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18 Signs You’re Extraordinary And You Don’t Even Know It

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18 Signs You’re Extraordinary And You Don’t Even Know It

A newborn baby looks extraordinary in the parents’ eyes. However, since young, we’ve been taught to fit in with the rest of the world. We were told to be quiet, keep a low profile and not to be different. Otherwise, we would risk being ostracized. Soon, we forgot that we are extraordinary and we lost the unique voice that we have. Have you forgotten how extraordinary you are?

Here are 18 signs that remind you how extraordinary you are.

1. You read every day.

You believe in continuous learning. You are extraordinary because you invest time to improve yourself and your knowledge. Other people may see you as a bookworm or a nerd, but that shouldn’t discouraged you to read. One day, you will do something great with all the knowledge you have accumulated.

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2. You daydream and you dream big.

Most people are too busy to dream. You are extraordinary because you have dreams and aspirations. In fact, your dreams are so big that others see you as impractical and unrealistic. Some may even laugh at your dreams. But don’t let them stop you. You have a gift. Like Walt Disney and Steve Jobs, you have a vision that most others don’t have.

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3. You stop to think and reflect.

While everyone is rushing their work to meet deadlines, you stop and understand the underlying problem. Your colleagues think you are slow, inefficient and overly cautious. But you are extraordinary because you don’t follow instructions blindly. You challenge status quo and find the best way to do your work.

4. You cry when you watch a touching movie or listen to a beautiful song.

You have empathy. You understand how others feel. Others may think that you can’t handle your emotions well. But you are extraordinary because you let your emotions flow naturally and allow yourself to be touched by something beautiful.

5. You help others without expecting anything in return.

People think that you are silly to help others without asking anything in return. You are extraordinary because you don’t see everything in dollars and cents. You enjoy helping others and being kind. That makes you happy and feel good.

6. You mediate in the morning.

You know your relationship with yourself is as important as your finance, career and relationships with others. So you practice yoga, mediate and say positive affirmations in the morning. Other people think you are weird. But don’t most successful people like Oprah Winfrey, Jack Canfield and Hugh Jackman take time to mediate in the morning?

7. You listen more than you speak.

You choose to listen more than you speak, not because you are shy, quiet or boring. You have opinions, but you are open to other people’s opinions too and willing to understand where they are coming from. You are extraordinary because you listen attentively and are genuinely interested in learning more about others.

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8. You embrace and love failure.

Most people don’t like to fail. They rather be stagnant than risk failing. It’s not that you are a risk taker, careless or impulsive. You love failure because it tells you if you are on the right track. You are just testing to see what works and what doesn’t, so that you can decide what action to take next.

9. You are comfortable being alone.

You are independent. You have no problem eating alone, watching movie alone and going holiday on your own. Other people may see you as loner or anti-social. But you are just confident and comfortable with yourself. You don’t need constant attention and validation from others.

10. You don’t follow a strict routine.

Although you have a to-do-list, you don’t follow it a 100%. You get bored with routines easily, so you shake things up once in a while. Others may think you lack of self-discipline and self-control. But you are extraordinary because your life is never boring. You are always finding new ways to spice up your life.

11. You let go of things that don’t work.

People think you are a quitter because you give up too easily and lack of persistence. But in your mind, you are not giving up, you are just letting go of things that don’t work. Why continue to pursue something when you realize it won’t work for you or it’s not something that you want after all?

12. You take care of yourself before others.

Sometimes, others mistake you as selfish, indifferent and uncaring. But you are extraordinary because you see the importance of taking care of yourself first. You know you have to serve your needs and not be a liability for others. You don’t depend on other people to take care of you.

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13. You never stop asking questions.

You are inquisitive and curious. You want to know how things work and you don’t take things at face value. Others may find you bothersome and irritating. But you are extraordinary because you care about the world. You don’t ask for the sake of asking. You ask to understand more about the world, so as to make it better and be more appreciative of it.

14. You seldom express anger in front of others.

Sure, you get angry and irritated by people and things around you sometimes. But you hardly express anger because you are compassionate. You know it doesn’t feel good to be on the receiving end of someone else’s anger. Others may see you as a pushover or weak. However, you know the value of harmony, so you make the effort to preserve it.

15. You are positive and see beauty in everything.

You are easily inspired by others and the things around you. Others think you are overly positive and optimistic. But you are extraordinary because you believe there’s goodness in everyone. Although you know that there is always room for improvement, but you would rather focus on the positives and be happy, instead of dwelling on the negatives.

16. You consult your heart when making decision.

You know that something doesn’t feel right if your heart isn’t consulted when making decisions. Others see you are as unintelligent or too emotional. But you know that your heart is as important as your mind when it comes to decision-making. Both of them need to be in agreement, otherwise you won’t feel committed to take action.

17. You allow yourself to do what you love.

You are extraordinary because you don’t force yourself to do something you hate. People think that you are silly to spend so much time and money on your passion. But you know doing what you love makes you happy. You know your time and money aren’t spent, but rather invested in your happiness.

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18. You love yourself.

Most people blame themselves and others when things don’t go their way. You are extraordinary because you love yourself and treat yourself kindly. When something doesn’t work out, you ask yourself nicely for solutions. You don’t call yourself names and judge yourself.

Celebrate Being Extraordinary

It’s okay if you don’t match with the 18 signs above. Everyone is extraordinary in their own special way. So share your gift with the world. Don’t hide behind the curtain. It’s time to celebrate your unique self.

Featured photo credit: CIA DE FOTO via flickr.com

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Yong Kang Chan

Self-Help Author (Writes about Self-Compassion and Mindfulness)

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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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