THE SPOTLIGHT EFFECT

Allow me to take you through a mind-liberating experience. As you read through these words, you’ll get to know about a nugget of information that changed my life. I bumped into this information very randomly a few years ago. The same same way we normally bump into the most random information ever, on midnight strolls on YouTube. When I did, I wished I could go back in time to steal my teenage self for a quick chat. In that chat, I would let her know this secret so that she could at least attempt to save us from all the embarrassing social anxiety we experienced in our teenage years. Luckily for you, this nugget will serve some good. Who knows, it might serve so much good that you decide to bless my bank account with extra zeros.

So, let’s get into it. This nugget is called the spotlight effect. Or as I like to call it a quick hack to confidence. Think back to whenever you are in public and in the company of strangers. For instance, walking through a crowded shopping complex. We normally feel as though so many eyes are watching our every move. Keyword – ‘feel’. Did you know that we overestimate how much other people notice us and watch us? The feeling that we are in the spotlight is our natural brain reaction to interactions with other people. This is because we live in our minds or worlds of our own creation. In these worlds, we are the centre of attention. So, when we do eventually go out in the world, we carry the same view with us – which is untrue. Most people are not paying attention to us, or about how we look or what we are doing. Infact, they are busy worrying about themselves. They are in a spotlight effect of their own creation where they are wondering if we are watching them and how we are perceiving them. Studies have proven that less than 10% of people notice us and even a smaller percentage remember us.

Ndarogu Quarry, Kenya


This boils down to a freeing fact; nobody is watching us and those that are watching probably do not really care that much to critic our every move.

Everyone else is a free-floating molecule in this wild world. This fact is supernaturally freeing. We can be comfortable being ourselves, in our own skins and we need not worry about who is watching. That is true confidence. They say dance like no one is watching, how about we live like no one is watching, because actually no one is.

 

Muthei Muni

 Batian Group (11-14 year old) Facilitator

Comments (2)

Words of wisdom right here. Great insights

Awesome piece very liberating

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