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15 Things Matter to Life that People Always Forget

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15 Things Matter to Life that People Always Forget

Most of us are completely aware of the big stuff we need to do in order to have fulfilling lives, but what about the little things? Those little things that we forget to do in life matter greatly!

Embracing these seemingly small aspects about life is what can empower us and equip us with the tools to live more fulfilling lives. So, what are the 15 things we should remember about life but very often forget?

Read on and as you discover each point, make it a life goal to remember them always.

1.  Be completely honest

…With yourself!  We are all taught to believe that lying, deceiving, or keeping information from others is wrong but, what about lying to ourselves? We have the courage to be brutally honest with others, but we are cowards when it comes to being honest with ourselves.

Yet sometimes, the only truth that can make a difference is the one we admit when we look at ourselves in the mirror. And sometimes, that truth is the only one that can set us free.

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2. Have the guts to pursue your dreams

Sure, the entire world is telling you that you are wasting your time, but in your heart, you know you are doing what you were born to be. Press on! People that put you down when you share your goals with them don’t understand the purpose of life.

They don’t understand that living a life without fulfilling what you feel you were meant to do is truly a life wasted. You have a unique gift in life, one that this world needs to see and experience. Believe in your heart that you were created with a purpose, and believe that you were created for greatness.

3. Honor your parents

This one may be difficult…Yet, there is something sacred and honest about doing honoring your parents. Regardless of the circumstances, you are here because of them.

Appreciate the opportunity of having family and being a part of something that goes beyond choice. After all, you didn’t choose your parents, God chose them for you! So be thankful and honor them.

4. Forgive but don’t forget

Holding a grudge is really not a pretty thing to hold onto. Be willing to forgive, but don’t force yourself to forget others’ wrongdoings.

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Being let down is an important life lesson, so forgive, but don’t feel you must forget. It is completely OK to remember what you’ve been through as it will enable you to be grateful for who you have become.

5. Remember that your smile can change the world

You have a very powerful tool that can truly change the world around you – your smile. You have the ability to try and make someone’s day 100% better just by sharing a simple smile! In addition, sharing a smile with a stranger will empower you to remove fears as it will inevitably make you step out of your comfort zone.

6. Enjoy silence

In a world where we are constantly bombarded with cellphones, televisions, radios and every other device that keeps you forever connected, it is imperative that you take time to enjoy silence. Enjoy the quietness that surrounds you, recharge yourself and rediscover your thoughts.

7. Live in the present

Yesterday is gone – learn from it. Tomorrow has not yet come, so prepare for it.

Today is here – fully enjoy it because you will never again have this exact moment. Be willing to experience each second of life you have been gifted, because life is too short and precious to waste it thinking about what was or what could be.

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8. Do not judge others

Nothing is gained by judging people. Instead, your self-righteousness will most definitely blind you from becoming your very best. Respect everyone around you, but honestly, just worry about yourself, who you can become and what you can accomplish.

9. Help others fulfill their dreams

The amazing Zig Ziglar once said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” Live a life of service to others and you will never feel alone, defeated or unsuccessful.

10. Surround yourself with positive influences

When life gets tough, it is crucial for you to have a strong support system that influences you in a positive way. Strive to surround yourself with positive minds. and strive to remove any negative energy from your life.

Besides, positive influences can empower you to continue your pursuit towards living a more purposeful life.

11. Don’t lose hope

Regardless of the circumstances you may be facing, believe that there is always a way out.  As long as you are breathing, there is room for growth, change, and hope. There is always hope, it is everywhere, you just need to keep looking!

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12. Be kind…even if others don’t “deserve” it

Call it Karma, the golden rule, or whatever else you like. But you must remember to always be kind!

Be kind, not just towards those who treat you right, but also towards the not-so-kind folks. Your actions may teach them a lesson and your heart will remain pure.

13. Fight for love

Love is truly a blessing when you find it, but it is not all bliss. Yet, if you have found your one true love, fight for it! Also remember that it is more than butterflies and gifts, it is unconditionally accepting and embracing the good and bad in others. Love will always be worth the fight.

14. Be a good listener

When others talk, listen. Don’t just watch their mouths move as you plan what to say next, truly listen.

Study their word usage, their tone, their eyes. Give everyone the respect their words deserve.

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15. Always keep a book with you

Time is precious and we are forever running out of it. Redeem each moment passing by and keep a book handy; strive to learn something new each day! Reading is not only relaxing, but works out our minds in a way like nothing else can.

Featured photo credit: Couple and Confetti, smile and happy via shutterstock.com

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Sarita King

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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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