Our family and close relatives are often times one of the strongest factors in shaping who we are and what we become later in life.
You can’t fully understand yourself if you haven’t first looked at the patterns that run through your family. This is true for both genes and environment, both of which interact together from generation to generation.
One of the first key factors that influence our family patterns are learned behaviors. These are the habits and routines that our grandparents taught our parents, and our parents taught us, and we teach our own kids.
Some of these learned patterns can be traced back to past generations that you probably haven’t even met or don’t even know exist. And other learned patterns may be something that was just started from your parent’s generation.
Are you single?
If so, it’s not necessarily the worst thing in the world.
At times it’s often very important to go through a “single phase,” because it gives you an opportunity to focus on different priorities in your life.
For example, you may want to stay single for an extended period of time so that you can focus more on work, family, health, or your own personal goals.
Most importantly, being single gives us a chance to better understand ourselves and become more comfortable with who we are.
If you are always jumping in-and-out of relationships, you can very easily become too dependent on having a partner. You begin to put ALL of your self-worth on the idea of “dating” someone, and that can often lead to an unhealthy life and unhealthy relationships.
Being single teaches you how to be more independent and it teaches you how to enjoy life without always needing someone by your side all of the time. And that can be a very powerful thing.
We don’t often think of it this way, but life is often like one big performance.
Whether it’s delivering a lecture, going on a date, or meeting a new person – we are often called upon to present our “best self” to others. And how we present ourselves can have a tremendous impact on how happy and successful we are in many areas of life.
This is also where “performance anxiety” comes in. We all feel at least a little nervous before giving a presentation to a big class or going on a job interview, because we want to look good to others. This fear is also completely natural – it stems from our common desire to be accepted and liked by others.
In Steal the Show: How to Guarantee a Standing Ovation for All the Performances in Your Life, Michael Port gives a fantastic breakdown of how to become a better performer in both your professional and personal life. He gives you the tools to break through performance anxiety by ultimately teaching you how to become a more skilled and competent public speaker.
Throughout the book, Michael Port integrates his experiences as a trained actor, professional speaker, and marketing consultant into a fantastic guide on how to “steal the show” and nail all your performances in life, no matter what they are – a speech, an interview, a date, a music performance, or anything.
In this article, I’ll share what I’ve found to be his best advice for improving your public speaking and communication skills, from silencing your critics to using the power of “as if” thinking.
I’m not a perfect person.
While I enjoy giving advice on how to overcome social anxiety, I don’t pretend that I’m a “social mastermind” who never makes mistakes or never embarrasses himself.
In fact, I hope that you see my mistakes when I make them. Because I want you to see that I’m not perfect and that I’m just a “normal” person in many ways.
I still worry about people not liking me. I still fear social judgment. And I still get very anxious in many social situations.
My social anxiety still exists. But it also has less power over me than it used to because I’ve spent the last 10 years actively fighting it and learning tools and techniques to help lessen it’s impact over my life.
The fight against social anxiety is a constant struggle even though I’m doing better than ever before…
For the first couple of decades in my life, I really sucked at social interaction and making friends.
One of my earliest memories was all the way back to my first days in preschool when I was about 3 or 4 years old. I remember all of the kids playing together and me playing by myself, feeling completely out-of-place among my peers.
This feeling stuck with me throughout all of my school years from elementary school, up to middle school, up to high school, and up to college.
To start, I was always the one kid who never raised his hand or participated in class. I always sat at the “rejects” table during lunch. And I always dreaded teachers calling on me (not because I wasn’t smart, but because I hated any type of attention).
Of course, it also goes without saying that group projects and presentations were complete torture for me (and all teachers who assign them should be immediately fired…just kidding).
From an academic standpoint, I did really well in school. But from a social standpoint, I was a miserable failure and this ruined most of my early social life.