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14 Motivations to Help You Go to Work

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14 Motivations to Help You Go to Work

We all have to do it, but that doesn’t mean that it comes easy… going to work that is!

Some days, we hop in the car and go out of habit and we’re at our destination before we know it. And the day has begun. Other days, we dread to put one foot in front of the other because we know with each step we take, it takes us a little closer to where we’re going to be spending the next eight hours. Those eight hours when your head isn’t “in the game” can be excruciatingly long, extremely dull, and leave you yearning to see the clock’s hands move just one iota.
For those days where you think you just can’t face going in one more time, I offer you 14 motivations to help you answer the question “What’s in it for me?”

1. Make your work-space an inviting space

Who wants to drive in to work knowing there’s a monotone-colored cubicle and matching desk accessories waiting for you? Create a space that is “you!” If you have an agreeable supervisor who doesn’t mind a few touches from home, dress up your space with plants or a few pictures of the people you love most. Put up motivating quotes on colorful backgrounds or print some out and frame them. Not only will you make a space you feel comfortable in, but your co-workers will see how you took ownership of an area and the things you chose to surround yourself with… you can motivate others in this subtle way!

2. Reward yourself for perfect attendance

Why not? We were rewarded as children. When we were attending elementary and high school, our job WAS school and we were rewarded for showing up. Make a point of being at work ten to fifteen minutes before you are required to and track whether or not you’re successful. “X” off every day you made it in early and give yourself a treat for five days in a row or whatever time frame you designate. I advise keeping this one to yourself though, sometimes there are clock-Nazis watching and taking their own notes too!

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3. You get to mentally challenge yourself

When we go to work, we get the opportunity to be challenged both creatively and intellectually. Problems are present every day. Being present in body as well as in mind gives us a chance to stretch our thinking and personally challenge ourselves to strive for success. Track these times when you feel excited by new approaches to performing your job – being able to reflect on these times will aid you in your ability to have an air of gratitude.

4. You spark your own creativity

Going to work allows us to think outside of the proverbial “box.” Each day you get in your car to go to work, try thinking: What will I learn today? Maybe it’s the chance and the training ground you need to learn how to be creative. Why not keep a little notebook and jot down when your idea was used or a portion of it? Tracking these things and bringing them up during performance evaluations could further your position within the company.

5. You experience positive interaction with others

Whether you view yourself as being a private person or not, interaction with co-workers cannot be underestimated. When we go to work and engage in conversation, work-related or about life in general, we are engaging in social behavior that gives us a sense of being connected with the human race.

6. You can help others

Our willingness to go to work earns us the financial capability to touch the lives of others through charitable activities. Because we show up at work, we are afforded the opportunity to make a difference in the life of someone not capable of changing their circumstances on their own. We are able to “give back” because we work.

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7. You are able to provide for your family and yourself

Whether you are a member of a family or it may be just you, the cold hard truth is that you need to be motivated by financial responsibilities, the mortgage or rent, electricity, insurances, phone, and food. Your job enables you to afford the things in life that you not only want but you at the basic level need.

8. You gain self-respect

Going to work and obtaining a reputation for not only being dependable, but someone who people can trust boosts your self-respect. Knowing that someone relies on your talents and knowledge gives you value and makes you feel confident in the work you are called to do.

9. You enjoy a sense of completion

Whether you work at a fast-food chain or an executive office, there is a mission for that day. There is always something that needs to be accomplished. Participating in that work gives you a sense of completion because you know you were involved in the process to make the end result or product come about.

10. You establish a career path

Any job you hold should be viewed as a stepping stone to the next phase in your life. Look at your current position as a “testing ground” for the next big thing that will come along in life!

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11. You can afford a certain lifestyle

A powerful motivation to go to work is knowing that the money you earn can potentially afford you a lifestyle you want to enjoy. Do you long to travel? Own your own business? What dreams do you have that you long to fulfill? Showing up at work and planning for the things you want puts you on that path to that desired lifestyle – it all has to start somewhere, why not the motivation to go to work?

12. Go to bed earlier

I think by now we’re all pretty aware that we rarely get the correct amount of sleep that our body needs to restore itself for the next day. This results in multiple snooze-alarm-slaps in the morning hours and scrambling to get ready for the workday ahead. Eliminate this unnecessary stress and turn in early. It may take some getting used to, but you’ll feel better in the long run.

13. Prepare your lunch the night before

This very simple step can shave time off of your get-ready time in the morning! How nice would it be to just walk to the refrigerator and pull out the bag you prepared the night before?

14. Select and prepare your outfit the night before

Take time out to go to the closet and pick out what you intend to wear for the next day. If it needs ironing, do it before you go to bed! Again, a huge time saver in the morning! Once you’re done with showering and grooming, simply walk to your closet and take out what you got ready the night before. This eliminates the stress of picking something, ironing, and possibly running late especially if you discover at the last minute there’s a missing button or worse yet, a hole in your favorite shirt or blouse.

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The bottom line is: work is what we choose to make it. If you want to continue to dread it and find ways to escape being there, that’s a personal choice. But if you’d like to have peace of mind, grow as a person, and feel excitement about the role you play at your workplace then turn your thinking around and consider what you gain from being there besides just the paycheck!

Featured photo credit: epSos.de via flickr.com

More by this author

Cathy Robinson

Cathy blogs about mental strength, motivation and happiness at Lifehack.

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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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