“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” ~Bishop T.D. Jakes
Most of us are living our lives without any aim or reason. Because of this, we tend to become disoriented and lose our way somewhere in the middle. The happiest of people are the ones who are focused and passionate about something in their lives.
The majority of successful people in the world are goal-oriented and have made their creativity, talent, or hobby into their biggest strength. No one can deny the fact that you can excel in your life only if you are pursuing a goal or dream that you are passionate about. Without having fun along the way, you will only get depressed and lose interest in your life.
The list below elaborates 13 ways to find passion in your life.
1. Don’t Rush Into Things
Life isn’t about a constant rush of jumping into things. In fact, if you want to find passion in your life; then it’s time to slow down and gain a better perspective of who you really are as an individual.Advertising
You can find answers to the troubling questions by slowing down and finding what you really want out of yourself. Take up some activity such as yoga, walking or meditation to help you explore your inner self and find deeper meaning behind your life.
2. You Are the Writer of Your Own Story
Not many people realize that their life entirely depends upon their own hands. Often, we tend to blame our failures on others, but realizing that we have the capacity to evolve and become a better person is only something very few are capable of. It makes all the more reason to change your life the exact moment you figure out that it’s time to change. Always remember: you have control and you can change your life to make the necessary difference.
3. Find Your Strengths
No one is born without a talent, strength, or skill. In fact all of us are unique in our own way. Try exploring what you are good at. There has to be something that comes naturally to you. By allowing yourself to nurture your natural talent, you will be able to excel in your field. And most of all, you will be a happy person doing what you love to do.
4. You Can and You Will
This is the statement you need to repeat to yourself every now and then. By cultivating confidence in your personality, you are indirectly planting a positive idea in your mind. The go-getter attitude is most important in helping you achieve your aims. The only way you can be passionate about fulfilling your goal is by constantly re-assuring yourself that you can and you will be able to conquer all your fears, and you will one day realize your goal.
5. Identify the Recurring Patterns
Notice the recurring themes in your life that call out for you to make a necessary change. A recurring pattern is some kind of a situation or feeling that you constantly stumble across. This is a sign for you to identify it and try to break out of that loop once and for all.Advertising
6. Vent Out Your Feelings
The best way to be clear about your passion is to clear out your mind. This can be achieved by venting out your feelings. Some people write their thoughts down, while others prefer to talk about how they feel. In either case, it is better for you to let your feelings and ideas out.
Many psychologists suggest keeping a journal that helps in organizing your thoughts and allowing you to point out your passion in life. In order for you to figure out what you are truly passionate about, take a few minutes out every day to jot down your feelings. After a few weeks, you will be surprised at discovering what you really want to do.
7. Don’t Forget to Have Fun
What many of us tend to forget is that being too focused on our goals; we somehow forget to have fun along the way. When we stop enjoying what we are doing, that’s when the problem starts.
A lot of people are clear about what their passions are; yet they seem to be unhappy in their pursuits. Why does this happen? Usually, it’s because they have forgotten that it is important for them to enjoy what they are doing instead of being too goal-oriented and going through a set of tasks as a mechanical robot.
8. Let Go of Your Inhibitions
What are you afraid of? Is it failure, abandonment by friends and family, or death? By pinpointing your biggest fear, you are allowing yourself to gain control and confront your fear.Advertising
Don’t worry about the outcome, instead live your life by principles and enjoy each day as it comes. By over-emphasizing on past failures, you will only be discouraged to pursue your dreams. Remember: it’s all about moving forward and not looking back.
9. Just Be Yourself
Many of us try to become someone else because we see those people as successful and happy in their lives. But does that really work for us? Answer: a big No! Never try to be someone or something you’re not.
Being true to yourself is the key in finding your passion in life. As cliché it may sound, leopards can’t change their spots and you can’t really change your DNA. So why not try something that comes naturally to you instead of following someone else’s success act and failing along the way?
10. Take Risks
Simple, we only live once. A lot of us don’t really explore our capabilities because of certain deep-rooted fears. For example, I know of this person who really wanted to try extreme sports but the fear of a severe injury or possible death prevented them from actually trying it out. Now they are too old to pursue their passion and regret not taking the chance when they had the time.
Helpful Resources for further reading:Advertising
11. When Something Clicks, Just Go With It
Often when we are exploring what truly moves us, we stumble across an idea or opportunity that seems extremely appealing. It may be your dream job, or a chance to explore a long-awaited hobby. When that happens, don’t over-think it‒just go with it.
Time is your biggest enemy. It hampers your growth and productivity. By procrastinating on the offer at hand, you will probably reason against it and then end up regretting not taking it up when you had the chance.
12. Admit Your Limitations
It’s not always the case that your dream can be pursued. For example, someone may want to be a famous singer but their voice is not just good enough. Sometimes, admitting your limitations can actually liberate you to follow your dreams in a practical way. That person may not end up being a famous singer but if they are a talented musician, they may end up being someone really famous after all.
13. What Drives You?
For many people, unfortunately, money is the primary driving factor in their lives. Because of this, they become slave to a routine that they hate. It is understandable that finances matter as they help you in sustaining a lifestyle. However, passion and money may not be complimentary to each other.
If you want to follow your passion, then don’t worry too much about the money. If you have a little savings to fall back on, you can even work for less compensation for a while to pursue what you truly love. Remember: if you are really passionate about something that you are doing, then money will automatically come your way.Advertising
So this wraps up the 13 ways to find passion in your life. By following these simple rules, you can explore your inner self and find out what you are truly passionate about. The most successful people in the world follow their hearts. Try to hear what your heart’s telling you and you may be surprised at where it leads you.
Share your success story and tell how you found something you are passionate about. Feel free to comment.
Last Updated on July 20, 2021
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:
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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:
- How to Give a Presentation Like a Pro
- 10 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations
- Tricks to Deliver an Impressive Presentation Every Time
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