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Why the Microwave Mentality Doesn’t Work

Why the Microwave Mentality Doesn’t Work

Looking for results in your business or personal life? Feeling frustrated that it is taking too long? Perhaps you need to drop the Microwave Mentality!

Remember: anything that is worth something takes time. I recall one day standing by my microwave and thinking to myself, “Man, this sure is taking a long time!” As soon as those words filtered into my mind, I realized that I had been conditioned by the Microwave Mentality and instant-gratification ideology. I was no longer patient. I wanted instant results. Results so quickly that I considered the microwave as taking too much time. This was an eye-opener for me.

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To be honest with ourselves, how many times have we wanted to be the exception to every rule? I want to lose weight, but I don’t want to stop eating dessert, candy bars and fried foods. I want to lose weight, but I don’t want to exercise. I want to lose weight, but I want it NOW without any work put into it. I want to build a business, but I don’t want to start from the foundation. I want a successful business, but I don’t want to spend time and money to make it happen. I want to build a business, but I want it NOW without any work put into it. So, what can we do to change this mentality?

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Re-train your brain.

In today’s society, when everything is running at lightning speed, it is easy for us to pick up this mentality and begin to get frustrated at the time it actually takes to become successful in whatever area you are working. It’s time to re-train the brain. “Anything worth doing is worth doing right,” is a Hunter S. Thompson quote that my grandmother used to say to me. There is truth in that statement. How can we train our brains to understand this concept and keep from being frustrated? To begin with, realize the fact that everything needs to be built on a strong, lasting foundation. A house being built is not finished overnight. The builders will begin with a foundation. The foundation is key in everything you do. In order to have anything of lasting value it must be started on a strong footing. The groundwork may take time, yet it is essential for quality to be prevalent. This is true in our lives as well.

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Break down your goals.

If you are struggling with goals in your life, whether they be professional or personal, you need to look at the finished product. After seeing the finished product in your mind, begin to break your goal down into segments. Often times, our frustration stems from looking at the big picture and feeling immobilized. If you begin to break down the goal into smaller sections, you will find yourself moving along at a constant rate. You will no longer sense the frustration of not having finished your goal. You will begin to see each step of your accomplishment along the way. Celebrate the smaller victories, as you pace yourself for the remaining work. If you desire to lose 50 pounds, set mini goals along the way and celebrate your constant successes. When we see the forward motion of our performances, we begin to have patience for the results.

Write out your goals.

This is a practice used by the most successful people in the world today. When you write them down, remember to break them into small do-able sections. Each day do at least one thing to push you toward fulfillment of your goal. By incorporating this type of mentality you will begin to experience inner satisfaction from the triumphs you achieve. Jack Canfield, the co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, writes his goals on index cards and reads them in the morning and evening each day. What a great habit! Before beginning to set a goal, do research on someone who has done this and see the amount of time and effort that it requires. You will be able to gauge your activities against another person’s success. This will encourage you and keep you motivated toward completion.

I realize how simple it is to want instant gratification. We live in a fast-paced world and we desire fast-paced results. The Microwave Mentality doesn’t work on anything of value in our lives. We need to realign our thinking. Pursue your goals and dreams with a desire for quality, regardless of the time and effort it takes. It will be worth it. You will succeed and you will have a strong foundation beneath you. Remember, the only thing a microwave is really good for is to heat up leftovers!

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Charlene Tops

Charlene is a certified life coach who is passionate about writing, speaking and teaching.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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