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15 Things To Forget If You’re Not Satisfied With Your Life

15 Things To Forget If You’re Not Satisfied With Your Life

Why are you dissatisfied with your life? There may be many reasons. Perhaps you hate your job, you quarrel with your family, your home is a mess or you find it difficult to get by on your salary. The problem is that negative energy tends to take over and block out all the wonderful things you could be doing to change your life and move on. Here are 15 things you should definitely forget.

1. Forget about complaining.

“Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.” – Stefan Sagmeister

It is interesting to watch those who complain all the time. They never get anywhere. Watch Stefan Sagmeister’s TED talk in which he emphasises that good design has been the key to his happiness. We should apply the same principle of good design to the way we live. Make a list every day of what to be thankful for. Gratitude can put things into perspective and makes you realize what you have and that you are extremely fortunate.

2. Forget about failed relationships.

You might think that fate always seems to play tricks on you and introduce you to the wrong people. Forget about those failed relationships and think about them as a learning experience. Learn to evaluate why they went wrong and stop beating yourself up. If you do not forget, these thoughts will fester and you will become a very bitter person. Let go and forgive when you can. Just think that you are becoming wiser and more mature.

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3. Forget about what you are missing.

Maybe you are focused on all the things you should have had, if only things had gone better. You know the missed chances and the opportunities you were not quick enough to grasp. The danger here is that you will become envious and this will hinder your own growth and happiness. Think about what you have now and that is a treasure that many other people would love to have.

4. Forget about what you cannot change.

If you were born with a certain level of intelligence or physical defects, it is always wise to forget about changing these innate characteristics. Regretting being too tall, short, fat or skinny will lead to misery and pessimism. Concentrate on keeping fit and healthy no matter what size you are.

5. Forget about the fixed mindset.

This is when you think that your skills and abilities are really enough and that there is no need to grow. In your job, you will find it hard to get promotion or move forward. You will convince yourself that you are not very computerate or good with people. That is a fixed mindset and will get you nowhere.

It is always better to have the growth mindset which Carol Dweck of Stanford University always advocates. You know that you can get ahead if you work at it. Think of your skills and abilities as delicate plants in need of careful maintenance. They can only grow.

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6.  Forget about getting immediate results.

A great source of dissatisfaction is when you fail to get the results you want within a certain time frame. Our society is fixated with results. This hinders progress and leads to demoralization. A much better way is to focus on the baby steps you have to take to meet your goals. Crossing off each one as you start getting there is empowering.

7. Forget about the miserable working conditions.

It probably is no surprise that almost a third of US workers are dissatisfied with their jobs and are considering moving on or seeking a better position. With younger employees in the 24-35 age group, this figure jumps to 40%. The main problems are low wages, endless meetings, email madness and lack of communication. If you are in a team leader role or in management, try to lessen the attrition and dissatisfaction by concentrating on better communication and more involvement in decision making processes.

8. Forget about finding your purpose.

“I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”- Bono, U2 song.

Many people are hung up about what their purpose in life is and that can lead to a festering dissatisfaction which is anything but healthy. They begin to question whether they are really in the right career or if they have chosen the wrong partner. They feel their inner self is out of step with their ordinary humdrum existence. The solution is to concentrate on what your true values and ethics are and also your ability to love and empathize will help you find your purpose automatically.

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9. Forget about rigid parental roles.

Many marriages are shipwrecked after the arrival of children and the responsibilities of parenthood start to fuel resentment about the traditional roles of each parent. The mother has had to carry the baby for nine months, give birth while the father may be exhausted from working overtime to make ends meet. Teamwork is usually the best solution to strangle dissatisfaction and resentment. Try to think of co-parenting so that neither parent is ever a mere observer. Most tasks (apart from breastfeeding) can be shared which will make parenting much more satisfying.

10. Forget the negativity.

You know how you become obsessed with negative thoughts. It seems almost the default position for the human brain. Studies now show that this negative self-talk can put your mental and physical health at risk. You are the one who always blames yourself 100% when you screw up and you always imagine the worst case scenario. Inevitably, this leads to low self-esteem. Try to put a positive spin on these thoughts and look at them from a humorous angle.

11. Forget about toxic people.

You cannot avoid these people at work and on social occasions all the time but aiming to give them a wide berth helps. They range from the complainers, the control freaks, the gossips, the greedy, the manipulators and the victims. These people can destroy your confidence and can also generate an atmosphere of dissatisfaction and discontent. The best way to cope with them is to establish boundaries and to disregard their negative opinions.

12. Forget the grudges.

The persons we dislike or hate because they cheated us will not be affected in the slightest way by us nursing that grudge. Yes, it is like a festering wound that never heals. You are the one that suffers, day in, day out. Your enemies are blissfully unaware of this and the negative vibes you send will never, ever make any difference to them. Let go of that grudge and forget about them. This will take time but it is a great investment in yourself.

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13. Forget the importance of money.

How many times have you thought that if you had more money, all your problems would be solved? Money becomes the prime motivator and that puts family and friends at the bottom of the list. Loyalty, values and friendship get pushed aside. The secret is to put money in its place because it can be used for good or ill. Spending money carelessly or becoming obsessed with saving it can damage relationships and feed selfishness.

14. Forget about satisfaction dictated by society.

We live in a society which demands satisfaction all the time. Look at how many customer satisfaction surveys we come across every day! The main problem here is that you fall into the trap of trying to be perfectly happy, fit, well-off, and healthy. Time to create your version of what success and satisfaction mean to you and stop trying to meet the impossible demands that our society has set.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

15. Forget the self-destructive behavior.

Maybe you resent that guy who got the promotion you so desperately wanted? The problem here is that resentment will take root and you start to indulge in self-destructive behavior such as working less and taking sick leave as often as you can. If you start doing that, that guy will be laughing his head off as he sees you destroy your whole career. Talk about an own goal!

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The secret of coping with dissatisfaction is being able to have a mindset where you aim to change just one thing in your life each day. How can you improve? What can you learn? Who can you help? Now add all these up and you have 365 efforts in one year! Now that should KO your dissatisfaction.

Featured photo credit: dissatisfied/Andy Smith via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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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