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15 Things Self-Destructive People Do That Makes Their Life Harder

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15 Things Self-Destructive People Do That Makes Their Life Harder

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have a really difficult time in life? Have you often thought that they should turn their life around? Well, we have, and here are 15 things we’ve noticed that self-destructive people do that makes their life much harder.

1. They are friends with people who bring them down.

Self-destructive people often surround themselves with other self-destructive people. Sadly, in most cases, the friends they have are often the ones to help them along their journey in a negative way. It would be difficult for a self-destructive person to be friends with someone who would motivate them to do the right thing.

2.They don’t need any help.

People with problems, such as drug or alcohol addiction, are always inclined to say, “I don’t need help.” In reality, these are the people who need the most help – they are just unable or unwilling to realize it.

3. They turn to alternate methods for coping.

Many self-destructive people who suffer from mental issues, such as depression, often look for other ways to cope with their problems. In many cases, they turn to alcohol or drugs, which allow them to forget the problem for the moment. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help them deal with the real issues, and often creates new ones.

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4. They date the wrong kind of people.

Self-destructive individuals often have low self-esteem. For this reason, they often choose partners who help make their self-image thoughts come true. In many cases, they will allow themselves to become victims of sexual, physical, and mental abuse because the person they’re with always says, “I’m sorry,” “I love you,” and, “I won’t ever do that again.” Being in a relationship like this will just bring you down further and further.

5. They spend money on wants not necessarily needs.

People can also be financially self-destructive. These types of people often spend money on items they want, such as designer clothes, a fancy car, and the latest technological devices. However, they often neglect the things that are really important, such as bills, a home, and food.

6. They repeatedly make the same mistakes.

It is in most people’s nature to learn from their mistakes and not make the same one twice. This is not true with self-destructive individuals. Instead, they continually make the same mistake twice, whether it’s doing drugs, drinking and driving, or being careless about their sexual behavior.

7. They live in the moment.

Although most people try to live in the moment, they mean that they’re enjoying the time they have today. However, they also think about the consequences of their actions. Individuals who are self-destructive don’t think about the consequences of their actions, and only think about what they are thinking and feeling in the exact moment they make a decision, often ruining relationships around them.

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8. They are habitual liars.

People who are self-destructive are often habitual liars. In fact, they often find themselves lying to cover up lies, forgetting what they have lied about and to whom. They are definitely people who cannot be trusted.

9. They feel they have no positive assets.

Similar to self-esteem, self-destructive individuals only believe in and focus on their flaws. In fact, they feel they have no added value to give the world, and believe there is no point in striving to be a better person.

10. They often lack good hygiene habits.

This does not mean that every self-destructive person doesn’t shower, but they may not take care of themselves otherwise. For instance, they may be lacking a good tooth brushing and dental flossing, as well as other grooming habits, such as shaving or combing their hair.

11. They seclude themselves from the ones who love them most.

One of the most difficult aspects of being around a self-destructive person is being someone who truly loves them for who they were and are. Self-destructive individuals tend to seclude them from the ones who love them most, as they are the ones who would offer to help them, or get them the help they need to become better.

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12. They have no ambition in life.

Due to their low self-esteem, self-destructive individuals have no ambition in life. They feel they can’t accomplish anything, so what’s the point in trying, and that’s something they simply don’t do. They often can’t hold a job, and if they do, it’s not usually an upstanding position.

13. They are often seriously unhealthy.

In combination with the bad habits they develop – drugs and alcohol abuse – they often forgo making other healthy decisions. They don’t eat foods that are good for them, if they even eat, and they definitely don’t consult a physician when they aren’t feeling well, even if it could be something serious.

14. They start fights for no reason.

Because they don’t focus on the consequences of their actions, they tend to pick fights for no reason. Oftentimes, they focus on the biggest person in the room, thinking they will be the one to show them a lesson, even though there’s really no chance. They thrive on violence and anger.

15. They steal and cheat.

Again, most self-destructive individuals aren’t upstanding citizens. Because they don’t hold a job or care about consequences, they often partake in illegal activities, such as stealing, and are often cheaters, whether in competition or relationships.

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Self-destructive behavior is bad. Not only are these people taking themselves down, they also take down the people around them who love them. Essentially, their poor behavior and bad decisions destroy everything around them.

Featured photo credit: Vieja via Shots of Insight

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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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