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10 Things Extraordinary People Do Differently

10 Things Extraordinary People Do Differently

There are ordinary people and then there are extraordinary people. The cool thing is, there’s no limit to how many extraordinary people there can be. You have the power to leave ordinary behind and join the ranks of the extraordinary. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, these 10 things should give you a pretty good idea of what it takes to become an extraordinary person.

1. They give sincere support to others

Think back to the best teacher(s) or mentor(s) you ever had. I’d be willing to bet they were genuinely interested in your success. That’s because extraordinary people want other people to become extraordinary as well. If you want to become extraordinary, make an extra effort to support the people around you.

2. They focus on people

Gary Vaynerchuk is one of my favorite examples of this. The man has a ton on his plate but he is constantly focused on the people in his life. For example, Gary has over a million followers on Twitter and often asks if there is anything (within reason) that he can do for them. What’s more impressive is that he actually follows through on a lot of the requests. The man is simply extraordinary in everything he does because he understands focusing on people is a worthwhile endeavor.

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3. They aren’t afraid to be wrong

When ordinary people are wrong and find themselves at a dead end, they give up. They become frustrated and mad that they failed. Extraordinary people thrive in these situations. Why? Because every dead end eliminates a wrong path in their search for the road to success. They turn around from those dead ends and get busy exploring every other road until they find the right one. Failing just means they are one step closer to succeeding. It’s OK to be wrong.

4. They give credit where it’s deserved

How much does it cost to compliment someone? Absolutely nothing. Even though giving someone the credit they deserve is free, it does wonders for the recipient. Try it. You literally have nothing to lose.

5. They are considerate of others

It’s selfish to live your life without caring about those around you. We all have to share the same planet. Being considerate of others makes it enjoyable for everyone.

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6. They love life

Life is the most precious gift you have. Extraordinary people understand they only get one life to live and it’s up to them to make it great. When you choose to love life, anything feels possible.

7. They push their limits

Travis Rice, world renowned snowboarder, once said:

“We will never know our full potential unless we push ourselves to find it. It’s this self discovery that inevitably takes us to the wildest places on earth.”

Extraordinary people understand their potential because they are constantly pushing themselves to find it. We are the only ones who define our limits. If you push yourself, I promise you will be amazed at how much you can actually do. But you’ll never know until you try.

8. They believe in themselves

Your mind is a fascinating thing. When doubt enters your mind, it can have seriously damning effects. Extraordinary people will often have thoughts of doubt creep in, but they never entertain them. Pardon my nostalgia, but remember The Little Engine That Could? While it’s a fictitious children’s story, it illustrates the undeniable fact that when you believe in yourself, you can accomplish extraordinary things.

9. They know their purpose in life

Whenever I think about finding purpose in life, I can’t help but think of Viktor Frankl. Viktor survived three horrifying years in holocaust concentration camps. What kept him from committing suicide, as many of his camp mates did, was the idea that his suffering had to have meaning. His life had to have a purpose. Viktor truly was an extraordinary person because he understood his purpose in life. By the way, I highly suggest reading his book. It’s a life changer.

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10. They put thoughts and words into action

You have to do something! The Wright Brothers had an extraordinary idea that man could fly. Had they left it at that, who knows where we would be today. It’s because they busted their butts trying every possibility they could think of that the world today is so easily connected. They turned their thoughts into action, and in so doing, engraved their names on the wall of extraordinary people.

What traits have you observed in the extraordinary people around you? Help me add to this list by leaving a comment below!

More by this author

Braden Thompson

Braden is an advocate for better living who finds fulfillment in helping others become better.

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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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