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Dear 30-Somethings, I Hope You Won’t Make These Mistakes In Life

Dear 30-Somethings, I Hope You Won’t Make These Mistakes In Life

Dear 30-Somethings,

I am writing this to help you change your life around for the better. I want you to live a long and prosperous life without looking back with regrets. You have many years ahead of you, and I want to make sure that you live them to the fullest. There’s nothing like waking up one morning and having a meltdown because you didn’t do what you wanted to, so I want to make sure that doesn’t happen to you. Read this with an open mind and think about your life at the moment; are you living a happy life? If the answer is no, you won’t be living a happy life when you’re older either. No matter how much you’re saving for retirement.

1. Making Work a Priority

You’re a newbie at your job, and you want to make a good impression on your boss. I get it, it’s a natural feeling. You can’t just put work before everything else in your life though. If you respond to every call you receive from your boss or coworkers, even on your days off, you will never take the time to enjoy the present moment. You will soon become so obsessed with work that your life will only be about that… work. Your friends will start drifting away, and your relationships will be affected. I get that you want to work hard now and have fun later, but work will never cuddle with you when you are sad. Find a balance between work and fun that works for you. Work can come second on weekends and special occasions. Turn off your phone while you’re at the restaurant with your friends and make it clear to your boss that you will not answer calls or texts on specific days.

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2. Forgetting Your Passion for Money

Money controls everything in today’s world. If you want a luxurious life, you need more money; it’s just how it works. Which is why you might consider putting your passion behind in order to make more money. Let me tell you something about this type of thinking: it will make you miserable. If you go to work unhappy about what you do, or not passionate about your everyday tasks, you will be miserable. You will groan when you wake up in the morning, and you will sigh in relief when it’s time to punch out. You will find yourself in a mediocre routine where your feelings will be pretty much inexistent, because there will be no passion or excitement in your life. Of course though, we’re humans, so we need to feel something to not be depressed, which is where shopping splurges will come in. The money you make will pay for your happiness in things like shoes, dresses, suits, or cars. It might seem like you’re happy for a few minutes, but the feeling will fade very quickly. After a while, your boss might even think of letting you go because he can see that you’re miserable on the job. I write from experience. My advice? Follow your passion. When you’re passionate about something, the money will follow. Your excitement and love will allow you to create something amazing, something that sets you apart from others. If you’re passionate about writing, become a writer. It won’t always be easy, but you will wake up in the morning happy about what you’re doing of your day. You will create content that will make your readers want to read more. That’s what passion does and that’s why money always follows it. To find your passion, think back to when you were a little kid. What did you love doing more than anything? If it was playing video games, can you become a video game creator? If it was painting, can you become a museum curator? Think about it, and follow it. There’s a career for every passion.

3. Not Taking Care of Your Body

You might think now that you don’t need too exercise or eat healthy in order to look good, but your future self will think differently. You’re young, take care of your body! The food you eat today will start affecting your body later, by adding more wrinkles to your face or increasing your chances of getting ill. Go to the gym now, even if you don’t think you need it. If you exercise and eat healthy now, your skin will be tighter and your body will be slimmer later. Not only that, but you will also feel better about yourself. You’re already young and beautiful, so why not enhance this beauty of yours through a healthy lifestyle?

4. Neglecting Your Family

Family should always come first. You probably left the nest a few years ago and don’t plan on looking back, which is fine. But, you should never neglect your family. If you live in the same area, make time for all of them and catch up on their stories. You don’t want to be so caught up in work or adulthood that you forget to call your mother for a month or two. If you are living in a different Country, you can Skype to talk to your parents, siblings, or other close relatives. You might think that you’re above it all right now and that your friends are your new family, but it’s false. When you’ll be older, it’s a guarantee that you’ll regret not spending time with your family when you had the chance. You’ll regret forgetting to call your sister on her 30th birthday, or going to that lunch date with your parents. Your family is precious. Hold on to it and let them know regularly that you love them. They’re the ones who will be by your side no matter what happens. If you had a fight with a close family member, let go of that anger. Call your sibling or your parents and set things right, you’ll be happier.

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5. Being Negative

Negativity will kill you. Simple. If you spend your thirties thinking negatively, you will not blossom the way you should. Not only will you become a grumpy old person in the future, but you will also lose your entourage. People around you will slowly stop talking to you, because they know how negative you are. Your negativity will also take a toll on your relationships and career, as no one will want to spend time with you. It may sound harsh, but it’s the truth. Negativity will kill you. Instead of victimizing yourself and thinking negatively all the time, change your thoughts. Say affirmations every morning to start your day on a positive note. If you catch yourself being negative, shake it off and force yourself to think positive again. If your entourage is the one who’s negative, let go of them. It will make you feel better and a whole new life will open up before you.

6. Thinking You’re Too Old

You’re mistaken if you ever think that you’re too old to do something. Not only will you miss out on a lot of fun, but you will also age more quickly than you should. You don’t want to turn 50 one day and look back at your 35th birthday, when you passed up going to DisneyLand with your friends and just had a quiet dinner at home. You don’t have to be serious all the time, and you most definitely don’t have to act like you’re in your thirties, whatever that looks like. Take Richard Branson for example, he’s in his sixties and still lives like he’s in his thirties. Age is just a number, it shouldn’t define what you can or cannot do. You will live a much happier life if you stop thinking that you’re too old for this or for that. You’re never too old to ride the roller coasters or dance on the table! You have one life, make the most of it until the end.

7. Forgetting Yourself

If you are spending too much time pleasing others and forgetting about yourself, you will regret it later. Allow yourself the right to say no to certain invitations or certain requests from your significant other. When you’ll be older, you’ll regret not putting yourself first in certain situations, especially if you put aside your hopes and dreams to let someone else have the spotlight. If you put your needs first every once in a while, you’ll be much happier. It doesn’t matter if your friends and family don’t approve of your change of career, if you love it and know that it’s what you want to do, do it. You know yourself best.

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8. Living Too Safely

There’s no regret like the regret of living your life too safely. If you live too safely right now, you will never accomplish the things you could’ve accomplished, period. If you’re always so afraid of taking risks, you will pass up on job offers, promotions, relationships, friendships, and dozens of other opportunities. The time will never be right for taking a risk, but if you know what you’re getting yourself into, take the risk. Take the risk of failure or rejection and see what happens. Even if that guy at work doesn’t like you romantically, at least now you know. You won’t always go home overthinking every eye contact you’ve had with the guy, because you’ll know that nothing can happen. The best way to embrace risk is by testing new foods. Go to a Mexican restaurant and try hot dishes, see what happens. Go on a spontaneous trip with your best friend, see what happens. Worst case scenario? You’ll have hilarious stories to tell your grandchildren.

9. Not Traveling Enough

This is one of the most common regrets people have when they’re older. You might be extremely busy with work or adulthood right now, but you should always make time to get out of the country and visit new cities. When you get older, you won’t have the energy to travel around the world, so do it now. Traveling will help you find yourself by breaking away from the routine and thinking of only one thing: yourself. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, you now have the time to travel. Take two weeks off and visit Paris or London, see what everyone is talking about! See for yourself if Italians are real charmers or if French macarons are the best dessert on earth. Many people take a gap year before University to travel around the world, why not do it now? Grab a luggage and head out into the world, that’s where the real opportunities lie.

10. Leaving Feelings Unspoken

A lot of you today think that feelings should just be bottled up, mostly because you’re afraid of getting hurt. This fear will create a lot of regret in the future as you look back and wonder if that person at work really liked you. You can’t leave your feelings bottled up for fear of being rejected or of ruining whatever is going on between the two of you. If you think that the other person likes you, make a move. What if your best friend likes you as much as you like him? Imagine the regret you will have if you both like each other, but no one has the courage to speak out. You’ll get married one day and still wonder if your best friend likes you the way you like him. I mean, haven’t you seen Maid of Honor? Talk to your crush about your feelings or ask that cute waiter out. Worst case scenario, they don’t like you romantically but still want to be friends with you. At least you will know for sure that the person doesn’t like you. You can move on to the next person without regrets, because you did what you could to find out if the feelings were reciprocal.

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Good luck, and remember to stay true to yourself!

Featured photo credit: Featured Photo Credit: Oleander via mrg.bz

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Sarah Anton

Editor and founder of The Fitrepreneur, aspires to improve people's living style.

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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)

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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