Last year, I read “5 Second Rule”. It talks about how “Spotlight Effects” affects us in our daily lives. Since then I have noticed how much this impacts psychologically as well. Below is my take and research on Spotlight Effect and how to overcome it.
According to a research, there are proven evidences that people overestimate the extent to which their actions and appearance are noted by others. This phenomenon is called “The Spotlight Effect.”
Reason why we will feel embarrassed about our mistakes or goof ups is what psychologist call as “spotlight effect”.
The spotlight effect is the phenomenon in which people tend to believe they are being noticed more than they really are.
This fear of being noticed by others and laughed at makes us feel embarrassed.
In reality people give little importance to our goof ups, since their mind is occupied with some other things which are of importance to them.
What emotions cause SPOTLIGHT EFFECT?
It is believed that the spotlight effect comes from being overly self-conscious as well as not being able to put yourself in the shoes of the other person to realize that their perspective is different from yours.
In particular, people appear to anchor on their own rich phenomenological experience and then adjust–insufficiently–to take into account the perspective of others.
We often give ourselves way more attention then we should hence, most of us stand out in our own minds. Whether in the midst of a personal crisis or an embarrassing mishap, we are usually quite focused on what is happening to us and how it appears to others.
Personal Experience With Spotlight Effect
I once wore my leggings up-side down to my office. Till the time I had no idea I wore my leggings up-side down everything was Hunky Dory. However, the moment I realised my goofup the first thought that came to my mind is people must have thought I am crazy. Oh my god, I ruined my own office image. The reality could be that not everyone has time to notice what I wore. I was just building conclusions in my head.
Ways To Overcome Spotlight Effect
SMILE. You may not feel like it, but just fake it.
STAND TALL. It boosts your confidence.
BREATHE DEEPLY. Inhale for four seconds, then slowly exhale for eight seconds.
STRIKE A POWER POSE. Before a presentation or interview, stand in a bathroom stall with your feet apart and arms reaching up in a V.
SHAKE IT OUT. Tell yourself it’s okay people have more important things to do.
TAKE A CHILL PILL. It’s okay to be imperfect.
BE COMFORTABLE WITH YOURSELF. This must is a long term goal but be comfortable with yourself.
OTHERS OPINION DOESN’T MATTER. Even if someone noticed you at a goofy moment, it’s okay. Their opinion doesn’t matter, they don’t pay your bills.