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How to Find Self-Acceptance By Mastering These 8 Ego-Destroying Tips

How to Find Self-Acceptance By Mastering These 8 Ego-Destroying Tips
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Our ancestors had a one-size-fits-all approach to solving their problems. If someone were different, they would kill them. If someone were sickly or weak, they would kill them. Even the people who were exiled were hunted down and killed sooner or later.

Today it is a little barbaric to go around and just kill people. Sadly, we still do it. Only now, instead of a hatchet we use our massive egos to kill the things that we are most threatened by. The ego thrives on fear and keeps us in a primal, fight-or-flight state. In this state, we behave like wild animals. Unfortunately, we can never fully destroy the ego. The only thing that we can do is tame it through social domestication and training. Here are eight ways to achieve this:

1. You can begin the process of ego destroying by accepting the primordial parts of the self.

There are certain behaviors that are embedded in all humans. Many of these behaviors are needed for our survival. However, when a behavior becomes instinctual, it is virtually impossible to control. Through the years we have worked to control the ego through a social domestication process. So, much like a dog or cat, our genetic code has been altered. It has been socially neutered to stop the procreation of anything that is inherently harmful.

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2. Human domestication is part of the ego-destroying process.

The human domestication process was intended to weed out all of your bad traits. It was suppose to work as a process to tame your primal instincts and wild nature. It was a means of giving the ego self-restraint. So, when it starts to bark or bite, you can just place a muzzle over it and pretend it doesn’t exist.

However, this kind of behavior has resulted in suppression. This causes the ego to become much stronger. Then the ego will start to act out by defecating on the living room floor, leaving you to reprimand it when it loses control. You need to train the ego to control itself. Besides, the whole point of being socially domesticated is to learn how to clean up your doo-doo. Sadly, if your ego doesn’t understand right from wrong, you’re probably going to be knee deep in it!

3. You can master the process of ego destroying by choosing not to be overly defensive.

So, what happens when someone smells it and calls you out on your stuff? You revert back to your primal instincts. You devolve into your natural, uncivilized state where all problems were fixed with one simple solution: Kill! If you feel threatened by someone’s ideas or presence, you have to kill. If you are sexually attracted to someone and the feeling is not reciprocated, you have to kill. If someone makes you feel weak, feeble, and insecure, you have to kill. Your ego wants to kill anyone and everyone who makes you feel bad. Suppression causes the ego to spiral out of control. Negative energy will always be released when presented with the right opportunity.

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4. You can master the process of ego destroying by accepting the fact that the ego is a part of you.

In fact, you need the ego to survive and grow. However, you have got to put the ego in its place. When you seek to suppress the ego, you suppress the most natural parts of who you are. You become less creative and spontaneous, and you just can’t relax and live in the moment. If you’re having problems with suppression, just let go. Go wild and learn how to live in the moment. You need to understand chaos theory and that creation stems from disorder.

5. You can master the process of ego destroying by surrendering control.

Your ego wants to turn you into a control freak. Control freaks are looking for pets, not friends. They want to tame people by keeping them on a short leash. After all, it is best to not let them wander too far. Egos want to surround themselves with people who will obey, sit at their feet, and love them unconditionally. Fortunately, people can never be pets. If you want to stop treating people like pets, learn to be a giver. Also, learn how to appreciate people’s shortcomings and mistakes. You need to learn how to use experiences as life lessons that will enable you to become a better person.

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6. You can master the process of ego destroying by training the ego to be less judgmental.

Sadly, control freaks have massive egos that cause them to be extremely judgmental. In fact, they only feel safe and comfortable when things are done their way. If you want to stop being controlling, ease up on the judgments. Start to accept everything and everyone as they are.

7.You can master the process of ego destroying by standing up to your ego when it acts like a bully.

Bullies are like the ill-reputed pit bull terrier. In many situations, they have been beaten and abused by their owners. Only, their owners in real life may be their parents, friends and relatives. Your ego will approach every confrontation like it is a dogfight. It will bare its teeth and mangle anyone who poses a threat. Sadly, the ego is riddled with fear. It is in a constant state of fight or flight, so it is no longer able to think rationally. It solves its problems much like a fighting dog: by biting off its opponents’ heads and rolling them out of the ring once they’re dead.

8. Your ego wants to be your best friend.

If you have anger issues, are impulsive, short tempered, have a lot of regrets, and treat people badly, you can combat this problem by facing your fears. The ego thrives on fear. Behind fear is the feeling of vulnerability. However, we can only allow ourselves to be vulnerable when we feel safe and secure. If you have issues with your ego, you need to figure out what’s triggering you to go into fight-or-flight mode. If you’re constantly feeling threatened, ask yourself why. Then start to reprogram your mind by visualizing yourself in a safe and secure place.

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The ego is a primordial part of the self. Many behaviors that are associated with the ego are instinctual and thus difficult to control. Ego destroying may be virtually impossible; however, the ego can be tamed by mastering these eight life-changing tips.

Featured photo credit: Ego Destroying via dreamstime.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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