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The 10 Best Things Every Mother Ever Told Her Child

The 10 Best Things Every Mother Ever Told Her Child
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Whether or not we realize it, most of us operate on default based upon the messages our parents communicated to us as children. If we were lucky enough to have folks who made it their mission to empower us, the chances are better that we take a sense of high self-esteem into the world every day. As we groom our own children to become the planet’s future leaders, remember that what we tell them will influence how they show up for life. Keeping that in mind, here are the 10 best things every mother ever told her child:

1. “I love you.”

There are people in this world who don’t ever hear their parents say, “I love you.” We all want to hear it. We all need to feel it. Not hearing the words, “I love you,” could impair a child’s future ability to express love and affection to others, causing the cycle to repeat.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love.” We each have the chance to make that happen. We can start by telling the child in our lives that we love them…every day.

2. “You can do it.”

In the eyes and heart of a child, the smallest of things can look and feel scarier than they should (Santa Claus, for example). A mother who tells her child they “can do it” is teaching that child to face life’s obstacles with courage and resolve. This child will grow into an adult who will be willing to take risks by looking fear straight in the eye and saying, “Let’s do it!”

The willingness of any individual to keep pushing the boundaries will ensure his or her personal evolution and the expansion of our species. (Think Ben Franklin and the light bulb here!)

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3. “Everything is going to be OK.”

In today’s world, kids face different challenges than any of us ever could have imagined even a decade ago. Unfortunately, more kids are turning to permanent solutions (like suicide) to solve temporary problems. When your child is going through pain, make them a promise.

Promise your child that if they just hold on, the pain will pass, and everything will be OK. By helping to strengthen your child’s determination when life gets to be too much, you will be empowering them with the sliver of hope we all need to feel sometimes. Your child will also learn hard times aren’t forever, and by experiencing pain, a person can come out the other end stronger, wiser, and happier.

4. “Be kind.”

People can be mean. In fact, sometimes these mean people can be our own siblings. The best way to disarm someone else’s meanness is with kindness.

When your child is dealing with a Mean Girls situation, remind them that responding with unkindness will only breed more hostility and drama. It is important for a child to stand up for themself in a situation where they are being mistreated, but coach your child to do this with dignity and respect. If your child will be placing themself in harm’s way by responding (even with kindness), give your child permission to do what they can to remove the mean person from their life (with your support, if necessary).

5. “Be yourself.”

This is the mantra of many parents. It is, however, difficult for parents to truly allow their kids to be themselves. We sometimes treat our children as though they are here to please us. As a result, we can punish them for acting in ways we don’t approve of, but that might be authentic for them.

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The fact is that each of us, including our children, are here to realize our own purpose. It’s difficult to let kids make their own ‘mistakes’ when we ‘know’ how things are going to turn out. As parents, we should understand our children’s decisions are necessary for their personal growth. The lessons they learn from acting authentically will be much stronger than any lesson they might learn from parents just telling them ‘how it is’ or how they ‘should’ be.

You can still coach, guide and reprimand your child. However, by giving your kid some freedom to grow into their fullest potential, you give the both of you a gift: the gift of letting go (for you) and the gift of expression (for them).

6. “After you eat your broccoli, it’s time for bed.”

Moms really know what they are talking about here. To keep your body and mind in optimum performance mode, you must take care of yourself by (drumroll)…eating right, getting exercise, and getting enough rest.

Lead your children by example; give yourself the gift of whole, healthy food and adequate sleep. Help your kids in removing the physical, mental and emotional issues that come with poor health and lifestyle choices. Raise your little ones to be thankful for their beautiful, perfect bodies and to treat those bodies with love.

7. “Time out.”

Life isn’t fair. We don’t always get what we want. When this happens to kids, many go into meltdown mode. Actually…this can happen with adults, too; when our plans are derailed by something or someone, it can cause an individual to react out of anger or descend into a bout of despair.

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When things go sideways, cultivate in your child the value of taking a ‘time out.’ By learning to stop, step back, and breathe, your kid will learn to regroup. A time out will allow your child the chance to consider a different perspective and potentially redefine the situation in a way that works for him or her. The ability to do this as an adult enables us to create our own happiness by choosing how we will manage things that don’t go our way.

8. “Say, ‘Thank you.’”

Raise a child to say, “Thank you,” so they can learn good manners. More importantly though, teach your child to feel gratitude in their heart for every minute of every day. Regardless of what drama and pain might be happening, there is always an opportunity for something greater in that difficult experience. By raising a child to be thankful in the midst of turmoil, you will be nurturing a resilient human with the power to shift any circumstance into something amazing.

9. “Never quit.”

Life can be hard, even for a kid. School gets tough. So do relationships. As we get older, competition for jobs, money and status turns fierce.

Whatever it is your child wants to accomplish, they should remember to keep on trucking even after failure strikes once, twice, or hundreds of times. Your child should understand that just because they haven’t gotten something ‘right’ yet, things aren’t over. Tell your child that if they hold a dream, they should never quit, and should take little steps every day for as long as they have that dream in their heart.

10. “It’s OK to quit.”

Sometimes dreams change. Sometimes we realize we don’t want something we once did. However, sometimes giving up the pursuit of a dream feels like failure even if we really don’t want the dream anymore.

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Give your child permission to call it quits. Remind them that if they are quitting something because that is what they truly want, there is power in quitting. This will serve your child well as they grow into an adult who wants to make a change—be that from a college major, a job, a career, or a life partner.

If you are a parent, remember the force behind these 10 best things every mother ever told her child. Choose your words wisely. Those words will be largely responsible for your child’s destiny and our collective future on this planet.

Featured photo credit: bright picture of hugging mother and daughter via shutterstock.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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