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15 Things Only Passionate People Would Understand

15 Things Only Passionate People Would Understand
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Follow your passion. How many times have we heard that? When we do, life changes and we radiate joy and enthusiasm for what we are passionate about. If you are passionate about life or something in particular, you can relate to these 15 things which only you can understand.

1. You don’t need motivation.

I know a woman who gets up at 5.a.m to help the homeless people in her city. This daily action of helping and giving back to the less fortunate represents her core values. She does not need to seek motivation as her guiding principles are never in question.

2. You know all about opening doors.

One passion leads to more opportunities. When you are passionate about a job, a hobby, a holiday or volunteering, the doors they open up are truly amazing. A passion can become your career or make a relationship bloom. The great thing is that when one part of your life is full of passion you are not going to take second best in all the other parts.

3. You are prepared to take risks.

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” – William Faulkner

People who are not passionate are always on the look out for guarantees. A loan officer at a bank will rarely give out a loan to someone who is following his passion. But you know that once you have done your homework and have been diligent, there comes the moment to take that risk. Taking that leap of faith is often the doorway to even more success and happiness.

4. You have laser focus.

You know that spreading your time and talents over too many things may distract you from the number one passion. That gives you a laser focus and you are prepared to miss out on some enjoyable things to make that happen. Robert Sternberg, Past President of the American Psychological Association talks about his laser focus in getting home to be with his toddler triplets but not doing so until he has written a set number of chapters for new book. Being passionate helps him to deliver on his strategy of getting his priorities right.

“You have to decide what your priorities are and say, ‘I’m going to make it happen’—and then just make it happen.”- Robert Sternberg.

5. You are surrounded by other passionate people.

You know only too well how to avoid toxic people who whine, complain and are generally negative. Surrounding yourself with other passionate people gives you even more inspiration. The joy of interacting and sharing with them is truly priceless.

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6. You are not afraid of failure.

One of the great challenges passionate people face is that it will not always be plain sailing. Look at the sports champions who have to overcome lost matches and injuries. They have to keep going and it is their passion that drives them on, in spite of many failures.

7. You look for solutions.

An obstacle is not a roadblock. It is merely a difficulty along the way and can provide you with solutions. Passionate people are always on the lookout for solutions, ways to improve, faster delivery, or streamlined processes. You name it – you are on the job.

8. You see the beauty of other people.

You are the one who homes in on the amazing qualities of the people around you. You know that your partner is just a superb person or that your parents are truly unique. You know how to see people’s great qualities and that is so important in keeping your own passion thriving.

9. You cannot persuade everyone to be like you.

Another challenge passionate people face is that not everybody around you will understand why or how your passion is driving you. They are often not on the same wavelength at all so you have to put up with being a little lonely at times. The best solution is to get busy and not dwell on that too much.

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10. You cannot sleep.

The downside of having this searing passion when you wake up is that your sleep tends to suffer. It is hard to let go and stop thinking about what gives your life its purpose. It really is hard to switch off at times.

11. You have to put up with jealousy.

Not everyone you meet or work with will understand why you are so passionate about your projects. They are the ones who have settled into their rather dull comfort zones. They will never understand what it is like to go all out and reach their potential. You can expect some jealousy or envy on their part but that will never discourage you.

12. You love your job.

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

Do what you love doing in your job may sound like Utopia for many of us. This is where passionate people have triumphed because you have found your passion points and been able to develop them so that you can do your job with great enthusiasm and excitement. If you still have not found your passion, exploit your interests and take some courses, whether it is in web design or creative writing.

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13. You read a lot.

“I find television to be very educating.  Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx

Whatever your passion, you will need to be fully informed. Networking and chatting are useful but nothing will beat reading extensively about your passion. But also reading about everything that interests you will make you more knowledgeable, reflective and successful.

14. You have daily goals.

You wake up early because you have so much to do. In addition, you have decided what is important to achieve to-day and you usually have a few top priorities which are going to help you succeed. You can see exactly where they fit in with your long term goals.

15. You can cope with the voices in your head.

Another difficulty passionate people have to face is the voices from loved ones they keep hearing in their heads, especially if there is danger involved. Let us imagine your passion is scuba diving. Yes, there are risks but you have done all the training and you have enough experience now to dive alone. You can silence those voices you keep hearing about “what if?” by just reminding yourself that these are not your fears, but those of your loved ones. They do not realize how much you love what you are doing.

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How can passionate people make great things happen? I think it is because they feel so fulfilled in doing a wonderful job and above all because they love what they do.

Featured photo credit: Young bold girl woman in hipster clothes, jumping on the roof, dressed like a boy man in a shirt, bow-tie, suspenders and pants trousers via shutterstock.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)
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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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