The spotlight effect—best boiled down in the psychology world as overestimating how much others notice you—your flubs, flaws, mistakes, and even accomplishments.
For those of us who grapple with anxiety, this normal human tendency may overtake us—debilitating us at the most critical times.
Breathe. And know you are not alone.
Everyone deals with the feeling of doing something that a group or person may have seen that they weren’t proud of. It could be accidental or intentional, but either way, it caused that momentary inner freeze.
The keyword? Momentary.
We MUST allow this sensation to be fleeting because the reality is, most people won’t give it a second thought. Another fistful may register it, but moments, hours, or days later, dismissed it from their minds until YOU bring it up again.
Yes, there may be a small percentage of people—or that one person in your life who attaches what you did to who you are.
Newsflash—that’s NOT your person.
These people have a mismatched energetic field to yours—and that’s okay. Energy clashes with energy.
When we realize how little people pay attention (not suggesting they don’t care), we can take that searing light off of ourselves. We are not deer frozen in the headlamp of life.
Additionally, the next time you don’t get praised at work or home for a job well-done, remind yourself that people’s filters aren’t set to scan for YOU. Praise yourself instead.
Thinking the spotlight shines on us doesn’t make us “narcissistic,” “self-centered,” or “egotistical”—not when it causes rumination and anxiety, anyway.
It means we are human, and it’s a gift from within guiding us to take a closer look at why we feel addicted to that pattern of thinking. So the healing work of letting it go can begin.
The first step is always taking accountability for the behavior, but please drop the whip. Trade it in for a hug, and acknowledge yourself for this important realization.
You’ve got this.