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15 Steps for Creating Your Hero’s Path

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15 Steps for Creating Your Hero’s Path

Go ahead and peek! I won’t tell anyone! Look under your first two shirt buttons and see if there is a bright blue spandex superhero suit underneath.

You don’t see it yet? Don’t worry. You will!

Any one of us can be a hero. Let’s go even further. Any one of us can be a Super Hero. We just need to know how. The path is there but is hidden under the thick vines and thorns of false information and confusion. No problem. Follow me as we part the thorns and discover the true path hidden underneath.

1) Know who and what you are.

Superheros know that they are different. They know that they are not quite human and see things differently than many of those around them. They have a higher responsibility level than ordinary human beings because they know how powerful they are.

The first thing one must realize when one decides to assume superhero status is that there is a part of us that is flesh and bone and another part, a much more powerful but suppressed part of us that is divine. It is the breath of God. It is the life force, the Elan Vital and it is us.

One who knows this and embraces it, knows that he has a deep responsibility. I am not talking about responsibility as blame of self or others, but just plain responsibility for making things right. We have that power and if you seek super hero status, you must embrace who you really are and accept all of the power inherent in you.

2) Understand that you really do know best.

You may not want to face the truth of certain situations but on some level you KNOW what is really going on and what is the correct action.

I once heard someone say, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” If you are confused about what actions or directions are best, just be the rising tide. Lift those around you as much as you possibly can and you will be lifted.

3) Know that some of the things you are learning now may be skills needed by your future self.

Steve Jobs talked about how he learned all kinds of random skills and when he started up Apple, they all seemed to come together. I personally believe that it is our future selves talking when we have a mad desire to learn or do something new. Never stop learning! Be curious about everything! Skills have a habit of coming in handy when you least expect it.

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4) Understand what fear is.

There are two types of fear. One is fear of something that is a real threat or danger. This fear is to be heeded and acted upon to avoid catastrophe.

The other type of fear comes from past pain. Past pain is just that—PAST pain. It has no bearing on the present and has a tendency to make us shut down and back away, even if the circumstances are completely different than the circumstances surrounding the pain we once felt.

This makes us paralyzed, and some people are paralyzed to the point that they never leave their houses. This fear is not helpful in that it is way too sweeping and prohibits you from seeing things in the present. You may not see that the circumstances are different. You may not even see that your fear stems from a completely different and long forgotten situation.

If your fear is non specific and is fear of something that will not cause you imminent collapse, conquer your fear and move ahead.

You will also find that fear diminishes greatly in the face of control of a situation. Control comes from skill and knowledge.

Find out what you are really afraid of, face it and learn as much about it as you can. Then go do what you need to do.

5) Be in good communication with all aspects of your life.

Unpleasant occurrences are a lot less likely to sneak up on you if you are in communication with the people and environment around you. When you look at people and things in your present time environment, look at them in THE PRESENT.

So many times we look at situations and see them as the same as those awful ones that have occurred in the past. Whenever you start telling yourself that “this has happened before,” understand that this is not true. Situations that are in the future have not happened before. It is a new instance; try to see it as such. This does not mean that one should make the same mistakes over and over, but look at each situation newly as they rise up in front of you.

6) Understand people

People have a tendency to seem confusing, but they are not that incomprehensible. The best way to understand your fellow man is to listen to him. Everyone has a story and some are quite amazing. Listen to everyone’s story and you will start to get an idea of what even the average Joe has been through and what he is about.

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I have recently been taking part in a radio show where we have live callers. On our show we talked to a man who is now a real estate broker. We found out that he had been in wars and has traveled extensively. He has been rich and lost everything several times. He has seen some things we only dream about or have nightmares about. Yet, he walks among us as one of us. Scratch the surface of your fellows. They are really quite remarkable.

7) Keep your integrity

I wrote a recent blog on my website about the importance of integrity and how several times this life I have lost everything, but knew I was correct in walking away because I kept my integrity.

The definition of “Integrity” is twofold:

First, it is adherence to a moral or ethical code (“Moral” meaning a code that one has agreed to and “Ethical,” meaning it is what one knows inherently is right)

The second definition of “Integrity” is wholeness, or freedom from blemish.

If you look at it, the first definition is a recipe that results in the second definition. You can remain whole, unblemished and perfect if you stick like glue to your own personal ethical code.

If you have strayed and are divided against yourself, you can find your way back by outlining your ethical code and sticking to it.

No one is too far gone to heal himself. Ever.

8) Respect yourself as much or more than the person you respect the most in your life.

When one is given respect, unless one is very confused, one strives to be worthy of respect. Respect yourself. Stand up for yourself. Defend yourself as you would someone you dearly love. Never say anything to yourself you would even think about saying to someone you love.

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One of the biggest scams going in society today is the idea that you have to be “humble” by putting yourself down. You can’t “show off” your talents. I completely disagree. You damage yourself by making yourself smaller and the only ones you please are those who profit by your small stature. Grow into a giant. Encourage others to grow into giants. We need way more giants than weak men right now.  Only the weakest among us will try to keep you small.

9) Be compassionate with those in pain but never let them be victims.

This world is a harsh place. There is no disguising that fact. We all get knocked down and knocked down hard. We all deserve compassion and a helping hand when we need it.

that said, we do a disservice to those who spend their lives being victimized. What they are saying is that they are too small, too weak and too degraded to survive on their own. Anyone, in their eyes is better than they  are. If you agree with them that they are helpless, you convince them that it is so.

Look at kids who have had everything given to them. Most of them are manifesting incompetence in life. They feel that they cannot contribute because they have not learned how. Then look at those who have worked for what they have. They have learned to be resourceful. They have self respect and know they can get by on their own. They better understand their personal value.

There are some unfortunate people who have been hit very hard by life to the point that they feel they will never recover. When you meet someone like that, by all means help them and provide support, but find out what they can do and invite them to do it, even if it is a tiny thing.

It is a horrible awful thing when one loses his self respect and decides that he is no use to anyone. Help him get back his self respect and see that he has value. We inherently equate our value with what we can contribute to others. If we feel that we can contribute nothing, well, that is a very painful place to live.

10) Never give up no matter what.

The only winners are those who never give up. When hit with adversity, decide whether you need to change your game plan, but don’t give up your goal. Those who stand with you are your friends. Those who try to sow doubts about yourself are not.

11) Always have a goal even a small one.

Your goals in life are the things that move you forward in the time stream toward a better life for yourself and others. Don’t let past experiences shape you; let future experiences that you, yourself have placed in the future, shape you. You will be a lot happier and healthier.

12) Always have dreams, lots of dreams, no matter how old you are.

Our futures and those of others around us are created in the form of dreams. You never know when the opportunity might arise to make one or more come true.

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13) Be willing to change.

It does not make you wrong if you change.  If you decide that your entire life is not what you want it to be for whatever reason, it does not mean that your current or past life was invalid, wrong or not what you wanted at that time. A certain amount of volatility is inherent in us, and there is nothing wrong with a high level of volatility when it is accompanied by a high level of responsibility.

14) Explore alternate viewpoints.

There is nothing more interesting to me than other people’s universes. The way they have constructed their lives, who they are, what they have been through and how they have crafted their views is my fascination. When you view these things objectively and without prejudice, you learn about people and about yourself. Don’t be afraid to find out.

15) Understand that failure is not failing.

It is extremely rare for a person who is trying something entirely new to succeed on the first try, or the second, or the third. This is not failure. Failure is giving up in disgust and taking your ball and going home. The people at the top of their fields worked hard, lost ground, gained it back and lost it again before finally arriving where they are. Failure is only and ever what you decide it to be and if you decide it doesn’t exist, that is legitimate too.

A final word of advice.

Once you have decided to be whatever type of hero you want to be, you must embrace this path wholeheartedly. Your purpose in life is so important that it cannot be halfway accepted for you to be well and happy.

I have personal experience with this. I have had many different careers in my life. Some have aligned pretty well with my true purpose, which is to ally myself with the heroes I see who really want to change this world and make it better, and to reach all the people of earth and help in whatever way I can, to bring them up to a much higher level of survival. Other careers I have had have been wildly off track.

Until I found and embraced who I really was and the correct method in fulfilling my purpose, I was dissatisfied, tired, and to some degree, jaded.

I had to stop hiding and agreeing with people who felt that I must be limited. It was a huge responsibility and a giant amount of wor,k but I have found that it is the only way I can be happy.

Look carefully. Find out what your TRUE purpose is. It may be huge and if so, don’t back away. Embrace it for all the amazing future wins, possible losses and scary situations it contains. When you find it and when you embrace it, you will be solidly on the hero’s path and nothing can strike you off.

Good luck. Please write me from time to time on your journeys and tell me how it is going!

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Chris Ellis

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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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