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15 Ways To Lead A Brand New Great Life

15 Ways To Lead A Brand New Great Life
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…without leaving your current one.

Leading a brand new, great life is not as hard as you think – and you don’t have to bail on your current one to make it happen. All you really need is the desire and willingness to make it happen.

It is normal and natural to wish for “something more” in life and to feel frustrated that everything feels like “same old same old” yet you really don’t want to take drastic measures such as ditching your spouse or bailing on your kids to go live on a mountain top and meditate.

So what can you do? How can you take your current humdrum existence and turn it into a brand new great life for yourself?

Enjoy the Power of Fresh Perspective

Perspective, my friend (don’t worry, we’ll get to some exact how-to’s momentarily).  Suppose you went out the door today, and like you always do, you stop by the donut shop on your way to work even though you promised yourself you would focus on lowering your cholesterol. So there you are, walking out of the donut shop hoping your spouse doesn’t randomly drive by and see your culinary transgression, when a meteor falls brightly from the sky. The donut shop explodes and a shard of glass impales your leg. Flash forward, you’re being released from the emergency room with a bandaged leg thanking your lucky stars you are still alive and swearing you’ll never eat a donut again and that you’ll absolutely start writing that novel, something you’ve always dreamed of doing.

After an experience like this you’d suddenly have a bright new perspective and all those activities that felt humdrum yesterday would be brighter and bolder; food would taste better; that evening kiss with your spouse would be more sensual; your kids’ laughter would feel musical instead of too loud.

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Being shaken up can shift everything for us. The good news is you don’t have to wait for a meteor to create a brand new life for yourself; you can shake yourself up with a few choices and over time you will be leading that new great life.

So let’s get started on making your life great, minus the meteor.

Make life shiny and new and great – for you!

1. Alter 1 thing in your environment, right now

Sameness makes us stop noticing. Have you ever noticed that you don’t even see those photographs on the wall anymore? Go head, switch them around in a new order or put them on a whole new wall. Or move your favorite chair to a new location. Just one thing, do it now. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

2. Change your morning routine by bouncing

Welcome back. Tomorrow morning do something entirely out of the ordinary from your usual routine. And I don’t mean switching from one cup of coffee to two. I mean, wake up and bounce on the end of your bed while singing Happy Birthday or Amazing Grace – whatever. It’s okay if your spouse thinks you’ve gone cuckoo – with any luck they’ll join in.

3. Stop being too serious – laugh at your boss

You know the saying, don’t sweat the small stuff – it’s all small stuff. Go back to our meteor. A near death experience always makes us realize we’ve been overly serious about things that don’t really matter. So, today, pick one thing which you are very serious about and laugh at it. I apologize now if laughing at your boss gets you fired. Hey, at least that would really shake things up, right?

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4. Get turned onto your life with things you like

Sit down right now and list 5 things you did yesterday that you like doing. Is it hard? Then you’re not doing enough things you like to do. Make another list – things you like to do and add 1 new thing a day for a week.

5. Do things with love because Intent matters

You can do things with love, or begrudgingly. Did your spouse tell you to mop the kitchen floor? Well, do it with love. Really. Force yourself to do this at least once a day and before you know it, you’ll actually be feeling better about those things you used to hate.

6. Give as if you’ll die tomorrow

The single best way to feel more happy and fulfilled is to give to others. Go out of your way today and every day to help someone out – I mean watch for the opportunity and take it. Do this with your family and loved ones, and at least one stranger. This is one of the single best things you can do to have your life take on a shiny new meaning.

7. Random dancing

This is a personal favorite. Anywhere you are, the more public and humiliating a place the better, and just dance. No music needed. If you’re a parent and you can embarrass your kids by doing this, you get bonus points.

8. Pause and breathe

There’s a lot of do, do, do, in today’s society. So stop, really stop. Sit down in your newly moved favorite chair and breathe deeply for an entire minute. No TV, no book, just you and the air. Pausing to breathe every day will bring you back to the moment so you’ll enjoy everything more.

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9. Enjoy your creativity

Living and thinking creatively is one of the biggest keys to having a life you love and are fulfilled by. So if you want to write, then write. This is the part where you actually have to take action and not just think about it. Using your creativity every day in some way will keep your mind fresh and actually does build a new life within your current existence.

10. Start a gratitude journal

Stop whining and start being grateful. Every day write down one thing you are really grateful for – and don’t list material possessions.

11. Break your eating routing for a day

If you’re a health fanatic, eat junk. If you’re junk food addict, eat healthy. You can do anything for one day. Does eating different make you feel differently? Allow the experience to give you a little introspection.

12. Give to yourself

You need to give to yourself with love, too. Take your vitamins, go for a walk, or call in sick and lie in bed with your spouse. Wealthy people always pay themselves first – and I’m not talking about money.

13. Move through a fear

Fear stops us from being as much of ourselves as we can be. Yup, fear is scary. What are you afraid of? As they say, feel the fear and do it anyway. Moving through it brings you to the other side – which is always bright and shiny.

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14. Take control of something

As human beings we tend to feel lousy about our lives when we perceive that things are out of our control. It can make us angry and depressed. So, take control of something. Cleaning clutter is good for reestablishing control so tackle that junk drawer or countertop or nightstand. The point is to pick one thing that is in your control and do it.

15. Begin on one long term goal

Do you have a dream? That one thing you’ve always wanted to do? Get your pilots license? Write a book? Grow the best hydrangeas in your neighborhood? Now is the time to take one of your dreams and start working toward it. Don’t pick something you can do in a day – make this something that will take you months to accomplish. You need to experience planning toward your dream, taking action, and then ultimately having it as part of your brand new shiny life.

I guarantee that if you use these ideas and ways to lead a brand new great life, within a few weeks, you will be. Yippee!

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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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