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20 Things Average People Do That Prevent Them From Being Successful

20 Things Average People Do That Prevent Them From Being Successful

We all hate it. The word ‘average’ is becoming an insult nowadays. Do you think you’re average? If you really want to stop being just one of the crowd, read further and stop being average forever.

1. They watch too much TV.

Watching TV is fine but too much is not good. It takes too much of your time with little benefit. Most of the programs are geared to entertain and not to educate. Plus, advertisements can influence you to buy the things you don’t need. Reduce, or stop altogether, watching TV because your time is too precious to be spent in front of an evil cube.

2. They play too much.

When you play too much that means you are spending too much time doing unproductive things. It’s okay to play if you want to release your stress, but like the case of TV above, too much playing around wouldn’t be good for our productivity. Reduce the amount of entertainment in all forms and focus more on doing meaningful work.

3. They are too lazy to track their time.

Tracking time is boring. But most people forget that it’s one of the most beneficial activities that promotes productivity. By tracking time, you will be more aware of how you use time. This will help you be more cautious of how you spend every second of your life. Time is a non-renewable resource, so it’s better to use it as efficiently as possible.

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4. They wake up late.

Waking up late means that you have less time to do things. It’s actually a hint of you being an unproductive person. Most people have the most energy in the morning, but if they aren’t awake at that time, all that energy will go to waste. That’s why waking up early is super important if you want to get more things done in a day. Waking up early can also help you to be better prepared because you can use that morning to get a good breakfast and relax before facing a busy day.

5. They rely too much on inspiration and motivation.

Moments of inspiration rarely come. If you rely on it too much, you will never get anything done. You are obligated to do what you are meant to do, no matter how inspired you are feeling on a particular day. That’s just how life goes.

6. They are lazy.

Being lazy is a huge barrier for productivity because it doesn’t promote action. When you’re not doing anything, you’re automatically average. Avoid laziness and stay active.

7. They don’t act on their thoughts.

All of us have great ideas and thoughts in our mind. What separates the successful with the average is that successful people act on their thoughts and try to turn their ideas into reality. Don’t discount the power of your thoughts and ideas. As long as you believe in them, act.

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8. They make too much assumptions.

Making assumptions about anything is bad if you don’t test it. Never ever settle to an assumption and think that it’s a fact. Assumptions need to always be tested because living on assumptions is the same as not living at all.

9. They lack critical thinking skills.

Most people don’t question the things they read, listen or hear. Questioning is important because it helps us to be better critical thinkers. There are too many people out there who are keen on lying and persuading you to their evil cause, and it’s up to you to question the things these people say and make sure that it’s in your interest to join them.

10. They have a fixed mindset.

When you want to learn something that’s difficult, will you give up? Will you say that the difficulties are caused by your lack of talent and you can’t do anything about it? If you say yes, then you have a fixed mindset. Average people have a fixed mindset and they believe that they’re stuck with whatever they think they’re born with. Don’t be like that. Cultivate a growth mindset and do whatever you want in life, no matter how difficult it might be. As long as you put in the effort, you’ll surely grow.

11. They lack patience.

Delaying gratification has been discovered to be a strong determinant of success. If you can’t delay rewards and seek quick fixes, then you might be average. Learn to seek rewards that are huge and takes time to achieve, and avoid small rewards that aren’t worth your time.

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12. They don’t take notes.

Average people forget that they have limited capacity to memorize things. There are memory techniques that can help us remember things, but they are short-term fixes. Learn to take note of the things that are interesting and insightful–your ideas, observations, and experiences. Carry a notebook with you so you can jot down all of them in one place.

13. They don’t listen to others.

Most of us love ourselves. We love to talk about us, but rarely do we become interested in others. You already know yourself and you are always with yourself. Why not be more interested in others? Always talking about yourself won’t bring you much benefit, but listening to others can give you interesting insight into yourself and the world around you.

14. They feel entitled.

Why are there so many complainers today? Many people have really strong sense of entitlement. They think that others should do this and that, and if they don’t, these complainers would tell that they don’t deserve that kind of service. Avoid complaining and speak out your concern in a respectful way. People don’t care about you and the world also doesn’t revolve around you. But they will care if you respect them.

15. They talk bad about others behind their back.

Gossiping is food for average people. Don’t talk bad about others behind their back because that makes you a coward. If you don’t like something about someone, talk to the person. It might hurt the person’s feeling but that’s better because at least the person can improve himself based on your feedback.

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16. They are too lazy to read books.

It’s difficult to find someone who makes reading a daily practice. Reading is a good replacement for the empty entertainment we have today. Learn to read every day and you’ll be closer to success.

17. They read passively.

You’ll still be average if you read passively. If you read only to consume the information and leave it at that, it’s a waste of time. Read to think and act. After reading a book, think about what you’ve read, summarize it, share it with your friends, or do just about anything so as long as you don’t let the information go stagnate inside your mind.

18. They hate to create.

Creating anything takes time and effort. And we know that it’s easier to be a consumer than to be a creator. Be a creator. Write a book, create a podcast, or record a video. There are many things you can create in this world and it’s a waste of your existence if you don’t do at least one of them.

19. They lack a strong purpose.

Everyone’s heard about it. You must live with a purpose. But having a purpose is not enough. Your purpose must be strong. To create that strong purpose, you’ll to remind yourself of the purpose every day. If it doesn’t make you continue moving, then it’s time to find a new one.

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20. They call others average.

No, I’m not calling you an average person in this article. That’s up for you to decide. In the end, no one has the right to call others average. No one’s average in this world; their actions are average but the one’s doing it are not. So, stop looking at others as if you’re better than them. You are yourself, and they are themselves. Everyone has the potential to succeed as long as they stop doing average things.

Featured photo credit: Colleen is bored/Jason Scragz via flickr.com

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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)

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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