self-love that can conquer depression and hopelessness.

    Darling’s radical self-love illustrates how desperately you need to learn to love yourself. Happiness arises from consistently loving yourself, unleashing your full potential for Lincoln-like genius and innovation. Humans possess no greater power.

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    You can do this. You were made for it.

    Before you go, what are some strategies that you use to show love toward yourself? Do you find loving yourself challenging? I will respond to your comments, and I will appreciate them very much. Good luck in your pursuit of love.

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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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