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20 Reasons Why Not Making Mistakes Is The Biggest Mistake In Life

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20 Reasons Why Not Making Mistakes Is The Biggest Mistake In Life

Mistakes are the best teachers. You would be clueless without them. Mistakes are also innate sources of wisdom that you acquire at birth and continue to make throughout life. How else would you know how to walk if you never fell down and figured out how to pick yourself up again?

Yet somewhere along the winding path of life, mistakes got a bad rap. They became evil, mental monsters that make you feel like a loser. And it’s true mistakes can choke you until you cannot breathe; just the thought of a possible failure can cause emotional paralysis. But okay, maybe you’re disappointed, embarrassed, or ashamed, so what?  Pick yourself up, shake it off, and realize you just learned a valuable lesson that will sustain you for the rest of your life.

Here are 20 reasons why not making mistakes could be a huge mistake:

1. You lose the experience.

You need to experience what doesn’t work. That’s how science experiments and research are conducted. When you do apply this in your life, the results of the experience stick. They enter your subconscious and stay there. If you don’t make a mistake, you cannot learn.

2. You can’t reach the top without them.

Mistakes are building blocks, each one laying the foundation for future success. As Mark Cuban said, “With every effort, I learned a lot. With every mistake and failure, not only mine, but of those around me, I learned what not to do.”

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3. You stop the clock.

Success doesn’t happen overnight (except in viral videos). It takes time, and during that time lots of things go wrong. Kiss success good-bye if you are afraid to try new things and make mistakes!

4. You listen to the negative voices in your head.

If you give in the negative attitude, of “I can’t, I’m afraid to fail,” say hello to a boring life.

5. You stagnate and underachieve.

Nothing good can happen unless you are willing to make mistakes. Follow your bliss.

6. You listen to the negative comments of other people and let them rule your future.

Naysayers are always ready and waiting to squash your dreams. Allowing negative comments to rule your choices interferes with your forward motion. As an example, you can thank angry chef George Crum for our all-time favorite snack, the potato chip. George lost his temper when a customer sent back a plate of fried potatoes because they weren’t cooked enough. Insulted, he cut the potatoes thin, crisped them until they were almost burnt, and then heavily salted them. He sent them back out to the customer thinking they would hate them, but instead, culinary history was made. Thank you George!

7. You miss the chance to become strong.

You never will know just how strong you are until you have the opportunity to recover from a mistake.

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8. You miss the chance to become wise.

Again, you will never know how smart and clever you are, until you work through a mistake, then bounce back, and grow from it.

9. You expect perfection.

Things are never perfect. Life is imperfect. All of life is a series of mistakes.

10. You become a quitter, not a winner.

If you let one mistake control you, you set a pattern of giving in. Bill Gates remarked, “We didn’t miss cell phones, but the way that we went about it didn’t allow us to get the leadership. So it’s clearly a mistake.” He didn’t let it stop him from becoming a gazillionaire from his other endeavors though.

11. You will never learn anything if you don’t learn from your mistakes.

Just because things didn’t work out, doesn’t mean something good didn’t come from it. Wonderful things can happen from mistakes. For example, Percy Spencer realized that the candy bar in his pocket had melted when he was conducting a radar-related research project. He then tried it on popcorn, and gave us the oh-so-helpful microwave oven.

12. You let your negative emotions control your destiny.

You allow negativity to live in your head. You can never achieve happiness if negative emotions rule your life.

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13. You think what happened in the past will happen in the future.

Wrong! You can’t achieve success until you’ve had several failures. Life changes. Nothing ever stays the same, even when you want it to.

14. You become a negative role model to other people.

Getting up after a mistake is the real triumph. People are watching you. Maybe your kids—or co-workers if you’re a team leader—are watching you. What kind of role model do you want to be?

15. You lose the chance to be a positive role model.

The experience of the mistake isn’t the only teacher, it’s whether you sink or swim after it. Great leaders are strong swimmers. Michael Jordan noted after being criticized for making a bad drafting call for the Bobcats, “I think we’ve grown from it. I’ve grown from it and hopefully down the road when you make a choice, you try to make a better choice.”

16. You deprive yourself of the benefits of repetition.

Practice builds skill. The only ones who achieve success are those who are willing to repeatedly practice the same behavior, skill, or action until it is perfected. According to Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 Hour Rule,” greatness requires at least 10,000 hours of repetition. The key to success in any field is practicing a specific task 20 hours a week for 10 years.

17. No pain, no gain.

After a hard workout at the gym, your whole body aches, and you love it. Why? Because you feel proud of how much effort you put into improving yourself. You even enjoyed the how much it hurt while you were doing it. (Even though you didn’t look so happy at the time).

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18. You won’t discover your chutzpah.

That is, the courage, perseverance, strength, and resilience to push through the tough stuff.

19. You succumb to your fears.

You become frozen anticipating failure. You let fear rule your life and determine your future.

20. You don’t get to be brave.

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” Bruce Lee

Living without mistakes is living only half of a life. There is nothing greater than looking back on your past experiences and seeing how you overcame them, how you learned from them, and how you became a better, happier, smarter, braver, and stronger person because of them.

The list of successful mistake makers is endless. Losers are simply people who don’t pick themselves up after mistakes.

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June Silny

ADHD Coach, Writer, ADDitude Magazine featured contributor

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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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