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20 Things You’ll Regret Every Time After Doing

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20 Things You’ll Regret Every Time After Doing

“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.” – John Barrymore. Regrets are a part of life, but they don’t have to be a major part of it. Sometimes, doing certain things affects you in a way that you won’t consciously realize. Especially with the items that have an effect on the way others see you. If you knew what your boss thought of your political rant, you’d possibly regret it! Look over this list and try and avoid situations where regrets might be the only conclusion.

1. You’ll regret every time taking a job solely for money

If you have taken jobs for money and you felt unhappy, ending up getting fired or quitting, you may not have realized the feeling of regret. I mean, who doesn’t like money? But, the effect of jobs that aren’t right, that don’t motivate you and that don’t teach you anything are missed opportunities. Do what you love and don’t feel guilty about it. The money will follow.

2. You’ll regret every time not taking an opportunity

Whether it’s to learn something about your career field or an opportunity to learn anything, you should take it. Barring things that literally kill you, experience is what life is all about.

3. You’ll regret every time sending an email/text when you’re angry

I’ve learned to quell the desire to return fire in an electronic form of communication. Something about accessibility and the ability to quickly communicate makes us think we should act…without thinking. At times, I’ve sent things in anger that I didn’t mean because I misinterpreted the situation. Plain and simple, let your emotions settle and take the soot to compose a thought-out letter after the initial anger subsides.

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4. You’ll regret every time cheating on partner

If you honestly don’t feel guilty or ashamed after cheating on your partner then you’re possible a sociopath. If a relationship isn’t working out, have the intestinal fortitude to admit it. Life goes by rapidly, but never so fast that you don’t have time to decide which lover you want to be with at any one moment. If you’re drunk at a bar or horny on a cruise, follow the same advice as emailing angry–and wait. Hurting other people selfishly is one of the biggest reasons to feel guilty. If you are moving on from one relationship with a person you met through cheating, will you truly trust that person not to cheat on you?

5. You’ll regret every time telling off your boss upon quitting

One of my coworkers used to joke about putting in his resignation by putting a pile of poop in an expensive store product. We would laugh and commiserate, but no one ever expected he would do it–and he never did. When you work for someone or some place, you have a responsibility to act as a professional. Even if your boss is the world’s biggest jerk, you don’t fix another person’s attitude by acting like a bigger ass. So, if you feel like you need to “settle the score,” when leaving a job, think over what you’re most upset about. Write it out in a nasty letter, but don’t send it! Wait a day or two. If you still feel the need to confront a former employer, do so with tact and without emotion.

6. You’ll regret every time putting off a passion/an interest

Author Russell Blake recently published a rant about running into a friend who acknowledged Blake’s career as a writer by saying he wanted to write a book too, but didn’t have the time. I loved this post because it proved to me once again that doing what one loves–especially when it’s in the arts–is not about a hobby. Passions are nature’s way of encouraging us silly humans. While your passion may be medicine or law, others thrive on painting or writing. The work one must put into a passion means time. If you put off the things you feel most strongly about, you will regret it. You won’t find time to start a poem let alone a book if you wait until the kids are grown or you can retire. Same thing for playing an instrument or learning to paint. Invest the time when the passion strikes.

7. You’ll regret every time not spending time with loved ones

Maybe you don’t see eye-to-eye with your dad, and maybe your dog really is your best friend, but I guarantee that you will feel more stressed and less productive when you don’t spend enough time with those you love. Don’t push too hard to impress the boss and get a promotion at the expense of a yearly family vacation. Kids want more than anything to spend time with their parents, so I promise you they will be more impressed with a weekend camping trip than with an expensive token.

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8. You’ll regret every time staying at a dead-end job

Look around the office. If you know you aren’t moving up unless someone dies, then maybe you should look for a job where you can prove yourself and be rewarded for your contributions. Money is important when it comes to paying the mortgage and keeping food on the table, but life is too short to waste it chasing the almighty dollar. If you work to live, you’ve got it backwards and you should think about how you can make a living pursuing things that mean more to you. Your spirit will thank you for it even if you have moments where dinner has to be charged to a credit card.

9. You’ll regret every time let fear dictate decisions

Just like staying in a dead-end job because you fear unemployment or think you cannot survive without another paycheck, when fear guides your decisions you make mistakes. You do things out of fear–or rather you don’t do things because of fear. Many of the items on this list play into the idea of taking calculated risks and making the most of every day.

10. You’ll regret dropping out of school for no good reason.

Though life often “gets in the way,” remember that LIFE is what you make of it. Often, people drop out of school and think they can always go back later. This isn’t always the case and if you are pursuing a dream that requires a formal education (like being a doctor or nurse), then try not to give it up. If you need to take a leave of absense for personal reasons, do so, but try and get back at it.

11. You’ll regret every time not telling loved ones how you feel

As with making sure you spend enough time with those you love, making sure you are open and honest with your feelings is just as important. Holding hurt feelings back often leads to resentment, which can lead to infidelity in a marriage. Worse yet is when we race through life too busy to say “I love you,” and the unthinkable happens. It takes mere seconds to hug and kiss your loved ones so do it often and don’t hold back when you feel an emotion–unless it’s anger, in which case you should calm down and communicate rationally to move forward.

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12. You’ll regret every time letting friends slip away

Okay, I admit this is another of those that you may not experience regret from every time. If you choose to move on from a stagnant or negative relationship, that is different than forgetting to invest the time to be a friend to keep a friend. It’s not always about what you want to talk about; call a friend and make sure he or she doesn’t need an ear.

13. You’ll regret every time yelling at your kids

This one probably hits close to home for most parents–at least, it does for me. I’m guilty of letting the stress get to me and yelling at the kids. In my defense, they seem to purposefully infuriate me. The way my 3-year-old stares me down–understanding exactly what I am saying not to do, and then doing it–ruffles my feathers in unimaginable ways. I’ve never hit either of my kids (my youngest is now 18 months old), but I feel guilty every time I yell at them because I know that yelling doesn’t accomplish anything. Other than to scare them into wandering into traffic, yelling just makes stress worse.

14. You’ll regret every time stress eating

Eh, you won’t regret stress eating every time, and sometimes comfort food is a good way to indulge in life’s finer things. But, the truth is that stress eating in and of itself is unhealthy because the act of fulfilling a nutritional need with junk food is like a junkie using drugs. Make conscious choices to indulge in fine chocolate or calorie laden dessert every once in a while and don’t let stress be your guide.

15. You’ll regret every time drunken posting on social media

This should go without saying, but obviously many of us post drunk. We shouldn’t. Just like with holding emotions until we can “see clearly,” holding off on saying anything social can wait until we’re sober.

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16. You’ll regret every time ranting on social media

This is again one of those things that you may not consciously realize you regret, but your over-the-top political posts and rants about how much you hate your service providers causes others to perceive you in ways you’d regret if you knew better. Just because a status or profile is set to “private” doesn’t guarantee the wrong person won’t see it. Rant with caution because even if you don’t immediately see the error of your ways, you will with enough distance. Some things simply aren’t worth it.

17. Sharing a secret someone told you in confidence

When you betray your friends’ trust you prove yourself to be an unworthy friend. Even if the person isn’t someone you’d classify as a “friend,” betraying confidence will only make others perceive you as a gossip at best.

18. You’ll regret every time succumbing to peer pressure

Just like when you take a job for money or stay in a dead-end job out of fear, when you succumb to peer pressure you project an image of being a follower. You want to be a brave leader in life. Taking calculated risks and losing is better than always agreeing to do what everyone else is doing just because that may be easier.

19. You’ll regret every time belittling someone else

A huge, fat line of difference exists between constructive criticism and belittling. Most of us know what it feels like to be wrongly judged too quickly, but we should all appreciate the opportunity to grow from feedback. When you belittle someone, you will regret it because belittling others makes you nothing more than a bully.

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20. You’ll regret every time listening to Nickelback

Ha ha, I’m kidding, not belittling Nickelback’s music. The controversy and “peer pressure” to hate something is a perfect point that supports many of the things on my list. Before you decide to join your friends in a laugh at the expense of any artist or individual, take the time to make your own decision. Nickelback isn’t so bad. Overrated by some and bashed brutally by others, but as with anything in life, you’ll regret what you do without thinking first.

Featured photo credit: morguefile via mrg.bz

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Ellen Eldridge

Ellen is a passionate journalist. She shares her everyday life tips at Lifehack.

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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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