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10 Ways To Greatly Improve Your Attitude

10 Ways To Greatly Improve Your Attitude

Our attitude plays a big part in our everyday lives and can affect how our life may turn out in the future. If you decide to live with a negative attitude, always expecting the worst and never enjoying what you already have in your life, you’ll find that your inner choices will reflect on the outside. However, if you have a good attitude, you’ll be the kind of person who works hard, is a believer in the fact that life is for living, and you will live the kind of life many would aspire to.

Attitude comes down to choice, you can choose whether to have a good or a bad attitude and whether external things can affect it or not. With this in mind I’ve come up with a few ways to help improve your attitude when you are struggling to turn a bad day into a good one.

1. Take action and then let it go.

If you have something you need to get done, and you’ve been putting it off because the result could go either way, the best thing for you to do to improve your attitude is to take the appropriate action required and then let it go. Holding on, worrying and wasting precious time fretting will only put a downer on your attitude. If you remember that life is for living, and what will be will be, then you can’t go far wrong. Worrying is a complete waste of your time—if it’s going to happen, it will happen anyway, whether you worry about it or not!

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2. Spend time with those who share your positive attitude.

This is a must if you want to improve your attitude. The people you surround yourself with most of the time will reflect upon you and how you live your life. So always make sure that these people share your positive vibe, and lift you rather than bring you down. We are, after all, only human, so there will be times when we get a bit down on our luck, which makes it even more important to have good, positive people on hand to encourage, support and inspire us.

3. Remember to forgive easily the limitations of others.

So often we get disappointed by other people’s actions or non-action. Instead of getting angry or retaliating, the best way to improve the situation and to improve your attitude is to forgive. Most people don’t understand why they do the things they do or say the things they say. It is through your forgiveness (which is not about letting them off the hook, but rather letting yourself off the hook) that you will improve your attitude. Holding on to grudges will only cause you more harm than good because most people don’t realize how their limitations affect others anyway!

4. Always act with a purpose.

When you take action, always take steps to act with a purpose, so that your actions are in line with your values and who you are. Many people walk through life blindly, with no real reason for what they do and why they do it. Instead, live with a sense of purpose, so that you go through life knowing the effect you have on those around you and why you do the things you do. For an example, Walt Disney’s main purpose was to “make people happy,” so next time you act, think of your purpose and improve your attitude whilst doing so!

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5. Always say, “Please,” and, “Thank you.”

Being polite when given help or asking for it isn’t a hard thing to do, yet so often we forget these simple words, especially with those closest to us. If you want to improve your attitude use, “Please,” and, “Thank you,” every single time you are given the opportunity. Why? Because what you give out you get back, so when you are nice to someone who is helping you out or when you need some assistance, you’ll find that you’ll get more than you bargained for—in a good way, of course!

6. Don’t compare yourself to others.

If you want to improve your attitude to life and to those around you, quit comparing yourself to others. It’s human to compare our lives with others, but when we do it too often we can drag ourselves down and start to think that life isn’t going the way it’s supposed to go. When we compare, we think someone else’s life looks better than ours. It’s important to remember that we are observing the external view, and things may look different behind closed doors. So spare yourself the worry and stop comparing, only focus on your own life and attitude to it and you’ll be much happier in the process.

7. Expect the best out of every situation instead of the worst.

How many times do you focus on the bad stuff that might happen in your life, rather than the good? Do you hear yourself saying things like, “Oh, I knew that would happen,” or, “I really hope this doesn’t cost too much,” and, “I don’t want to be late”?

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When life is hectic and you feel that you don’t have time to do what you want because of what other people want from you, it’s no wonder you can get so down and disgruntled about life. We tend to focus on what could go wrong in our lives rather than focusing on what could go right. In some respects we like to have a moan, and it seems complaining has become such second nature to us that we don’t even realize we are doing it.

So how about trying something different? Try not to complain for seven days and instead replace any negative thoughts with a positive one. Expect the very best out of every situation and see the improvement in your attitude, you won’t be disappointed!

8. Wake up early every day.

I am a real advocate of early rising. For me it brings me closer to the feeling of starting afresh, just in case yesterday didn’t go quite as planned. I usually get up at around 4 a.m., although that kind of time is pretty extreme to most people. However, when you plan to wake up early and intend to make each day a good one, you’ll find your attitude will change. It’s like you are taking the day by the horns and making sure you get every last bit out of it and on your own terms. You’ll feel in control of your life rather than just going through life in a blur.

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Just try it, even if you only get up 20 minutes earlier than normal.

9. Live in the present moment.

As you read this you will probably have 101 things on your mind. Errands to run, things you should be doing and things that have happened that are worrying you. All too often we spend our days lost in thoughts about the past or the future and never really living in this very moment. When we live like this, we are never really comfortable with ourselves because our inner peace is constantly at odds, which affects our mood and our attitude.

Instead of rushing about, try to spend time watching your thoughts and becoming more mindful of what you are saying to yourself. If you are worrying about something, you are not in the present moment because you are thinking about something that could happen in the future. Anxiety, stress and worry are all signs you are not living in the now. When you have too much of this going on it can lead to health issues later on in life. To improve your attitude, learn how to take a break, to sit and be quiet even if it’s just for 10 minutes a day. Your body and mind will thank you for it, and so will your friends!

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10. Be grateful for everything you have.

This always seems to come up whenever I write because gratefulness is one of the most powerful attitudes to have in life. If you want a better life, give thanks for all that you have each and every day. When you rise early, practice grace before you do anything. This kind of practice will set your day off nicely, your attitude will improve and you’ll find you will receive more things to be grateful about!

So how’s your attitude today, does it need a little fine tuning?

More by this author

Paula Lawes

Paula loves people and connecting. She writes about communication and relationships tips on Lifehack.

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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)

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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