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Just the other day I was messaged with a topic request. After reviewing the request, I felt very honored because the topic is something that could benefit many readers. The topic was overcoming the fear of public speaking, For those who do not know me personally, I am a shy person. If i could do it so can you, so let's dive in.
The first time that I noticed my fear of public speaking was back in the sixth grade. Back in those days I used to compete in math tournaments and wanted to try something new. Lucky for me, because I was now in sixth grade I automatically qualified to take part in the story telling competition. At this point in my life I was reading a book or two every week and even writing short stories in my spare time. Just to put it into perspective, my sixth grade teacher had a competition between me and one other student to see who could read the most books and write book reports for them; I won the competition. All the kids that wanted to compete in the story telling competition had to go through a screening process with the school librarian. From my classroom of thirty students only one other student applied, she was the same person who I was in competition for most book reports in a school year. We were both given about ten minutes to read a short passage before we had to try and retell it. Sounds simple but when it was my turn to speak I began to mumble and talk in a low voice. As you can probably tell, I did not pass the primary screening. Many of you right now might think that I was mumbling and talking in a low voice because I had not memorized the passage. Unfortunately I have a very good memory and pride myself on that. Heck throughout my working life my coworkers had to change their phone passcode multiple times throughout the month. They had to change it because they knew once I saw it once I would remember it even months later.
To graduate eighth grade I had to do an exit project for science and social studies (history). The exit project consisted of a five page typed report and a presentation that required both visual and verbal presentation. I know I have spoken on this presentation before and how it came off of the top of my head. The reason I had no notes for my verbal presentation was because I knew that they would not help me. If I had note cards, they would either be damp from sweat or would have cause a distraction for the audience because of my trembling hands. When it was my turn to go, I stood up at the front of the room and just stood there. My audience was my entire eighth grade class, my homeroom teacher, the dean and the teacher of the subject. To make matters worse than they already was, I had not even done research on my topic. I remember being told that I can start by the dean. I tried to start but the words didn’t come out. I swear I am one of the luckiest people alive because right in the front row sat my best friend; I looked at him and saw what appeared to be thumbs up. For both of my presentations I only looked in his direction while I spoke. Seeing a familiar face in the crowd can help calm you down when speaking. I know that in my case it allowed me to talk and act as if I was conversing with him and only him. When I am truly being myself I can be very convincing. If you don’t believe that, let me tell you that my social studies topic was about how great a Leader Hitler was. That is correct I convinced an entire room of over thirty people that Adolf Hitler was an amazing leader and a great role model.
As a high school senior I was given the option of picking my English class, I chose Gothic English. To my surprise my course has a semester of public speaking aka speech class. We had to give different types of speeches ranging from persuasive speeches to explanatory speeches. Before each speech we were given a couple of minutes to prepare outside of the classroom. Throughout my high school life I was always the silent partner in group projects. So this preparation time was never used effectively, rather I just paced back and forth in the hallway like a madman. To help cool my nerves I decided to think of my public speaking performances as a game. If I kept the attention of a single one person or got applause at the end of the speech I would win the game. So when I walked in and gave the first speech I locked on to the face of a friend and did my best to keep them entertained. My teacher was aware that many people suffer from stage fright so she did not say anything about presenters not focusing on the entire audience. With every speech I preformed I added a couple more targets to focus on. By the end of the semester I was able to maintain eye contact with the entire class not just one person. The only problem was that I would still tremble a bit and sweat when I was in front of a crowd.
As a college freshman I had to take a semester of speech 101 as a prerequisite for my major. The speeches were mostly informative speeches, so they were backed by facts. I remember one of the speeches given in the class was talking about in taking water and certain fruits with a high ph. value can help your immune system. Since we had to submit outlines for the speech before hand with a bibliography, I had to change my approach for giving speeches. It was no longer about me planning a mind game with myself; I had a mission that had to be completed. My mission was to explain my topic to the class as best I could. The only catch was if I didn’t perform my duty, they could potentially die. I set it in my mind that the information I held was crucial in my peer’s survival. This helped stop me from becoming nervous when speaking in front of people. Now the only problem I had was getting rid of the monotone voice I had whenever I did public speaking.
This problem had nothing to do with my voice, but rather my level of comfort when speaking out loud in front of a group of people. You might think that comfort level is the same as nervousness, but they are two completely different things. Just because I am not nervous when preforming a task, does not mean that I am in my comfort zone. Just take cooking for instance; I am not nervous when cooking a meal because I know the basics, but I am not comfortable when cooking because I do not know the correct temperatures to cook at. The way I overcame this problem is honestly quite funny. Karaoke helped me solve this problem, not at first of course. When I first went out to sing karaoke with a group of friends I could only do background vocals because I hated how I sound on a microphone and. As I went to karaoke more frequent I began to come out of my shell. It didn’t matter what other people thought of my singing, it was my time to shine. This might sound easy to do but it is a long process that took me months to perfect. In about eight months I was able to go from a low sounding background singer to singing on a stage in front of people. Just so you know, my singing is horrible but I was able to sing and dance in front of over five hundred people. Yes, you heard me correctly; I performed in front of over half a thousand people without breaking a sweat.
Public speaking has become a big part in my life both in my personal life and my professional life. My titles on my resume range from supervisor to assistant manager all the way up to manager. For all these positions I am required to hold meetings with team members. If I had not gone through all the steps listed above in overcoming my fear of public speaking I would not have been able to perform my job duties. Another way that overcoming my fear of public speaking has helped me is working in retail. Since I work in retail I have to talk face to face with customers. These interactions aren’t always bright, there are many times that I have to tell someone bad news. Imagine telling a customer that all their info from their computer is gone, or that all their contacts and photos on their phone have been lost. These are extremely difficult conversations to have with someone, however with the lessons that I have taught myself over the years they have become easy conversations to have. Heck, they have become as easy to speak of as if I was telling the customer about the weather. If I had not overcome this fear I would not be able to post videos online on YouTube, not even my audio only ones. In today’s digital age public speaking also deals with social media. Just a simple tweet or Facebook post is seen by thousands within a matter of seconds. In society today people get bullied heavily on social media, this increases the fear of public speaking.
I know there are thousands of ways to overcome the fear of public speaking, but these are the steps I took in overcoming my fear. They may or may not work for you, but some “proven” methods did not work for me. We all know the cliché remedy of picturing your audience in their underwear. This did not work for me at all. The reason why is because my classes were at least 50% FEMALE. Picturing them in their underwear would have a different effect on me. As a closer, I just want to touch on the story telling contest’s other applicant. The person that I went up against ended up being the three-time champion in the contest. Not from the school but from the city and if I recall they might have won the state competition one year. This person also became valedictorian for my junior high class consisting of 120 students and class president and valedictorian of my high school class consisting of 1092 students. You might say that the bar was too high for me for the story telling competition but who knows. What I do know is that it was a stepping stone for me to overcome my fear of public speaking.
Feel free to share this with a person who you think this post might help. If I have helped you with in any way overcome your own fear of public speaking, feel free to let me know in the comment section bellow. Feel free to send in topics that you the reader would like me to go over. You can send it to me in the comment section or through the various methods on our contact page.
Today’s topic is another powerful topic that I am blessed to be able to talk about today. Today's topic is about having a breakthrough. Before you pass this blog post as something that does not apply to you STOP. Stay along for the journey, no matter where you are in life this information is crucial.
Before we can dig into achieving a breakthrough we must define what a breakthrough is. The Webster definition of breakthrough is a sudden increase in knowledge, understanding, etc. My definition of a breakthrough is… Your eyes are finally exposed to the cold hard truth. The reason that I define a breakthrough like this is because when we have a breakthrough we see the world for what it is. Everything seems to fall into place and it all makes sense. In network marketing we called breakthroughs “magic moments”. It's a magic moment because it's almost like magic how everything makes sense by flipping one switch.
The way most people have their breakthrough is by being fed up. Yes that is correct; most people have breakthroughs by hating their current situations and decide to do something about it. A prime example is my personal situation, I want more from life yet I always felt like I was in a rut. I was browsing the web and looking at memes; when I came across a book named How to make a million F*cking Dollars. I did not buy the book but there was a recommendation for a little book called The Total Money Makeover. That little book changed my life not only financially but in almost every other aspect of it. Before you go rushing to buy this magical book to uncover the secret of life, pump your brakes. This book only talks about getting out of debt, but the book represents my first step into taking control of my life. Years ago I decided to try network marketing because of a pain I felt in my work place. I got back stabbed when going for a new position and saw no hope in attaining more finances through the conventional way. I believed that network marketing was my solution and my breakthrough, but it was a halfhearted commitment.
That's the problem with some of these magic moments. They sometimes are not true breakthroughs because we do not have 100% commitment. When you have a breakthrough you never want your life to go back to the way it was before. A prime example is an overweight person who has become physically fit, ask them if they are willing to become obese again. Their answer more than likely will be no. In my breakthrough I became fed up with not having financial freedom. After seeing how retirement truly is in America for those unprepared, I made a vow to myself saying that will not be my situation. If you have a breakthrough no matter how big or how small your breakthrough is follow through with it.
Take that pain that forced you to snap and have the breakthrough, to help you stay on task. If you are fed up with your current situation then you will do whatever it takes to get out of it. Success is whatever you make it, but are you successful because you only see the world through rose colored glasses.
Motivation is a very funny subject and I am so glad that I am able to touch upon it in today's post. Not funny as in ha ha funny but funny because some people hate the idea. The reason some people hate the idea of motivation is due to a lack of knowledge. If you believe motivation is bad then this post will help change your view on the topic.
Have you ever seen a person playing fetch with a dog? When the dog brings back the object the owner usually says something along the lines of good job or good boy. By saying this to the dog they are giving positive reinforcement to the pet so that the pet becomes trained in the game of fetch. Motivation is also a form of positive reinforcement. Let’s take a look at people who try to exercise and lose weight or get in shape. Every year millions of people say that they want to lose weight as a New Year resolution. Before the end of the month many people fail to keep up with their goal. One of the main reasons for failing is that they were not motivated. The best way to achieve the goal of losing weight or getting in shape is by working with someone or in a group. When you have someone else working out with you they can help motivate you and drive you towards success. Without motivation you are not achieving your goals or tapping into your full potential. Look at workers in the DMV do they look happy? Most of them hate their jobs and are not motivated hence why they do not even crack a smile.
Motivation is something that we as humans need on a regular basis. "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily." - Zig Ziglar. This quote is very true because we have 'internal batteries". When we are motivated we feel energized and that nothing can stop us. The feeling is comparable to when a young teen calls their crush for the first time and sets up their first date of their life. The night before the date the young teen will more than likely stay up all night. Throughout the night they are happy until they have their first negative thought. That negative thought brings more negative thoughts, with each new negative thought their "internal battery" gets lower and lower. Once their "internal batter" is empty they begin to dread the date. Something magical happens on the day the date, their "internal battery" instantly becomes full once they lay eyes on their crush. You might be asking what does that the story has to do with motivation, well the crush is a metaphor for motivation and the restless night is all the negativity from society. There are always factors of life that can bring negativity and motivation will help you stay positive and on track.
Now there are some forms of motivation that in my honest opinion are bad. The major form of motivation that i feel is bad is over motivation. Have you ever seen someone that is over motivated about a topic that whenever you speak to them they only talk about that topic? I call this "rah rah motivation", this type of motivation is almost like a brainwashing. The people are so motivated that they refuse to change their beliefs no matter what. A prime example of this would be terrorist who believe suicide bombing is God's will.
Hope you enjoyed today's topic. If you need motivation you can just look up some videos on YouTube. You do not have to watch motivational speaker, you can watch people like The Rock or Jim Carey. We look at celebrities and put them on pedestal, they are normal people like us. They have overcome many difficult situations and you can learn from them. Hey The Rock has an alarm clock that doubles as a motivational app.
"If you plan to fail, you are planning to fail" - Benjamin Franklin. This is a powerful quote which is the basis for today's discussion on goal setting. When most people hear the words goals they tend to associate it to dreams and aspirations. Goals and dreams are not the same at all. A dream is something that you wish for, whereas a goal is written down and has an action plan.
Through my journey in network marketing I always heard about the importance of having a "goal statement". The "goal statement" was a paragraph on where we saw ourselves in a time span of three to five years. You would first write in detail how great everything had turned out and after that you would then describe what made that possible. In my personal opinion, I do not believe that this type of goal setting is fully effective. I prefer having my action plan set up like a chart that has two columns, one labeled 'Goal' and the other column labeled 'Actions to achieve goal'. By doing an action plan in this manner I can pin point what tasks directly affect my progression towards my goal. This in turn makes sure that I am doing the "right" things to achieve my goal (see April 3, 2016's post for "right" things). I am not saying that my way of goal setting is the one and only way to set goals. As long as you have an action plan you are already a head in the game we call Life.
Just having a goal and/or action plan doesn't mean that you are done with goal setting. A big part of goal setting is visualizing your goals, because if you can "see" your goals it makes them more attainable. One thing that I learned in network marketing was to have a "Dream Board", which is filled with pictures of things that the maker wants to achieve. I literally hate the word dream, because dream means wishful thinking. Wishful thinking will not get you towards your goals so I am renaming the "Dream Board" to 'Goal Board'. By creating this board you are able to put as they often say a face to a name. Sounds a bit confusing but let me give you an example... " I want to be a millionaire" this is a statement that most people answer when asked what they want in life. This statement is too broad because it does not specify what they truly want from life. The Goal Board would break down this statement to something such as financial freedom, the ability to take multiple vacations per year or even owning a car collection. Other than breaking down goals to smaller attainable parts it also sets up a deadline for completing the goal.
By setting a deadline for your goal, you create a way to measure progression towards a goal. By measuring your progress you are able to determine if your actions are helping you succeed in obtaining your goal. This grants us the ability to adjust our actions in order to maximize our productivity towards goal attainment. Goal deadlines also create a sense of accountability. If you fail to achieve your goal then you are the only person to blame. Think about deadlines at work, your boss holds you accountable if the deadline is not met so why should it be different here.
I now have a rather simple question to ask. After reading this post, do you have dreams or do you have goals? If you answered goals then I have one more question for you. Have you done goal setting? If you answered no then it is not a goal but rather it is a dream. But do not fret and worry because you now should know how to turn that dream into an attainable goal. If you follow your plan you will be successful.
Thanks for reading,
Today I learned a very important lesson in life. The lesson that I learned today was that you must make sure that all your information is secure. I was recently a victim of a cyber attack in which someone tried to withdraw money from one of my accounts. I always hear about people’s information getting stolen and always thought that it couldn’t happen to me. Turns out that I was wrong, very wrong.
Most of people have at least two locks on their doors, one regular lock and a deadbolt lock. If you feel secure with two locks why have only one “lock” for our digital accounts. The one “lock” we have on our digital accounts is a password that most do not remember. The password is fine and dandy but can easily be broken into no matter how “secure” you believe it is. My password for the account that was hacked was 15 characters long and a pass-code that I had never used before. The funny thing is that the email that I use for the account has a 2-step authorization setup. The only problem is that I never enabled it on any account other than my email accounts. If I would have taken five minutes out of time to set it up for 2-step authentication then I would have saved myself a ton of time and frustration.
Before you bring out the pitchforks and try to burn me at the stake, just take a step back and listen for a bit more. If you have a smartphone, then you are halfway to having true security on your accounts. The app that I personally use on my phone for 2-step authentication is Google Authenticator. If for some reason you do not like Google then there are many other options from big developers such as Microsoft. I’m not trying to tell you to go out and purchase a life lock subscription or anything. All I am recommending is that you try out a 2-step authentication method. A password or a pin was sufficient in the past but so were chip-less debit and credit cards. Why wait until cyber security is fully needed, act now and save yourself the trouble. I was lucky because I was able to find out within an hour, but will the next victim be as lucky.