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21 Regrets You Don’t Want to Have in Life

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21 Regrets You Don’t Want to Have in Life

No one wants to admit that they are going to die someday. In fact, we all sort of live our lives fooling ourselves that our days are numbered. Even though it sounds morbid, having that at the forefront of your mind will help you live a life of no regrets. Here are 21 regrets you do NOT want to have in your life:

1. Not taking action on your dreams.

Most of us had dreams when we were kids. But as we got older, reality hits and tends to drown out the vision of what we really wanted in the first place. Think about this: there are many, many people in the world who are making their dreams come true. So why not you? You should be one of them.

2. Letting excuses or people derail you from your dreams.

Don’t let yourself come up with “excuses.” Excuses are not reasons. There is a difference. Reasons are valid, excuses are not. And don’t listen to anyone else’s negativity either. Make up your own mind and go for it!

3. Waiting for the “perfect” time.

“The perfect time” is nothing but a myth! That’s not to say that there are times when you should not act immediately – like waiting to travel the world if you are drowning in debt. But generally speaking, now is all we have. So take a step toward your goal now. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for any of us.

4. Not appreciating your health.

Here’s something I bet you can relate to: you never think about your health until you get a bad case of the flu. Am I right? It’s usually at those points where we think, “Why didn’t I appreciate feeling good?” Well, remind yourself to appreciate it every day, not just when you feel under the weather.

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5. Not helping others enough.

It’s easy to be selfish. Heck, our world practically encourages it! (unfortunately). But think how your actions affect other people. Take a look at the people around you and go out of your way to help them. I’m sure you would appreciate it if they did that for you, so live by the Golden Rule and go out of your way to help others.

6. Shying away from taking risks.

This is a tough one for a lot of people, myself included. But there is a difference between taking a calculated risk and an uncalculated risk. Take calculated risks. Think about the benefits and costs and then make an informed decision. Remember great risk can lead to great reward.

7. Not making your loved ones smile and laugh enough.

This one is self-explanatory. Our loved ones are the most important thing in the world… or at least they should be. So have fun with them. Smile and laugh… a lot!

8. Giving up before you reach success.

In our culture we all expect to become an overnight sensation like Justin Beiber. But guess what? In the real world it doesn’t work like that. Be patient in waiting for success. It will come.

9. Not spending enough time with positive people.

Dump the “Energy Vampires” in your life! You know who I’m talking about. The people who drain you, suck you dry, and give nothing back. Instead, surround yourself with positive people.

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10. Hurrying through life so that you don’t appreciate the little things.

Busy, busy, busy. This is the theme of the world today. Not that staying busy isn’t fun. But don’t stay so busy that you lose focus on the important things in life. As the saying goes, “stop to smell the roses.”

11. Not seeing the world and all its glory when you’re young and healthy.

If you have the money to travel (and you like doing it), get out there and see the world now! There are so many other fascinating cultures to explore, so just go do it!

12. Worrying too much and appreciating too little.

“Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want to happen,” (Robert Downey Jr.) It puts negative energy out to the universe. Instead, focus on what you do have, not what you don’t have.

13. Not planning for your future.

Some people wander aimlessly in life and go where the wind blows them. Hey, this might be fun for some people, but it doesn’t get you toward a goal of your choosing. So figure out what you want and then set your ship on a course toward achieving it.

14. Not learning from your mistakes.

No one wants to admit that they make mistakes. But honestly, I don’t believe in mistakes. To me, they’re all learning opportunities. So make sure that you actually learn from them. If you don’t, you will end up repeating them over and over and not improving your life.

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15. Working too much.

Going along with #14, if you are spending too much time at the office and not enough time with your loved ones, you may regret it someday. Even if you love your work and become engrossed in it, don’t forget to come up for air and spend quality time with people.

16. Not taking responsibility for your own life.

Your life today is a result of all the choices you made in the past. So don’t blame others, and put yourself in the driver’s seat for your future. Own your life and your choices.

17. Listening to other people’s opinions before your own.

It’s easy to listen to other peoples’ loud opinions. Sometimes that’s easier than listening to our own inner voice and intuition. But if you ignore your gut feeling, I almost guarantee you’ll eventually end up regretting it.

18. Not enjoying your children’s childhood.

Any parent will tell you that it’s not easy to raise kids. Children can be annoying and difficult. But time flies, and before you know it they will be adults and out of the house. So don’t miss them while they’re there.

19. Not learning who you can trust.

This is a difficult one for a lot of people – myself included. I was way too trusting in my younger years and learned the hard way who I could trust and who I couldn’t. The sooner you learn that lesson, the happier the rest of your life will be.

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20. Not saying what you should have said.

Did you not tell someone that you loved him/her? Did you not tell someone how much you appreciated them? Well, what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present. Do it now.

21. Not doing what you should have done.

Ditto from #20. Don’t wait. Just do it. Get off your tushie and just do it. You won’t regret it!

I hope these 21 reminders put life into perspective a little more for you. You don’t want to be on your death-bed someday having any regrets. So make this your motto: No Excuses, No Regrets!

More by this author

Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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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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