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9 Ways To Stop Living Someone Else’s Life

9 Ways To Stop Living Someone Else’s Life

Whether it’s within your career, your relationships, or another aspect of your life, it’s challenging to wake up to the reality that you’ve been living someone else’s life.

Here are nine steps you can take to live a life that’s more true to yourself:

1. Think about the bigger picture

We all have a finite amount of time in which to live our lives, and every day that goes by is one day less you have to live a life that’s true to yourself.

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Taking a step back, considering the bigger picture, and remembering that your time is limited can help you stay focused on your real dreams and goals, rather than the dreams or goals you think you should have.

2. Question your beliefs

Everyone grows up with an internal script about how the world works and how we should spend our lives. That script forms in childhood and influences the way your life plays out.

Often, our internal scripts are unconscious and we go about our daily lives without even realizing that we’re acting on them. If you want to stop living someone else’s life, it’s important to start questioning your internal script and the beliefs behind it.

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3. Invest in your self-awareness

Therapy, coaching, and self-work like journaling are all useful tools for life transitions, including moving towards a life that is more satisfying and meaningful to you.

Not only will these tools support you through the process of questioning your beliefs, but they will also help you uncover your authentic values, and look ahead to create a vision for a life that is truly yours.

4. Notice when you defer to others

Sometimes, we feel pressure to conform to the values and beliefs of other people in our lives. In these situations, the first step towards shifting this pattern is to become aware of it.

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Start noticing when you defer to other people by default. Notice whether this happens around specific people, specific areas of life, or specific topics of conversation. Keep a list of your trigger points in these areas so you can build up a picture of the situations in which you’re most likely to prioritize other people’s beliefs and values over your own.

Once you have that picture, you’ll become more aware of when this is happening in the moment, and take steps to stop your deferral process before it’s even begun.

6. Set boundaries

If you feel under pressure from specific people to live a life that’s not true to yourself, then it’s time to set boundaries. Doing this can be challenging, as you risk disrupting the dynamic of your relationship with that person or people. Ultimately, however, the people who respect and care about your well-being will want to support you as you explore your individuality and develop a life that is more authentic.

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5. Have fun and experiment

If you’ve been living someone else’s life, it can be hard to visualize what your ideal life might even look like.

This is a great opportunity to experiment with possibilities and explore your interests, dreams, goals and ambitions.

7. Spend time with yourself

Just like we get to know other people by spending time with them, we get to know ourselves by spending time with ourselves. Make time to be alone with yourself, without distraction, and begin the process of reconnecting to your true thoughts and feelings.

8. Imagine your eulogy

Just like taking a bigger-picture perspective, thinking about how you want to be remembered can help you focus on what’s most important to you. What do you want people to say about who you were and what you did?

9. Remember that it’s your life

As obvious as it might sound, remember that your life is your your own and that, as much as other people might give you advice, you are the one who will have to live with the consequences of that advice. Keeping this reality in mind can help you distance yourself from other people’s opinions and beliefs.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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