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11 Quotes to Catapult You Over Life’s Hurdles

11 Quotes to Catapult You Over Life’s Hurdles

We’ve all had those days. You know, the ones which seem like the world as we know it is coming to an end because of something that’s happened to us.

We may have been through a bad break up, or we may have lost someone close to us – a sister, a best friend, or a parent. Perhaps you were just let go from a company you have been working at the last 10 years. Perhaps we just flunked the LSAT, or GMAT, or MCAT, or SAT. Or maybe it was nothing like that. Maybe you just realized in the middle of a scorching summer day you remember that you left two tubs of Nestle Cookie Dough (with brownie chunks) ice cream you bought from Walmart in the trunk of your car – FOUR DAYS AGO.

Whatever you’ve been through – I can relate. If you don’t believe me, you can be sure that someone else has been through something similar or something even worse. Here are some of the quotes I’ve used to stay resilient in the face of adversity.

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Quote10

    This is your chance to shine. No matter what you’ve endured and been through, this is your opportunity to show the world what you’re made of. At the end of the day, your resiliency in times of hardship represent you! Remember that when you’re faced with difficulty, patience is indeed a virtue needed to stay strong!

    Tree trunk covered with knitting and material with the quote 'Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.' Installation by Lunar Rising at Shambala Festival

      Kanye West said it best – “Na-na-na that that don’t kill me, can only make me stronger.”

      Quote5

        Are you a “glass half-empty” or “glass half-full” person? Every challenge you face in life is a means to become a better and stronger person! Use these lessons to improve yourself and grow impenetrable!

        Quote6

          What exactly is the “Superior Man” anyway? Confucius explains it here.

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          Quote2

            How good did you feel the last time you did well on an extremely tough exam? I bet you walked out of the classroom feeling like a bo$$. Same thing applies here. The greater the degree of the difficulty you face and have been challenged with, the better you’ll feel once you’ve overcome it.

            Quote15

              I absolutely LOVE this one. What a positive way of looking at things – and it couldn’t be more true! The hardships we endure throughout life are what shape our personalities and characters. Here’s how I see it: think of a master sculpture who is chiseling away at a boulder. From the exterior, the boulder seems to be going through an ordeal; blow after blow, chisel after chisel. The end product however, is always greater than what it was at the beginning.

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              Quote13

                How far would the Wright brothers have gone had they given up after their first failed attempt at flight? You can thank your last first class flight (or economy, as in my case) to their steadfastness and unwavering desire to succeed.

                Quote1

                  This is another great way to look at your problems. Assess each difficulty you’re facing and think of what you can do to make the most of it. Getting fired from that job you just worked 60+ hours a week for 2 years might result in an opportunity to start your own business.

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                  Quote7

                    Some of the best-known heroes of our time – Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela – went through tremendous hardships throughout the majority of their lives and in pursuing their life’s work. What was the result of their efforts? Being regarded as some of the greatest people to have ever lived.

                    Quote18

                      You ultimately choose the outcome of every situation you encounter. What will you choose?

                      Quote8

                        This is my absolute favourite. What greater pleasure is there knowing and being reassured by the fact that after every difficulty, things will surely get better? The repetition of this verse/statement is a testament to the reassurance being given. It’s like saying “there’s calm after the storm” or “there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

                        At the end of the day – it’s all about PATIENCE! “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” ― Aristotle

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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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