Some people have their heart broken so many times, their logical side wants to cut off everyone and never try again. Putting your heart on the line gets harder and harder with each new person. Falling in love, however, inspires passion, creativity, and comfort that you can’t give up on. Don’t let the emotional trauma and financial loss of past breakups ruin your search for love; instead follow these seven easy steps to find new love this year:
1. Forgive and Forget the Past
The first step to moving forward is looking forward. If you’re focusing your energy on the past, you’ll never get anywhere. Instead, focus on the things you can do now that will affect your future. Nothing’s going to change by focusing on arguments you had with your ex. It doesn’t matter who was right or wrong, and, if resolution were possible, you’d still be together. Forgive your ex and move on; not for them, but to enable you to find new love.
This message will self destruct if not properly stored…
2 . Love Yourself
Once you’ve forgiven yourself and let go of the past, it’s time to discover how to be comfortable in your own skin. We all have flaws and that’s o.k. Maybe you’re not the smartest, strongest, funniest, or most physically appealing person – whatever your shortcomings are, it doesn’t mean you’re never going to find someone who will love you for who you are instead of loathing you for what you’re not. Stand up tall and be proud of who you are, whomever that may be; that way, when you find new love, you’ll recognize each other.
3. Decide What You Want
Now that you’re comfortable with yourself, spend a little time doing you and discovering what it is you truly want. When you were a kid, you didn’t know what a government, economy, money, job, or any of that other stuff was; it was just you and your dreams. As you got older, you were taught how to fit into society. Somewhere in between your dreams and the reality you fit into is what truly makes you happy, and that’s where you’ll find new love that’s worthy of your time, effort, and resources.
It’s important that you and your partner enjoy and support the same things. This doesn’t mean that sharing a love for hip-hop is an automatic reason to share a bond, but it does mean that if you enjoy an active lifestyle, a couch potato probably isn’t the best match for you. You’ll know when you find new love that’s real when you support each other.
4 . Check Your Fears at the Door
I’ve heard countless people say they don’t open themselves up because they don’t want to get their heart broken again. It’s easy to be cynical about matters of the heart: people are liars, selfish, and only like you because they want something. If you’re afraid of being hurt, you’re going to be hurt. You won’t be comfortable and you won’t act like the real you.
Confidence is essential to finding true love, so stop being afraid. Break out of your comfort zone and open yourself up to trying new things with someone new. Talk about yourself without fear of judgment; if the person you’re with judges you, they weren’t the right person, and it’s better you find out sooner than later.
5. Stop Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
You can most definitely meet someone at a bar, but it’s a crap shoot; people are amped up, drunk (and likely on other substances) in the club, and there’s a good chance the person isn’t really who they say they are. If you’re doing you, you’re already in the ideal places to meet someone who shares similar interests. Instead of sitting around at home all day, go out and enjoy life. You’ll bump into people doing the same thing and can form an immediate connection.
This morning wood was carved to show you how I feel…
6. Keep Calm, and Go Online
Don’t limit your search for love. Aside from going out and talking to people, you can also search online. Dating sites and social media sites are filled with people looking for a connection. Paid dating sites often have a better chance of success as the payment filters out many people who aren’t serious about dating, but remember that internet people are still people like everyone else, so treat them as such, and use your instincts.
Dating sites aren’t the only places to find love online; people have connected and hooked up on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, in video games, on YouTube, and all over the internet. Human connection is something we all need, so anywhere there are people, there’s always someone seeking a connection.
7. Patience Is a Virtue
Overnight success is a myth, even in love. Although you can successfully make a connection (and push it to the point of fornication) within a night, don’t expect the first person you meet to be “the one.” You may get lucky on your first swing, but don’t give up. Just because you’re looking for true love doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the journey; dating is supposed to be fun, not a chore.
True love can be found anywhere; as long as you’re out there searching, you’re doing the right thing. Let go of your inhibitions and put yourself out there. Smile, laugh, and enjoy life with the people around you – sooner or later, you’re going to find someone who you truly love and who truly loves you. Remember, there’s someone out there for everyone and you won’t find them if you don’t try. If you’re still unsure, hit me up on Twitter – I’m more than happy to lend a hand in matters of the heart!
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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: