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18 Things To Tell Yourself When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

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18 Things To Tell Yourself When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

Sometimes life just gets to be a little too much and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Whether it be expectations from your boss, colleagues, friends, family or other half–or even the sky-high expectations you have of yourself–occasionally, it all comes to a head and you are left feeling like you are not good enough. In times like these, it can be difficult to gain the perspective you so sorely need to pull yourself out of that terrible slump. Here are 18 things to remember that should get you well on your way to feeling better.

1. This too shall pass.

As cliché as it sounds, no matter how terrible you feel right now and how desperate your situation may currently seem, it’s just a fleeting moment in your life. While it may seem as though your world is ending, trust in the fact that the sun will rise again tomorrow and shine new, hopeful light on you and your predicament.

2. No one can do better than you…

…because there is not a single person out there who is like you! You are blessed with unique attributes that make comparing yourself to anyone else not only futile and discouraging but also, quite frankly, impossible. No one has lived the life you’ve lived, so no one is better equipped to tackle your challenges than you. Remember this whenever you catch your subconscious trying to convince you that you are not as worthy as someone else!

3. This challenge will only make you stronger.

Even though you may feel broken and bruised now, you will recover from this ordeal a more resilient person. When we get injured, the scar tissue that develops to mend our damaged skin is stronger than you could ever imagine. It’s the same for your heart and soul: trust in their ability to heal, too. In keeping with this…

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4. Celebrate your failures; they are a lesson.

As the wonderful Oprah Winfrey says, “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another step to greatness.” When terrible things happen (either of our own doing or otherwise), it can be difficult to see the forest for the trees. However, in every failure or negative moment, there is a lesson to be learned. Take heart, and have faith in the fact that thanks to this experience, you will be better equipped to deal with whatever life throws at you next.

5. You’re good enough to try, and that’s all you need to do.

Now that you know that failures should be celebrated and not feared, the time has come to realise that everything you’ve accomplished up until now and everything you’ll achieve henceforth comes from you taking a leap of faith and trying. No matter how convinced you are that you are going to fail, make the attempt: it’s the most important part of any endeavour and the only one that is really asked of you.

6. Progress trumps perfection, every time.

It is so easy to get caught up in others’ expectations that we forget that perfection is an unrealistic (and frankly, boring) ideal. By shooting for perfection, you are setting yourself up for feeling like crap when you inevitably fall short. Progress, on the other hand, is a better measure of how brilliant you are and how much you’ve grown. Celebrate every small step forward.

7. You are not alone.

Although insecurity tends to confine us to a very lonely place, know that there are people around you who are desperate to show you how amazing you are and how much you matter. Even if you can’t see your own worth right now, they most certainly can; and while you may feel like you’re burdening them by expressing your feelings, I can assure you they don’t see it that way. Remember that even when you don’t feel good enough, your friends and relatives think you’re the bee’s knees. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

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8. Everyone is fighting a hard battle.

While your problem is deeply personal and unique to your situation, take comfort in the fact that there are others who are also feeling less than great; not, of course, so that you can take pleasure from their pain, but because this means you are not alone in your plight. No matter how desperate you may feel, there is someone out there who will be able to relate and bring solace. All you need to do is find them.

9. There is so much to be thankful for.

When I’m down, one thing I like to do is list three things that I am grateful for, right in the moment. It is a great exercise for gaining a little perspective: even though it may feel like the world is crashing down around me, being able to make a gratitude list reminds me that there is a silver lining. Give it a try–you’ll be surprised at the results!

10. You are deserving of love.

You may feel terrible about yourself now, but I can guarantee that there is so much beauty in you. In times when you don’t feel good enough, try making a gratitude list…for yourself! Name three things that you love about yourself. Be as silly or as ceremonious as you like. If you’re having trouble with coming up with something, be grateful for your lungs, which allow you to breathe; your mouth, which allows you to smile; your soul, which makes you you. You are a thing of wonder; believe it!

11. Your mind can be cruel; don’t always take it at its word.

We are often our very worst critics. Even if we are kind to others, it can be hard for us to be nice to ourselves. We tend to judge ourselves extremely harshly, whether we’re aware of it or not, simply because we’re conditioned by society to believe we need to look or behave a certain way. When we don’t conform to these impossible standards, it’s easy to slip into negative self-talk. Be aware of this and don’t believe everything you think.

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12. You have a choice.

Now that you know your subconscious isn’t always your best friend, it’s time to understand that you have a choice. You can either choose to let that nagging voice of discord run its mouth, or you can choose to fake it until you make it and replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. All it takes is the resolve to wear those rose-tinted glasses (no matter how cheesy it may feel at first) and practice! Commit to it, and I promise you’ll feel a change.

13. Your approval is the only one that matters.

We spend our lives bending over backwards trying to please others, trying to conform to others’ ideals and losing sight of what really matters: our happiness; our fulfillment. At the end of the day, people come and go but you’re stuck with yourself for the rest of your life. Do yourself a favour and focus on how you feel about yourself before worrying about the others. I’ll bet that once you strip away others’ expectations, you’ll like what you see.

14. You have overcome so much already.

You may feel terrible now, but remember how much you’ve already achieved. Think about the path that has led you to where you are now. Reminisce about your life from an objective perspective and see how much you’ve accomplished and overcome. Even though it may not seem like it now, you are a warrior and you are capable of so much.

15. You are still giving it your all.

Even when life knocks you down, you’ll still be there fighting. The fact that you feel the way you do right now is an indication that you still care and you still want to succeed. You haven’t given up and that means so much more than you realise.

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16. There is always a way to get unstuck.

No matter how desperate the situation, there’s always something you can do to move forward. You may not see it right in the moment, but you will uncover it eventually, either on your own or with the help of your friends. In that “aha” moment, you’ll come to realise how close you were to the solution all along. Hindsight is always 20/20, isn’t it? Don’t lose hope; the answer you’re seeking is out there.

17. You are in no hurry.

Just because everybody else is running ragged doesn’t mean that you need to hold yourself to the same, crazy standards. The biggest goals and achievements in life take time to accomplish. Don’t pressure yourself into getting everything done on the quick and get down on yourself when you don’t quite manage it. It’s okay to take a little longer and savour the process.

18. It’s okay to not be okay.

Sometimes, you need to surrender to your feelings and allow yourself to not be Super(wo)man for once. The world will carry on turning without you holding it together. Give yourself permission to give in to your emotions and know that it’s okay to give yourself a break. You’ve worked so hard–you deserve it.

No matter how dark the clouds above your head, there are better days right around the corner. Believe in yourself, give yourself a break and you will get there.

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Featured photo credit: beauty heart lipstick love make-up makeup/BreakingPic via pexels.com

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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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