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When You Stop Posting Selfies, These 10 Things Will Happen

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When You Stop Posting Selfies, These 10 Things Will Happen

Like many millennials, I spend more time on social media than anywhere else. As a serial selfie offender, my only excuse is overcoming a particularly awkward ten year puberty phase. However, it can be a fine line between celebrating your self confidence and becoming obsessed with how others see you. There’s nothing wrong documenting your life today, but when you stop depending on others validation of your selfies, the following incredible things will happen.

Your Self Image Will Be Healthier

Sure, seeing a great picture of yourself is a short-term boost for your self image, but ultimately this boost is temporary. No matter what body type you have, a truly positive self image comes from valuing yourself for more than your looks – something that photographs rarely capture.

You Will Listen Better

Too much social media is linked to a desire to dominate others, since one sees themselves above others. One way this inconsideration for others shows itself is through unilateral listening. This means someone only listens to others in order to negate or criticize what they’re saying. Obviously, such a practice is an unhealthy way to relate to others.

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Your Mental State Will Improve

Since excessive social media use has also recently been linked as a factor in some mental conditions, it’s important to balance our interest in online media with reality in the offline world. Some studies suggest an obsession with selfies on social media could potentially be a factor in developing problems with depression, narcissistic personality disorder, and body dysmorphia, among others.

You Will Be More Selfless In Relationships

Similarly, an obsession with posting selfies can eventually be damaging to some relationships. Excessive social media use is linked to an increase in narcissism, which can make you selfish in your relationships. Remember that our appearances are only skin deep. Good looks are definitely temporary, and a good friend or significant other needs to have the personality to back it up. No relationship can be a healthy one if one person is too self obsessed to care about the other.

You Will Have Better Self Worth

Similarly, depending on others positive reactions to your looks in order to feel worthy is a slippery slope. Since your self-worth should be independent of other people’s opinions of you, it really doesn’t matter if others find your pictures attractive or not. To be a complete and happy person, the only person who needs to find you valuable as you. By overly valuing others’ opinions of your selfies, you run the risk of redefining your self worth by how other see you.

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You Will Be More Secure

Self confidence is another area that should not be affected by how others see you. If your confidence is dependent on positive comments and likes on your selfies, it will only take one negative or snarky remark to make you completely crumble. Each of us is truly unique with plenty to bring to the table, and no one should let others’ sarcasm or negativity affect how you see your personality and potential.

You Will Have A Better Attitude

Freeing yourself from worrying about how others see you can be an excellent thing for your attitude. Again, by being too concerned with how others comment or react to our selfies, we give other people the power to control our mood and perceptions. Being more balanced about what we post, or taking a short break from posting selfies, can do wonders for putting you back in control of your attitude, confidence, and mood.

You Will Have A Real Definition Of Beauty

Not only does posting too many selfies overly emphasize others opinions of us, but caring only about your appearance can negatively skew your definition of beauty. It is fantastic to feel confident in photos, but if you start emphasizing your appearance over other qualities, you risk becoming overly superficial. Selfies are a fine addition to your social media presence, so long as you clearly value other things about yourself as well. Try to balance valuing looking good online with involvement in intelligent content, world events, science and technology developments, and concern for others in your social circles.

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You Will Be Less Offended By Negativity

Additionally, growing more narcissistic can make you more prone to anger. Where negative comments used to have little impact on you, relying on others attention to define ourselves means that criticism hits much harder. Avoiding this tendency to over react to negativity is crucial in maintaining a healthy view of yourself.

You Will Be More In The Moment

The American Psychiatric Association cites taking more than three selfies a day as actual disorder. Whether or not you agree with this classification, one thing is for sure: taking pictures of yourself upwards of three times a day will undoubtedly interfere with your ability to live life in the moment. Remember that putting down your phone and experiencing a moment for what it is can be a freeing and powerful experience.

All in all, there is nothing wrong with sharing your confidence and body positivity with the world, but remember that who you are is much more than what is on the surface. Others opinions of your selfies should not have a significant impact on how you live your life, despite how engaging social media is. Everyone can appreciate someone who is selfless and caring, and these qualities are usually most apparent in people with a solid sense of self-confidence and self worth. Growing as a person and cultivating a healthy self-image is separate from the attention we get from others. Seeking a balance in your social media presence may seem challenging at first, but is a rewarding approach to these new and exciting ways to communicate.

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Featured photo credit: Susanne Nilsson via flickr.com

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Alicia Prince

A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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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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