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When You Start Being Yourself, These 10 Amazing Things Will Happen

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When You Start Being Yourself, These 10 Amazing Things Will Happen

When you were a little kid, you had a personality, flaws, endearing qualities and behaviors that defined you as a mini human being. As you grew up, the influences of society, people around you, life experiences and genetic pre-disposition further molded you into who you are today – but with one big caveat.

As an adult, you have developed the mental skills to flex your behaviors and personality to fit what you think others expect and where you want your life to go in the future. While this is a powerful benefit of being a grown-up, it can lead to issues in relationships, personal growth and success. When you fake who you are or cover up your true personality, not only does it lead to short-term challenges, but it can seriously hurt your long-term life goals.

When you own your personal brand, start being yourself and step into your true nature by showing people your strengths, flaws, weirdness and real personality, it can open you up to a whole new world of amazingness!

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1. You will attract the right tribe.

When you are fake, you aren’t surrounded by the right people who will support you in your real growth and goals. Sure it may seem smart to pretend you’re a certain way if you want to live a certain way, but if it doesn’t fit with your actual personality, it will only make you appear inauthentic – meaning the people in that group will be unlikely to embrace you anyway. When you behave in ways that are in alignment with your strengths, flaws and deep-down soul goals, the right people will be attracted to you to help you on your journey.

2. You will make more money.

People buy from people. They like to hang out with and spend money when their innermost emotional needs are being met. When you can connect with people on a deeper level as your true self, you can create better relationships with co-workers, bosses, customers and clients. Whether you’re in customer service, sales, healthcare or education, it doesn’t matter. Every job requires human connection for growth. When you truly connect as the true human being that YOU are, the opportunities for personal and financial growth will follow.

3. You will meet the right partner.

Only when you show your true colors will the right love interest come along. Sure you can attract a mate by faking who you are are, but the long-term implications are that you will feel resentful, guilty or regretful when your true self isn’t having your needs met. Be real and the right person will come along to make you happy, and you will feel connected to them on a deeper level – flaws and all!

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4. You will be trusted.

When you are really being you, it leads to a consistent experience for people who interact with you. When they feel secure in knowing you are who you say and act like you are, they are more likely to trust you with big and small tasks, decisions and responsibilities. When you are a trusted person, your career success will increase, your personal relationships will flourish and you will feel more confident in your ability to interact with others.

5. You will be more confident.

Being fake can hit your self-confidence in a big way. Why? Because when you are fake it means you are constantly worrying about impressing people by changing who you are in certain scenarios. When you have to change so quickly and so often, it clouds decision-making which leads to bad decisions. When you are constantly making bad decisions it makes you feel bad about yourself leading to low self-esteem and suffering self-confidence.

6. You will be more energized.

It feels good to live authentically. It attracts the right people, opportunities and even money. When you are living in your true flow, you feel happier which boosts endorphins. These endorphins are feel-good chemicals that naturally increase energy, mood and positivity. It is a circular cycle that when you feel good, you look good, you do good, you attract good. All that goodness creates major energy in your life.

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7. You will sleep better.

Embracing the true you leads to positive emotions. The better you feel, the less worry you have. The less worry you have, the less time you lay in bed fretting over your decisions, future and actions. This means you have more time to actually sleep, rest and heal and less time tossing and turning with worry over what people think of you or how you can impress others.

8. You will feel less stressed.

It’s so much easier to be yourself than to fake it all the time. When you fake who you are you are constantly having to cover up lies, stress over your appearance and fret over your words. When you are just simply YOU, there is no need to worry over what you said or did in the past, how certain people perceive you or how you need to act in different environments. You have peace in your heart because you can just be you.

9. You will be seen as real.

When you act like your true self, you will be creating a consistent experience for people whether they hang out with you in person, read your social posts online or hear stories about you. This consistency massively boosts your credibility, likability and trustworthiness both personally and professionally.

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10. You will be happier.

All the stuff above will lead to increased happiness and peace in your personal and professional lives. Your happiness is based on your own ability to step into your greatness with a peaceful heart. When you embrace your true nature, this peace comes easier and greater joy and happiness will follow.

So you see, living a life that showcases your best and most challenging traits is the best way to move ahead. No matter who or what you’ve tried to be in the past, it’s time to let those false impressions go and step into the amazing life that only YOU can create.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS: How do you stay true to yourself when you set goals? What can you do TODAY to get back to being who you really are?

Featured photo credit: Hipster woman taking photos with retro film camera on vintage ornamental wallpaper. 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)

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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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