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15 Things Your Parents Lied to You About Life

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15 Things Your Parents Lied to You About Life

Most parents tell lies to their children as a method to change their manners and behavior. They use this method for many reasons, and the most important reason is protection. It might be tough to call these lies, because parents mostly use “white lies” to steer their children to the correct path in life. Here are a few of the most egregious lies your parents told you about life:

1. Your disillusion about marriage

When you are disillusioned about someone, your faith or beliefs are dashed. Your parents’ divorce might cause disillusionment over your romantic ideas of marriage. As a product of divorce, you may now believe that marriage is short-lived and divorce is unavoidable.

2. Importance of education

Another lie we heard from parents is about education. Going to good colleges and having a good major can increase the chances of getting a good job after graduation. But these days too many people are going to college, building thousands of dollars of debt, and are still unable to get jobs due to being “over educated.”

3. Your biased political views

A recent Texas Tech research suggests that parents have the biggest influence on our political beliefs. A political candidate you supported strongly could lose favor if that politician doesn’t follow through on your parents’ promises.

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4. Your fear of neglecting the norm

Parents want to instill their beliefs in their children and inform them of the troubles in going against the odds. Instead of adding our personal opinions about what is right or wrong, parents make wrong decisions by describing irrelevant facts of the different categories: Sex and Nudity, Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking.

5. Your faith in religion

In childhood, we are encouraged to seek out the faith and guidance from our religion. They will tell their children stories about religion; this is how we learn religion from parents. But if you look at different scandals, violence, war and controversy, at the root of almost every bad situation you might find religion.

6. Your preconceptions

Parents provide their child the first definitions of their existence. They teach their child through their every word, gesture, and action to inform the importance of his or her existence and how he or she is perceived by the outside world. Rather there should be a healthy self-concept, which means let the child have own belief about herself, not someone others opinion.

7. Exaggeration of their own character

This is a big one. Your parents might continuously sing their own praises about being the model child, and you should attempt to adopt that model. But if you ask your grandparents about your parents, they will tell you that your parents were, perhaps, way crazier than you. They just try to make you the best person, while exaggerating about themselves a lot.

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8. You need to be healthy and finish your food

Finish your food if you want to healthy! This is a common lie that is repeated in front of every child. You should not overeat, as it bad for your health. It’s predicted that in the next 20 years 50% of the population will have diabetes. So maybe we should try NOT finishing our dinner.

9. Mobile and laptop usage

Your parents might be lying to you if they tell you that you don’t need a cellphone or laptop in this day and age. While technically correct, if your parents want to be able to reach you while you are away from the house, a cellphone is likely necessary. If they want you to be able to do your school work, a laptop or tablet or probably important.

10. Watching too much TV will harm your eyesight

Parents always use this trick to keep their children way from television, no matter what the distance to the screen. As Children Health points out, parents should communicate to their kids that the TV is “for random entertainment, not for continuous relaxation.

11. Using imaginary characters

Some parents use imaginary characters to inspire or even frighten. If you were told that there are goblins or some other “monster” who might frighten you into proper behavior, your parents were lying — just as you might have been told about Santa, the Tooth Fairy and other characters.

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12. Lies about money

Some parents tell their children that they must make a lot of money — usually to try and save them from pain they might have suffered in their own impoverished times. On the other hand, some parents say that money doesn’t buy happiness when in fact, money can solve a lot of problems that can make people unhappy. Whatever side you fall on, your parents likely have your best interests in mind, but you should make your own choices in regards to how much money you strive to make.

13. Having unwavering faith

We have been brought up to have firm faith on different things in our life.  Believing that our prayers are being heard, or anyone with a good reputation or popular leaders must be superior and respectable. Just for instance, you might have been brought up to believe that any person with a badge or a government-issued card are the people with our best interest at heart, so they must be right and respected— when in reality, they are sometimes no more honest than your fellow citizen.

14. Choosing profession

When we are young, our parents sometimes say that you can be whatever you want to be but in reality we can’t always. Maybe you could be a professional dancer, but really, they won’t encourage it. Or maybe, without hurting your feelings, they are trying to tell you that it’s not really a talent you have. Whatever your parents say, choose a profession that suits you.

15. On eating and food issues

There’s an old story about a woman who chopped off both ends of the roast before she put it in a pot and cooked it for dinner. When her husband asked her why she did this, she said her mother always did and that’s how she learned to do it. When the mother was asked, she said the same thing. When the grandmother was asked, she replied, “When I first got married, the pot I had to cook in was too small for most roasts, so I had to cut off the ends to make it fit.”

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Just because your mother did something, doesn’t mean you have to do it — and you don’t necessarily have to eat it either. If your parents are adamant that you clear your plate or only get two cookies after dinner, you might find yourself struggling with those issues once you leave home. Try and explore food on your own and make your own assertions about how and what to eat.

Featured photo credit: Mother and her son by the sea via shutterstock.com

More by this author

Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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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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