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Friday, 18 July 2014



Edited by Karen W., Ben Rubenstein, Jack Herrick, Flickety and 65 others
Even the most courageous people have fears to overcome. Are you afraid of something tangible, like spiders or heights? Maybe you fear failure, change or something else that's more difficult to pin down. No matter what it is that scares you, learn how to acknowledge, confront and take ownership of your fear to keep it from holding you back in life.

Method 1 of 4: Analyze Your Fear
1   Start by acknowledging it. It's easy to ignore or deny our fears, even to ourselves, in a society that stresses the importance of being strong and brave. But courage can't come into play unless you have a fear to face down. By owning your feelings you've taken the first step toward gaining control over the situation.
·         Name your fear. Sometimes fear makes itself known immediately, clearly, and other times its more difficult to name the cause of those anxious feelings lurking in the back of your mind. Let your fear rise to the surface and give it a name.
·         Write it down. Writing down your fear is a way to officially admit that you have a problem you want to overcome. Keeping a journal is a good way to track your progress as you work toward conquering your fear. It can serve as a guide for the next time you've got a problem that needs to be solved. You can overcome fear by facing it every time it comes your way, and, once you decide to make up your mind, your fears will dissolve away.
2   Define its contours. Approaching your fear as something with a beginning and an end can help you see that you have the power to contain it. If you can clearly see the shape of your fear, you'll be able to recognize when its affecting you and handle it more effectively. Answer the following questions to better understand your fear.
·         What is the history of your fear? Did it begin with a negative experience? Is it related to factors that affected your childhood environment? For how long have you been affected by this fear?
·         What triggers your fear? Is it something obvious, like the sight of a snake on a trail? Maybe passing your career counselor's office door sends your mind into a downward spiral when you walk down the corridor in your high school. Figure out everything that triggers your fear so you can determine how far it stretches.
·         How does your fear affect you? Does it cause you to stay in bed instead of getting up and going to a class you're afraid of failing? Do you avoid visiting your family in another state because you don't want to get on a plane? Figure out exactly what power your fear has over your mind and behavior.
·         Is the source of your fear actually dangerous? Fear can be a healthy emotion that protects us from harm by causing us to avoid things that are dangerous. Determine whether you have a good reason to be afraid or if your fear is misplaced and inhibiting. For example, when you are afraid to ride that totally extreme roller coaster in the theme park even though all your friends are doing it, your fear may be inhibiting you. If you are healthy and in the correct age range, you can freely ride a coaster without worrying about getting hurt.
3   Imagine the outcome you desire. Now that you completely understand your fear, think about what exactly you want to change. You already have your big goal set - you want to overcome your fear - but it's important to set smaller concrete goals to help you get there. For example:
·         If your fear is commitment, your first concrete goal may be to date someone for longer than a month.
·         If your fear is heights, you may want to be able to go on a hiking trip with the outdoor club at your school.
·         If your fear is going away to college, you could start by setting a goal to apply to three schools.
·         If your fear is spiders, you might want to be able to handle seeing a spider in your bathroom next time that situation arises.

Method 2 of 4: Take Control of Your Fear
1   Let yourself be afraid sometimes. There's no way to completely eliminate fear from your life. It's as valid an emotion as joy or sadness. Fear builds character and teaches us how to act with courage.
·         Don't be hard on yourself if you have a lot of fears. Fear is a natural response to situations that are out of our control, and feeling it just means you're human.
·         Don't push yourself too far. If you are extremely afraid of something that you can avoid frequently encountering, like tarantulas, you may not need to force yourself to overcome that fear. It's important to work on overcome fears that limit your life, but don't stress yourself out about those that have no real effect on you.
2   Celebrate your victories. Don't wait until your fear has been completely overcome to give yourself a pat on the back for your effort. Celebrate each milestone, whether you told a story to a group of people at a party, saw a spider and realized you didn't want to run away, or took a trip to a different city by yourself for the first time. When you see how good it feels to gain an edge on your fear, you'll be ready to face the next one head-on.
·         Consider seeing a counselor if your fears seem to be taking over. A trained specialist can help you figure out the source of your fears and create new ways of coping.
·         Never do anything too dangerous, like touching a venomous rattlesnake without proper training. Be sure to exercise safety as you confront your fears.

  1. Communicate With Body Language Step 8.jpg
1  Learn how to enroll and engage your audience. If you haven't yet taken a professional development course on public speaking, consider finding a public speaking training course appropriate for your needs. Learning the art of public speaking can enhance your results in a boardroom, in a sales presentation, and even accelerate your climb up the corporate ladder. It is a must-skill for any executive and/or business owner.

2   Recognize that people can't see your nervousness. When you're walking out onto the stage toward the podium, no one knows you're nervous. Your stomach could be in knots and you feel like you're going to be sick, but you really aren't showing nervous behavior. Sometimes, with public speaking, you think that people may notice you're nervous. This makes you even more nervous. There are only a few subtle cues that show a person is nervous and they're so small, that the ordinary person wouldn't put more than 1 second into them. Don't worry so much. People don't see that extreme nervous beast inside you.
·         Bluff. Stand tall, with shoulders back and chest out. Smile. Even though you don’t feel happy or confident, do it anyway. You will look confident and your body will fool your brain into thinking it is confident.

                        3   Do not overthink the audience's reactions. When you are on stage or speaking in public, calm your mind. Remember that even if you see people looking at you like they think you are weird, ignore it. What they think doesn't matter. If there really is something that you know you are doing wrong, fix it as quick as possible.
·         Yawning, bored expressions and similar negative facial expressions will always appear in an audience. Chances are some of those people will be bored whatever the occasion; some of those people are difficult to please; some of those people are tired; some of those people are distracted. None of these reasons reflect on you.


·         Remember, you don't look as nervous as you feel.
·         If you think the people you're talking to will judge you too much, think that they're not themselves. Think that they're your siblings or friends. People who respect you and won't judge you if you make a mistake.
·         Remember, even the top professionals learn something new every single time they go out!
·         Only you know what you are supposed to say or do so it's okay to change things during the presentation. (It's okay not to be word-for-word as your wrote it.)
·         Remember that when you are asked to speak, if you are coming from a place of service, you can't go wrong. Remember, it's not about you. It's about them - your audience. You are not the star, they are.
·         Tell yourself, "One is admired when looked upon by others."
·         If you go to school, volunteer to read the text when the class is reading textbooks.
·         Try low lighting. Prepare a PowerPoint presentation. Display it on the projector, and turn off the lights in the room. By doing this, you will have an enormous advantage because nobody will be looking at you and the projector will draw all of the attention from you. This will give you a sense of relief like you wouldn't believe, making your presentation completely stress free. This method does not cure the fear of public speaking but it does help you avoid the anxiety throughout the speech.
·         Smile and try to make some jokes to cover your nervousness. The audience will laugh (but in a good way, of course!) and think that you're really funny. Don't try to be humorous in serious situations such a funeral or an important meeting though, or you might get into big trouble!


·         Don't give a wrong or uninformed answer. Defer to a later time and ask "is it okay if I get back to you on that on the break. I want to make sure I cover the subject well, and get you the right answer".
·         If you don't know the answer to a question, ask the audience if anyone knows the answer to the question (you don't have to admit you don't know just ask the audience).
·         Avoid death by PowerPoint; overuse of slides during a talk will put your audience to sleep.
·         Avoid standing behind podiums, tables or any physical barrier between you and your audience.
·         Don't take anything personally.

Some more hints

1. Take time out

2. What's the worst that can happen?

3. Expose yourself to the fear

4. Welcome the worst

5. Get real

6. Don't expect perfection

7. Visualise

8. Talk about it

9. Go back to basics

10. Reward yourself

What Do You Think?

* End the speech as soon as possible
* Avoid any pauses or interruptions during the speech
* Avoid contact with the audience
* Hide the fact that they are afraid

Don't Be the Unspeaker!


Ignoring the Audience

Fighting to Hide Your Fear


Fear of Public Speaking:
Fear of public speaking is the most common of all phobias. It's a form of performance anxiety in which a person becomes very concerned that he or she will look visibly anxious, maybe even have a panic attack while speaking.
Over time, people try to protect themselves by either avoiding public speaking or by struggling against speech anxiety.
In this way, people get Tricked into making the fear of public speaking more chronic and disruptive.
Some people do this with avoidance. They choose college coursework in such a way as to avoid public speaking, rather than taking the classes they want.

How to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

Five Parts:

638. Gain Confidence

Three Parts:
Feeling down on yourself? Your sense of confidence can greatly influence how you feel about your day, your job, or your life in general. Often, improving the quality of your life is as simple as creating a more positive sense of self. See Step 1 below to get started.

Part 1 of 3: Taking Care of Yourself
1 List your strengths. This is a simple task that will help you get into a self-positive mindset, which is essential to maintaining confidence. Yes, you have flaws — everybody does — but often, a lack of confidence is the result of a lack of self-esteem. Listing the positives in your life can help you get past the minor negatives. Here's what to write:
·         List your talents or skills.
It doesn't matter if somebody else seems to be better at them than you, or if they seem like common skills. The only important thing is to acknowledge the part of yourself that whispers, “Yes, I do have that talent.” Think of everything from athletic, creative, and workplace talents to less obvious things like the ability to drive a car or ride a bicycle. Everything counts.
·         List your best personality traits
(whether or not you think anyone else would see them the same way). Maybe you are unusually sensitive, imaginative, or kind. Maybe you work hard every day and can handle a lot of punishment without complaint. Maybe you just know when to talk and when to keep quiet. Find anything about your personality that you can take pride in, and write it down.
·         Use prompts. If you are having trouble thinking of anything to write, try these triggers:
Consider what you thought you were good at when you were a young child, and write down anything you suspect you are still good at today, whether you can prove it to yourself or not. For instance, maybe you loved exploring your backyard, and now you're good at devising plans or finding lost objects.
·         Use an “either-or” structure to break traits and skills down into categories and then go from there. For example, ask yourself, “Am I more of a forgiving person, or a disciplined, stern person?” Or, “Am I more of an artistic and creative person, or an analytical and logical person?” Try to phrase each question so that there is no clear negative, and write down each answer as one of your positive qualities. If you can't decide which one matches you best, count yourself lucky and write down both.
·         Keep your list somewhere safe. Put it in a drawer or envelope, or enter it into a mobile device you carry around every day. Wherever it goes, it should be safe from prying eyes but easy for you to access when you need a boost.
2  Maintain your focus. Knowing that you have positive traits and qualities is a good thing, but without emphasizing and focusing on them every day, you will soon slip back into the habit of self-doubt and self-criticism.
·         Once a day, whenever you have a little bit of time to yourself, take a few minutes to review your good side and remind yourself that it is still there. You can read over your list, think through the high points of your day, meditate, or even speak aloud to yourself.
·         Keep at it. It might seem silly, but the simple act of forcing yourself to consider your positive qualities every day will help keep them firmly in your mind and increase your confidence. Before you know it, you will be comfortable with who you are and unafraid of the opinions of others, which is one of the chief qualities of a truly confident person.
3   Take care of yourself. Often when a person lacks confidence, the attitude toward self-maintenance boils down to “Who really cares?” The answer is: you care. Letting yourself slide on things like hygiene, health, and time management is a sure way to make your lack of self-confidence even worse, as your ideal self becomes more and more removed from your reality. By taking better care of yourself, you will be breaking the cycle and giving yourself a major confidence boost.
·         Manage your sleep schedule. A regular sleep schedule can be difficult to maintain, especially during your high school and college years. But do the best you can to be in bed at the same time every night, and up at the same time every morning. We build our waking lives around the time we spend sleeping, so the first step to organizing your day is making sure you are able to get up at the same time each morning to follow your schedule. Aim to be up at least an hour before you have to leave your home for work or school.
·         Be meticulous with hygiene. With a regular block of time each morning, it is easy to keep up with daily hygiene. By the time you are ready to step out the front door, you should be feeling more confident than usual. Keep up the routine every day to maintain that confidence.
·         Start the day with a shower to help you wake up and feel fresh. If you need to shave or wash your face, do so while you are in the shower to save time and hassle.
·         Make time for breakfast. After your shower is the best time to eat breakfast, since you can do so while partly dressed and avoid getting food on your work or school clothes.
·         Return to the bathroom to brush your teeth and floss. Apply deodorant, makeup, cologne, or any other topical product you like to wear.
·         Head to your bedroom and finish getting dressed. Wear clean clothes each day, and fold or hang your laundry to prevent wrinkles.
·         Take care of your health. Very few people are doing all they can do to stay in top physical shape. There is an entire galaxy of advice, some of it conflicting, on the best way or ways to achieve peak health, but for starters, keep these simple principles in mind:
·         Eat a bit less overall, but proportionally more whole grains and vegetables than you are used to.
·         When you are thirsty, sip water instead of other drinks.
·         Exercise every day. Both aerobic exercise and resistance training are important. If needed, you can do both kinds of exercise in your bedroom with no extra equipment by running in place or doing jumping jacks, and doing body weight resistance exercises such as crunches and push-ups.
·         Go outside for a little while every day. Even on cloudy days, the solar energy hitting your skin is beneficial to your mood and overall health.
Part 2 of 3: Honing Your Social Skills
1   Control your body language. The words we say are only a sliver of the way we actually speak to one another — the vast majority of our “talking” is actually done through things like tone of voice, facial expression, and body language. People instinctively read and interpret your non-verbal cues at all times. Learn to project confidence with yours by being conscious of your body and controlling it carefully. You might be surprised to find that forcing your body, face, and voice to appear confident will genuinely increase your actual self-confidence.
·         When you walk, hold your head high and move your shoulders back. Keep your arms loose and your back straight. Don't move quickly or nervously. Take your time and feel confident in your stride, and that confidence will show.
·         Any time you catch someone's eye, smile at them. It is difficult to fake a genuine smile, and even more difficult to hide one. A genuine-looking smile starts with the eyes: if you pretend you are squinting your eyes from the bottom up, your face will naturally crease into a warm and friendly smile. Be sure to let your teeth show when you smile.
·         Speak loudly and clearly. “Loudly” doesn't mean you should yell; rather, it means you should not limit or inhibit your natural volume. To maximize the clarity of your words, speak deliberately and do not rush.
·         When you are standing or sitting, keep your body relaxed and loose. Do not tense your shoulders or cross your arms or legs. Maintain good posture: nothing says confidence like a straight back and an unbowed head.
·         Don't shy away from eye contact. Eye contact should be maintained for at least a brief second before looking away. Someone who glances away as soon as another person looks at them appears shy and ashamed, but someone who is able to meet another's gaze and acknowledge it comes off as self-assured and comfortable in his or her own skin. Remember to smile whenever you make eye contact.
2   Improve your conversational skills. As with physical health, pretty much everybody has room for improvement in this area. Great conversations hinge on two basic things: knowing what to say, and knowing when to listen. Both of these are skills that you can become better at with practice.
·         Cultivate your listening skills. Many people forget that a conversation is as much about listening as it is about speaking. People love talking to someone who listens a lot, and lets the focus of the conversation stay on the speaker. The next time someone tells you about their day or weekend, try listening to the whole story and asking short questions about it when you have space. Maintain plenty of eye contact and try to sound enthusiastic. You might be very surprised at how well the other person responds. This is called “active listening,” and it is a powerful tool to make new friends and strengthen current friendships.
·         Learn to talk in a way that invites the other person to talk. This sounds odd on the surface, but it is actually a very easy and effective way to promote good conversation. When you start a conversation, lead off with a question, such as “Have you ever watched such-and-such a movie” or “Do you ever go camping?” If the other person responds with a “no,” quickly finish up your own thought and try again. (For example, say “Oh, it's a great movie. You should see it sometime.”) Otherwise, follow up with a second question: “What did you think of the movie?” or, “Where do you like to go camping?” Provide a topic, and then let them talk about it first.
·         Develop well thought out opinions. It's no fun to talk with someone about, say, a book if all that person will say is “Yes, I thought it was good” or “No, I didn't like it.” A truly good conversation is predicated upon the ability of both parties to go into detail about the subject and connect it to other subjects that move the discussion along. Someone with flat, thoughtless opinions may even come off as rude and standoffish. When you speak your mind on something, be ready to back it up. Make things up on the fly if you have to, just have something to say beyond your overall assessment of the topic.
·         Keep up with current events. Glance at an online news service or skim a paper every day or two, at the very least. People love to discuss things that are happening right now. If you know what they're talking about, you can join in.
3   Take risks. One of the hallmarks of a confident person is that he or she is willing to take a gamble on a new situation or experience, and work out the details as they come up. This doesn't mean you have to become a thrill-seeker, but it does mean that you should let any positive impulses you have guide your actions and interactions. Remember, not everything you try will be worth doing a second time, and not everyone you meet will like you, but you won't ever know unless you put yourself in those situations.
·         If you have an impulse to go to a dance, party, or other social function, or even if you just think it might be kind of fun, don't hesitate — go for it. Drag a friend along if you can. If you feel like speaking to someone you've never met before or rarely spoken to in the past, just dive in and do it. The worst that could possibly happen is that you will not enjoy the experience, in which case you can excuse yourself and it will be over. You never know what opportunities to get to know people you might miss by giving in to your self-doubt and avoiding social situations.
·         Taking a chance can also mean removing yourself from situations that stifle your ability to be confident. Friends who nag you with constant doubts should be seen less. Bullies and others who belittle you are more difficult to manage, but try to keep your thoughts on your strengths and your eyes on what's next, rather than what's happening right now.
·         If you feel trapped in your environment, it might be time to take an even more drastic measure and go somewhere nobody knows you. Sometimes, all you need to build your confidence is a chance to show off who you are becoming to someone who won't judge you based on who you used to be. Try visiting a social or volunteer function, such as a dance or community garden day, on the other side of town or in the next town over.

Part 3 of 3: Advice for Handling Difficult Situations
1   Handling rejection: Romantic rejection stings, but for most of us, it is an unavoidable fact of life. Learn to handle it with grace and your fear of it will wither up and disappear.
·         Accept that rejection will happen. Everyone gets rejected at some point in his or her life. The fact that the vast majority of us pick up and get on with our lives afterward is a good indicator that it is a manageable eventuality, and nothing to be afraid of in and of itself.
·         Keep your words and your emotions as separate as possible. Your emotions will naturally run high when you are rejected, but there is no need to express anything more than a bit of disappointment. It won't change anything except to make the other person more upset. Go home and write down how you feel later.
·         Learn to be graceful in rejection. Smile if you can; nod and say that you understand. Joke around a bit if you prefer: “All right, but you're missing out” is an acceptable response to rejection as long as it is said jovially and not vindictively. Most importantly of all, accept when rejection happens. You should never ask more than twice. If the object of your affection says no both times, respect their decision and speak respectfully to them. You will come off as a confident, self-assured person who does not rely on the affection of others to boost his or her self-image.
·         Get your crush out of the way. At least once in a lifetime, nearly everybody makes the youthful mistake of sitting on his or her feelings for someone else until they become too overwhelming to bear, and then awkwardly asking that person to date him or her. If you have such feelings you have not expressed, now is the time to express them. You will almost invariably get rejected, but it is a necessary step. Remember, sitting around and not doing anything about your crush for the next ten years won't change anything, either, so you might as well save yourself the grief and find out where the chips will fall as soon as possible. No other rejection will be as painful as this first one; once it is done, your life will get easier.
·         Try, try again. Once you have recovered from your attachment to your last major crush, play the field. Ask out anyone who seems attractive in some way, whether or not you feel much of a spark around them. Suggest coffee or lunch – anything casual that does not require spending time around each other in silence. It is useful to ask out people you are not attached to for two reasons: first, it will give you experience with rejection in a relatively safe way. Since you haven't invested your emotions in the people who reject you, the rejections will sting a lot less and you will quickly learn not to fear them. Second, you might be pleasantly surprised by a “yes,” and get to know someone you might otherwise never have noticed.
2   Handling bullying: Do not accept bullying as a part of your life. Bullying is wrong and you have a right to live free of it, even if it takes talking to the boss of the boss or the principal of your school to change your situation. Rely on your parents and be persistent.
·         Sometimes, bullies can be won over or pushed back by a display of confidence, but if that doesn't work, you'll just have to tough out your time around them and seek assistance from authority figures when you can.
3   Handling a job interview: Confidence is king in the world of job interviews. Employers are constantly looking for someone who exudes a “can-do” aura that will naturally encourage those around them. However, because job interviews are so important, even otherwise confident people sometimes choke during them. Here are a few tips for maintaining your confidence throughout the interview.
·         Ride your nerves like a wave.
It's natural to have the jitters before a job interview. Instead of trying to suppress them, channel them into excitement. Tap your foot and nod your head instead of fidgeting with your hands. Take big, kinetic breaths. Laugh or yell out loud (assuming you aren't in the office waiting for your interview, of course). Walk quickly and boldly into the office, and smile as much as you want to. Let your nervousness serve you rather than inhibit you.
·         Maximize your body language.
Keep your shoulders thrown back and your arms wide and relaxed. Emote with your hands while you speak – don't let them fidget. Make more eye contact than you normally would. Speak clearly and loudly, and let your voice be animated. Employers are looking for excitement and enthusiasm for the position, not perfect answers to every question and a subservient demeanor.
·         Take advantage of question time.
When the interviewer asks if you have any other questions, he or she is giving you an opportunity to show your people skills and confidence. If wages, hours, and shift rotations haven't been covered, now is the time to be bold and ask about them. Try asking about the interviewer's typical experience at the job: how are the customers? Is there one task that is required more often than the others? How many hours per week do most employees get? You will not hurt your chances of getting hired by showing an interest in the job, so be as forward as you like.
·         Follow through.
Even if you are told that you will receive a call in X days, call back a few days before then and ask about the status of your application. If you don't hear from the job by the date the interviewer told you, call again and ask if a hiring decision has been made. If you are not picked for the job, be polite and move on to the next prospect. Don't dwell on what could have been. Be confident that you will get a job you want in due time.
4   Handling a public speech: 
There have been entire books written on the subject of preparing and delivering an effective speech, but as with most human interaction, one of the key elements of successful public speaking is confidence. Use these tips to keep your confidence as you step up to the podium or head of the classroom to deliver your speech.
·         Think about how you act when others give speeches.
Do you hang on every word and ruthlessly criticize every facet of the speaker's performance in your mind? No? Then rest assured that most other people don't, either. There is no reason to fear an audience if you have something to say and you simply stand up and say it. The only time speakers normally get a bad crowd reaction is when they lose track of what they were saying, and then draw extra attention to that fact by becoming visibly upset.
·         Make good notes.
Reading a prepared speech from a sheet of paper verbatim is tantamount to death by awkwardness for all but the most accomplished public speakers. Instead, use a crib sheet with an outline of your speech on it, or a small stack of notecards with an important point on each card. (Be sure to keep your cards in order.) The act of making the notes will also help you to more easily remember the way you want your speech to flow.
·         Ride the wave.
As with an interview, take the nervousness you feel when you step up to speak and channel it into hand movements, vocal projection, and smiling. By converting your stress into extra confidence, you will become a more captivating speaker and be able to recover from minor mistakes quickly and without embarrassing yourself.
5   Handling a new social environment: 
It can be very difficult to maintain confidence for some people when entering a completely new setting, such as a new high school or large workplace. Here is some advice to help you stay bold and make the kind of impression you want to make on the people around you.
·         Use your conversational skills.
The thought that everyone else knows the ropes except for you can be intimidating, but instead of worrying about it, use that fact as a starting point for active listening and question-driven conversation. When your new coworker tells you she's very fast at something, sound impressed and ask her to show you how to do it just as quickly. When you speak to a new classmate, acknowledge you are new to the school and ask him his opinion of the social scene. By letting other people feel like authorities on subjects you are interested in, you will quickly make a good impression on them.
·         Be exceptionally outgoing.
Smile and introduce yourself to everyone you meet. Go out of your way to be affable and enthusiastic right off the bat, and that is the reputation that will stick with you for the rest of your time there. It may seem difficult, but remember that nobody has formed much of an opinion of you yet, and now is the best chance you will ever have to inform the opinions they will soon have.
·         Everybody had something beautiful about them. It could simply be your eyes, hair or any other physical feature. Focus on the things you love about your self and also the inner things you love about your self and you can slowly start to build your confidence.
·         Fishing for flattering opinions is a sign of low self-confidence. Remember to focus on respecting yourself first. The opinions of others will follow in time.
·         Don't pay attention to people who continue to put you down. The best thing to do is to ignore them.
·         Try something new and you may surprise yourself with how much you enjoy it. For instance, playing an instrument, singing, or composing can help your confidence and intellectual development.

·         Body language is all-important, but there is no need to study it in meticulous detail. Embrace a few basic concepts, and your burgeoning confidence will do the rest of the work for you.