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10 Things To Accept And 10 Things To Change For A Better Life

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10 Things To Accept And 10 Things To Change For A Better Life

We live in a world that is full of complainers – unfortunately. No matter how good someone’s life is, they can still find something wrong with it. But obviously not everyone is a complainer – thank goodness. But nonetheless, most of us do look at life and want to change some things here and there. Some things we can change. Others we can’t, and so we just need accept them. Here are 10 things you should accept and change:

1. Accept the choices you’ve made, change your next ones.

We all make mistakes. But I don’t really believe in “mistakes.” They are all really just learning opportunities. As we walk through life, sometimes learning the hard way is just how we have to do it. But don’t beat yourself up about it. Learn from the past. Use it as a guidepost of how to do it better the next time. As Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.”

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2. Accept those who hurt you, change those with whom you are surrounded.

It’s a sad truth, but you can’t trust everyone. I had to learn this lesson the hard way, and I’m probably not alone. Some people don’t mean to hurt you, and some do. Either way, forgive them. Do it as a gift to yourself. Release the negative energy of resentment and anger. It doesn’t serve you well. Then make new choices about people you spend time with. Cut those “energy vampires” out of your life. You know – the ones who drain you and suck out your life. Only tolerate positive, uplifting, growth-oriented behavior from other people into your lives.

3. Accept your body, change your health.

Do you want longer legs? To be taller? To have a smaller bone structure? Good luck with all that. All you can do is accept your body for what it is. Sure, you could spend a ton of money on plastic surgery to re-do your face, but why would you want to do that? Love yourself for who you are. Accept how you look. The only thing you can change is your health. If you want to lose weight, then commit to it! Change your eating and exercise habits. You will automatically feel better about your body and yourself.

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4. Accept your imperfections, change your idea of beauty.

There are no such things as “imperfections.” Our society has brainwashed us into thinking that if you don’t look like Angelina Jolie then you aren’t beautiful. That is hogwash! Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. That saying came about for a reason – because it’s true. Instead, look at your inner beauty. You can look like a movie star or super model, but if you’re rotten inside, then that is not beautiful. Likewise, you could be way outside of our culture’s standard of beauty, but if you shine your light from within, then that is gorgeous.

5. Accept your family, change your friends.

We don’t voluntarily choose our family. Because of that, it is sometimes difficult to accept them when the are making your life unpleasant. They might be critical, judgmental or demanding. As much as you want to change them, you can’t. All you can change is how you view them. Accept their behavior because you have to. However, if your so-called “friends” are exhibiting negative behavior, you do have the choice to walk away and find better companions.

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6. Accept your losses, change your earnings.

We all have losses of many types. They might be financial. They might be human. But all losses are painful. There is probably nothing you can do to get back what you lost. Maybe your money is gone in that bad investment you made. Maybe a loved one has departed this life. We can’t always get our losses back. But we can set our focus toward the future. We can look ahead with a positive attitude and decide to hold our heads up high and move onward.

7. Accept your situation, change your outlook.

One of Buddha’s famous quotes is: “It is your resistance to ‘What Is’ that causes your suffering.” In other words, there are some things we just cannot change. And if we keep fighting against that, then we are causing our own suffering. It’s not the situation that causes our suffering, it’s the fact that we are resisting it that causes your pain. So we have two choices: (1) keep fighting against a situation we don’t like and suffer as as result, or (2) accept the situation and change how we view it.

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8. Accept your fate, change your journey.

Our fate is not always welcomed. There are way too many people who get diagnosed with terminal illnesses, have broken marriages, lost too many loved ones, or simply lost their way. But sometimes the best gifts to the world come in the dark moments. There are many people who turned their painful fate into a meaningful path – for themselves and others. So just because you are dealt a bad hand of life at the moment, that it not where your journey has to end.

9. Accept where you are now, change where you’ll go.

Most people want to be better, richer, thinner, happier or more successful. And it’s great to have goals and want to improve. But growth and change starts with acceptance. When you resist your current situation, you are putting negative energy out into the situation – and the world. In order to change your path in life, you need to put forth positive energy and actions into creating a better future.

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10. Accept the things you can’t change, change what you can’t accept.

As I said in #7, there are just some things in life you can’t change. Other people. Taxes. Those are just two of them. So instead of fighting against the things you can’t change, look to the things you can change. It’s much more productive to put your energy into change than it is into resistance. Resistance is pointless because it keeps you stuck. So move onward and upward toward positive change.

Life is a tricky balance of acceptance and change. We all walk the fine line between the two. But with some conscious focus and action, you can simultaneously accept and change for the good of all concerned.

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Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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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:

Reference

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