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15 Things Only People With Wanderlust Would Understand

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15 Things Only People With Wanderlust Would Understand

There exists a feeling of intense desire, an urge of unrelenting potency which seemingly pulls on every thread of your being to manifest it as reality. A feeling where the border between escape and exploration becomes a blur, and where unendurable frustration finally pushes you from motion into action. This is the feeling of wanderlust, and it can lead to the most life-changing experiences of your future. Here are 15 things only people with wanderlust would understand. Do you have the feeling?

1. You Hate Being Tied down in One Place.

Whether you are in your hometown or a city far far away, when the feeling of wanderlust strikes you’re ability to remain comfortable in one environment is thrown out of the window. Everything around you ceases to stimulate you, and instead the stagnation of routine and an overly-familiar environment takes over. Your sense of imprisonment grows and eventually you find yourself looking for any means of escape. But don’t sweat it, though this feeling is a curse in the moment, it is a blessing in disguise as it will motivate you to follow your heart and explore.

2. You Wonder Why Everybody Isn’t Travelling.

It’s easy to get swept away in the rift that is wanderlust, even to the extent that you forget that there is a world which needs running. You ask yourself why everyone around you is doing the same monotonous things day after day, why don’t they just get up and go, right? Wanderlust doesn’t strike everybody equally, if at all. Besides, all the earth-conquering and soul-exploration isn’t for everyone. Just be thankful that Lady Wanderlust has graced you with her presence.

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3. You Live Vicariously Through Others.

Whether it’s Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, magazines (yes they still make those) or other forms of media, those with wanderlust find themselves lost in a torrent of scenic and envy-inducing images, thumbs autonomously swiping away, eyes locked onto footage of other people’s experiences. It’s as if your brain wants to live vicariously through the travel images of others until it finds itself there in reality. Surprisingly, this is a great method for staying motivated to make that your life, just don’t get content with watching others make it.

4. You Try to Find Variety in Daily Life.

Remembering back to the feeling of stagnation, you’ll find yourself seeking variations in the minutiae in an effort to wring any last excitement from your current environment. Whether you take a new path on the way to work, change the order of your daily activities or try different foods, one thing which becomes apparent is that all of these things and others like them are fundamentals in travel, new paths, no set structure to days, new cuisines. You can see the connection. Could this be a subconscious primer for travel?

5. You are Mistaken for a Hermit.

Sometimes people just don’t understand. The desire for you to escape is mistaken for a desire to leave civilization entirely and to live solo in some beach hut in mexico. Quite the contrary, you wish to escape so you can feel more connected to the world and its inhabitants. To travel is to bond, to explore is to embrace change. Ironically, we know that we are most disconnected from civilization when we’re trapped in the lightening pace of our lives.

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6. You Feel Like a Nomad Amongst Settlers.

This goes back to point 2, but it becomes more personal when you feel as though you’re the only one wearing rose-coloured glasses. You are a fork placed amongst knifes. Sometimes it’s easy to doubt yourself and your need to explore when those around you have no interest in such things. We are the average of our peer group after all. Don’t mistake the feeling of isolation for individuality. You know what you wan’t, don’t let the motives of others deter you from getting it.

7. You Embrace Escapism.

When you wan’t to escape but your current circumstances won’t permit it, you’ll often find yourself getting lost in other forms of release. You daydream a lot, this is something I call Walter Mitty syndrome, the tendency to get lost in your ideal life, all within the confines of your imagination. Like point 3, this can be a great tool for visualisation but only in moderation. Don’t forget to turn your dreams – or daydreams for that matter – into reality.

8. You Wish to Meet People Like Yourself.

Global exploration is known to be one of the greatest means of meeting those with similar interests to yourself. People prone to travel tend to be the more outlandish and open-minded types, often a product of travelling itself. You know this, you want to be this, and you know if you can just get on a plane and go, you’ll be happier than ever before. Leading me onto my next point.

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9. You Feel Like Your Life Would Be Complete If Only You Could Travel.

Yes, we all know how this feels. You have a slice missing from your heart and travel is a perfect match. You know that if you were to travel you’d be the most complete, fulfilled and well-rounded version of yourself. This is what many people call “finding themselves”, an inaccurate term since we are all products of our environments in the first place. However, you know you’d be a warmer, kinder and less frustrated person, and that is a great reason to go in itself.

10. You Can’t Decide Where You Want to Go First.

Planning your trip is difficult when all your focused on is trying to leave where you are. Ironically, planning where to go takes up a lesser portion of your time, but when you do eventually get round to it you may face great difficulty. Where do you begin? South America or SE Asia? Europe or Africa? You know you have research to do, don’t let yourself get to your golden opportunity to begin with no plan in mind.

11. Your 9-5 Feels Like a 9-9.

When you realise how amazing our planet is, having to work in a routine based job day after day becomes nearly impossible. You loath it. You want to run away from it and never come back. Wanderlust changes you, it’s powerful, and it can often have major impacts on how you live your life.

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12. You Start Saving a Travel Fund.

Small things here and there become trivial. You equate the price of those new pair of shoes, or that new sweater into how many extra days you could travel. It’s funny to notice yourself doing this, “$60 for that? That’s 2 more days on the road, no thanks.”

13. You Start Taking Micro-Adventures.

A bus ride here, a train ride there, and you find yourself 50 miles from home, testing out the water to see how you feel in the wild unknown. This is an important moment for any would-be traveller because it’s when you find out if you’re cut out for the travelling life. If you don’t panic when you feel lost, or when you have no signal on your phone, you just flow with it. You are a nomad through and through.

14. You Feel at Home Wherever You Go.

When your mind gets used to the idea that you won’t be hanging around in any one place for a prolonged period of time, everywhere starts to feel like home. You no longer crave that secure base you once did when you first left, but instead you fit right into place no matter the country, the language or the culture.

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15. You Become Willing to Try Anything.

Bungee jumping? Sure. Weird looking cuisine? Why not! When wanderlust strikes, your mind opens up like a flower to the world around it. Anything becomes your everything. You realise that you are the most open-minded, wise, and outgoing version of yourself, and that you are the happiest you have ever been. You couldn’t trade it for the world, because the world gave it to you in the first place.

Featured photo credit: PixaBay via pixabay.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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