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9 Things You Should Know About Love When You’re Still Young

9 Things You Should Know About Love When You’re Still Young
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Who doesn’t love love? It’s one of the best, purest emotions out there. This means, of course, that it has the most drama connected to it. Everyone worries about collecting a lot of relationship baggage while they’re young, but the truth is it’s going to happen regardless of how you try to avoid it. Instead of trying to prevent lots of missteps, read these tips and find out what you should know about love when you’re still young. Find comfort in knowing that everyone goes through these things, and we all make it out on the other side.

1. You’ll make mistakes.

It’s ok to make mistakes when you’re young – especially in love! Love isn’t a rational feeling, it’s something that makes you feel the highest of happiness during the good times, and the lowest of sadness during the bad times. You’re going to date people you shouldn’t; you’re going to have arguments that aren’t worth having; and you’re going to say the wrong things during these fights. It’s ok because you’re going to learn from each of these mistakes, and that will make your true love that much sweeter.

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    2. You can be selfish.

    It’s normal to be selfish when you’re young, because you need to figure out who you are and what you want from life. It’s acceptable to break up with someone over something that might seem a bit petty just because they don’t seem right for you – because they probably aren’t! When you’re in your teens and twenties, you need to focus on yourself, because you need to discover who you are and what your career will be. You need to work on things like this, including loving yourself, before you try to make a partnership work for the long haul.

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    3. You can be single.

    And you should be! Too many young people think they always need to be in a relationship. If you have this mindset, then you’re more likely to date people who are bad for you just so you’ll be with someone. It’s ok to be single! No one is watching you and keeping track of how long you’re single versus how long you’re in a relationship. It’s important to be single so you can focus on your own life; when you do find that special someone, your relationship will be that much better because it will be special. You’ll be a well-rounded person, and you won’t have a history of hopping from relationship to relationship with no substance.

    4. You’ll fall in love with the wrong person.

    This is the hardest lesson to learn, because people rarely seem wrong for you at the start of a relationship. When you feel the sparks and the butterflies, you can’t imagine that someone could be bad for you. But they can be, and they will be, and you need to learn how to identify this in others. Your partner might be a great person; they don’t have to be mean or abusive or inconsiderate! They can be kind and still be wrong — for you. You should be with someone who brings out the best in you, who is sweet and encouraging and compatible with you, not who you think you should be with to make anyone else happy.

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    5. It’s ok to fall in love.

    So you’ve met the wrong person, and maybe you kind of even know they’re wrong for you, but you can’t help it — you’re falling in love. That’s ok! It’s good to let yourself feel things for others. If you’re too hesitant to fall in love, then you might never let loose enough to find your special someone. Love is a beautiful feeling, and it’s never wrong to feel it for someone as long as you believe it’s true.

    6. Live and love in the moment.

    Never chastise yourself for falling in love. When you feel something in the moment, you need to let yourself feel that emotion completely. Fall in love, daydream about your future, and, as hard as it may be to do, let yourself get hurt. You’ll learn from all of these moments and all of these emotions. It seems like you’d look back and kick yourself for having a crush on someone who was so obviously wrong for you, but you’ll see the past through rose-colored glasses and be glad that you experienced as much as you did.

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    7. You don’t need to have a timeline.

    When you’re young, you get so used to people asking what you’re majoring in or what you want to be when you grow up that you start planning out your whole life. It seems more stable to think “I should be married by the time I’m 25 so I can have kids before I’m 30,” than to fly by the seat of your pants. But the truth is, those timelines rarely work out. If they do, it might just because you feel pressured to stick to them. What if you’re dating the wrong person when you’re 25, but still feel like you have to get married to meet your goal? Scrap any timeline you have in mind. Life is going to throw you curveballs whether you have plans or not, so see who you meet, who you fall in love with, and go with the flow.

    8. Don’t put others before yourself.

    When you’re older and in a committed relationship or marriage, there will be times when you need to put your own wants on the back burner and let your spouse reach some of their personal goals. It’s ok to put others before yourself if you’re being supportive and not letting your own needs and wants fall to the wayside, but it shouldn’t become a habit. If you’re in a relationship where your partner constantly needs to be the center of attention and won’t let you have interests of your own or time to yourself, you need to get out of that. Realize that it’s not only acceptable to put yourself first, but it’s necessary when you’re young and still have so much growing and learning to do.

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    9. Love yourself.

    You’ll fall in love with good people and you’ll fall in love with bad people, but above all, you need to love yourself. If you love who you are, then you’ll be more open to loving others. Love is always a great thing to share, but loving yourself also means you won’t have to find that love in others. You can love someone without needing something from them to feel validated. Loving yourself is the most powerful love you can experience.

    Featured photo credit: Kelley Boone 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)
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    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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