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15 Things Everyone Should Avoid In Their 30s

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15 Things Everyone Should Avoid In Their 30s

Let’s face it, we all grow old.

It’s become almost cliché that once you reach the end of your third decade you start to let yourself go. Assuming their best days are behind them, people over 30 start gaining weight, giving up on dreams, and losing an overall passion for life.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Just because your body is growing older doesn’t mean you can’t live an amazing life into your 30s and beyond. If you eliminate bad habits and negative influences, life can still be great even after your glorious younger years.

This post is dedicated to identifying these habits and correcting them for a better outlook on life.

1. Avoid Thinking You Have It All Figured Out

Modern education has trapped us into thinking learning only takes place during school. Just because you finished high school and maybe have a college degree doesn’t mean you’re done learning about the world around you. There’s an endless amount of information and no matter how hard you try you’ll never consume it all. You don’t know everything, and that’s okay. The unknown is what keeps us exploring and experiencing new things every day.

2. Avoid Working A Job You Hate

It doesn’t matter how much money you make, what benefits you have, or how many years you’ve been working at the same place: if you hate your job, nothing will save you from your misery. This doesn’t mean quit right away, but the worst thing you could do at 30 is realize you hate your job only to find yourself still working there when you hit 40. It’s okay to change jobs or even careers. It’s much better long term to take less money for a job you love and enjoy than to torture yourself for a bigger paycheck.

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3.  Avoid Couch Potato Syndrome

Between desk jobs, binge watching TV, and overall laziness, we spend a lot of time sitting down. As we grow past our 20s our metabolism becomes dramatically less effective, making it harder to stay in shape. Whether you’re still below the 30 mark or well beyond, the best thing you can do is to start taking care of yourself now. It’s easy to make excuses for not wanting to get in shape, but when you’re overweight and out of breath after a trip up the stairs remember you have no one to blame but yourself.

4.  Avoid Giving Up On Your Dreams

Just because you’ve surpassed the third decade doesn’t mean you’re too old to turn your dreams into reality. A common misconception is that only young people have unlimited potential to create something amazing that truly changes the world. The truth is plenty of people over 30 are changing the world everyday. Colonel Sanders was over 60 years old when he started Kentucky Fried Chicken. Stan Lee, creator of Marvel, didn’t start writing comics until almost 40.

Age brings experience and wisdom, which gives you all the more reason to go after your dreams and do what you’ve always wanted.

5.  Avoid Distancing Yourself From Friends & Family

As the years pass it seems inevitable that we fall out of touch with family as phone calls and reunions happen less every year. If you’re 30 now, your parents are probably in their 50s or 60s.  Life can be taken at any moment, and one of the worst regrets people have is not spending enough time with their family before it’s too late. The only way to change this is to be the one who keeps in touch. Be that annoying friend that gets everyone back together and talks to everyone in the family. People will remember you for that, and they’ll admire what you do.

6.  Avoid Thinking Your Best Years Are Behind You

If your 20s were like most, you probably spent the decade partying with your friends, staying up late, and job hopping until you found one that paid you enough to at least pretend you liked working there. Yet somehow we trick ourselves into thinking that after our 20s our best years have passed and it’s going to be a boring ride the rest of the way.

The only place this holds true is in your mind.  If you believe your best years have came and went, it will be that way. But if you focus your attention on seizing each moment, there’s little doubt your most triumphant days are ahead of you.

Keep your eyes on the future, that’s where true glory lies.

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7.  Avoid Spending Beyond Your Means

Financial advisers suggest to retire by 65 you need to start saving by 25.  Obviously this depends on a lot of factors, but the best way to guarantee you never save money is by living beyond your means. We thrive on instant gratification in a material world, buying things that make us feel better momentarily only to leave ourselves upset at our purchase later.

In your 20s, it’s simple pleasures like shopping or a night of drinking, but at 30 purchases turn into bigger financial holes like leasing a car or buying a house too big for your own good. Living more with less is a very real thing. Spending less on things that don’t matter and having money in a savings account gives you a sense of security and comfort that will enhance your life in later years.

8.  Avoid Holding Onto Resentment

Life long grudges hurt nobody except yourself. Feeling disgust for not getting hired to a certain job or staying angry at a friend because you can’t allow yourself to forgive them creates a negative energy that diminishes your level of well being. Holding onto resentment doesn’t make the situation any better for either side of the party, and the longer you hold on the stronger that negative energy affects your life.

Holding grudges are for middle schoolers, so hopefully by the time you reach your 30s you can learn to forgive and let go. If not for the other person at least to bring more joy and positive emotions to your life.

9.  Avoid Holding Onto Your High School Identity

For people who didn’t have a lot of friends or despised their time in high school this is easy, but when you were the class clown or a star athlete it’s difficult to let go of the labels you earned. The truth is no one cares what you did in high school, they care about what you’re going to do next. It doesn’t matter what athletic awards you won: if you don’t play any sports or stay in shape, you’re no longer an athlete.

Living in the past is a dangerous path to tread, especially when you look back with pride and admiration. Save yourself the trouble and change your vision from who you were towards who you want to become. This way you can avoid becoming the guy at the bar who tells everyone he would have gone pro if it wasn’t for his bum knee.

10.  Avoid Staying In One Place Too Long

There’s nothing wrong with becoming part of the community and establishing roots in your neighborhood so your kids have a place to come back to when they get older. There’s a big difference, however, between growing roots and never leaving home.

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Rather than living in the same 50 mile vortex your entire life, a simple road trip or vacation every now and then can give you a whole new perspective of the world. The longer you wait to travel the harder it is to finally do it. Start before your 30s if you can, but even if you’re older it’s never too late to see a different part of the world. I’ve never met someone who said they regret traveling, but millions regret never seizing the opportunity to set foot on new soil.

11.  Avoid The Routine Trap

When you’re young life is constantly changing, but once you get older and have a full time career working it’s easy to fall into a routine: wake up, shower, rush to work, spend the next 8 hours there, drive home, eat dinner, watch TV, sleep. Some people are stuck in this routine until they retire. There’s nothing wrong with having routines to help you be more productive but your entire life shouldn’t become a routine. Leaving yourself room for spontaneous action will keep you feeling younger as you age.

12.  Avoid Having Too Many Opinions

Everyone has an opinion about something. Whether it’s fashion, sports, global warming or the president, the opinions people feel strongest about are the things they don’t like. Opinions are almost never based on facts but rather rumors we hear and experiences we have.

Holding onto a negative opinion is like picking up a piece of burning coal and squeezing because you don’t like it. You only end up hurting yourself and nobody cares because what you’re doing looks completely dumb. Instead of holding onto your opinions for the rest of your life, let them go and see what happens. For one, you’ll still be perfectly okay. But who knows, once you gather a broader mindset you might find the exact opposite of one of your old opinions to be true.

13.  Avoid Caring What Other People Think

If nobody cares about your opinions then you shouldn’t waste your time caring what they think either. It’s human nature to want people to like us, but it should never be at the expense of changing who we are. When you were younger if someone called you stupid or ugly, it might have bothered you for weeks. As you grow older it’s important to let go of caring so much what people think.

Remember, everyone has an opinion. If you spend your time worrying what everyone else thinks about you, you’ll never know what you think about yourself. And that’s much more important. As long as you aren’t hurting anyone you should never have to change who you are just because someone else wants you too.

14.  Avoid Continuing Bad Habits

As humans we have a terrible habit of doing things to our bodies that aren’t healthy whatsoever. Eating processed foods, smoking, excessive drinking, lack of sleep, and plenty more.

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In our 20s, our bodies are still young enough to put up with it and keep us functional as long as we don’t go overboard. But as you grow older and your body ages these habits start to wedge their way into your life and take over. Look at it this way, most people don’t get cancer from smoking one cigarette but from years of smoking that eventually deteriorated the body.

No bad habit needs to come with you into your older years. There’s still time to change and make a positive impact on your life. Leave your negative habits behind and your body will thank you in the future.

15.  Avoid Thinking You Need To Settle Down

Just because you’re getting older and your friends are married with kids doesn’t mean you have to start doing the same. If you aren’t at that stage in your life there’s no reason to rush into a relationship because society says it’s time to slow down.

This is more than relationships, too. If you want a career change, have a desire for travel, or want to move to an entire new place, do it. You can settle down later when it’s right for you.And honestly, you never have to settle down if you don’t want to. There’s no law saying you have to slow down your life at a certain age, if the status quo isn’t working you have to do what’s best for you.

Being only in your 30s, you still have lots of life in front of you. You can call it quits and assure the next few decades will bore you to death by staying at a job you hate, giving up on your dreams and continuing your bad habits. Whether you’ve passed 30 or yet to reach the Big 3-0, you can set yourself up for success to live a long and exciting life by deciding to take care of your body and committing to causes that mean something to you. It all comes down to a set of simple choices that no one else in the world can make except you.

So choose.

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Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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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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