Take a deep breath and follow me through this list. It won’t be easy to realize that we all have to work on some skills that are pretty hard to master.
1. Being able to take a compliment
Wait a second, is this really a skill I need to learn. Yes! Most people actually don’t really feel comfortable when getting a compliment. It makes them feel insecure in some way. We have a self—doubt and when somebody gives us a honest compliment we doubt ourselves.
For a long time I actually didn’t know how to react to positive feedback. It felt awkward and I would sometimes not even know what to respond. That situation has to stop and that’s why I figured out a good process to handle it:
• Appreciate the feedback
• Listen to the full feedback
• Wait a second
• Say “Thank You. I really appreciate that. Glad to hear you liked XYZ”
• Now, move on with the conversation and don’t get into any awkward silent moment.
2. Waking up early
Our lives are getting busier every day. We stay up long and we work hard to get to the career opportunity we’re looking for. We all know that getting up in the morning is hard. We all try to squeeze out some extra minutes of sleep just to slowly get up. Actually the morning is the best time to for “Me” time. You don’t have anybody pushing you around, you’re not yet online and can purely focus on your well being.
When I was living close to the yard, I used to get up at 6.30 am to go horse riding and then start my day of work. It was brilliant and a great motivator to kick off a strong day. The time before your breakfast is so valuable once you start getting up. Getting up early is also just practice and routine. Once your body knows the rhythm and your morning schedule you’re good to kick off early.
Here are some tips to get up in the morning:
• Try to make waking up early a nice experience.
• Prepare some nice smoothie the evening before so that you are already looking forward to that treat in the morning.
• Play some nice music to wake you up or start going outside for a couple seconds to get some fresh air.
We all wait for that one reason to stay on the couch. There aren’t too many people that go crazy for the gym. But when it comes to your stress level and productivity there is nothing better than hitting the gym. Get all the negative energy out of your system and find your reason to work out. You need the commitment to stay on top of it and schedule time per week where you can’t get around it.
The time after the workout is most pleasant because your body releases all these great hormones to let you relax and enjoy the workout. I often find that time so relaxing that it keep me going.
4. Public Speaking
Oh well, we all know that feeling of having to present in front of a big group. Lets get it over with. Most people don’t enjoy it. The fear of public speaking is real and hard to face.
You turn read you start mumbling and forget your talking points. It all has happened to the best of us. But being a great public speaker is so important for your career. It gives you the ability to lead and inspire a group of people. A lot of people usually ask me, how I got over the fear and the answer is not that surprising. It unfortunately comes down to practicing. The more you do it, the better it feels.
You can first start off with small presentations about some recent projects you have been working on. This means that you won’t need to remember a lot of points because you’re just talking about something that you’ve done. Also realize that your listeners know how hard it can be to present and nobody will point a finger on you if something doesn’t go as planned. A great tip is also that you can always try to fake it. Believe me, a lot of public speakers can fake their appearance. They will look comfortable but they might not be. When you use a power pose in the beginning to boost your confidence and truly believe that you are going to deliver a great talk, then you are already in such a positive mindset that the talk can’t go wrong. It’s all just in your head because you talk to people all day long. There is no difference to that at all.
5. Switch Off
Switching off can be hard. I just received an out of office email from somebody at work saying “I am on holidays to relax but if it’s urgent email me. We never switch off 100% nowadays”. I sadly feel that this statement says it all. Our generation lacks the skill to just switch off and do nothing. Like literally nothing! When was the last time you did nothing? Not being on Facebook, not having your phone with you, or not watching any tv show after work? It just doesn’t happen anymore.
If we are connected and online for so much time of our day it will make it much harder for us to stay relaxed and bring our stress level down. Even trying to sleep is harder because we just can’t fully switch off.
Start thinking about how you can block out time to do something offline. Go for a walk, cook a meal or have a nice conversation with someone. Life moves on even though you're not online 24/7.