The Whole World Is Watching
It’s a room filled with people. It’s a conference table. It’s a huge presentation. It’s a chance for the job you were born to do.
Suddenly, everyone is looking at you. You realize you don’t belong.
Any minute you expect blinding lights asking you, “Where were you on the night that you did the most dastardly thing we can make up?”
If you don’t do something fast, you’re going to crash and burn.
What Do You Do When People Are Looking at You?
In situations like that, we want to make our best impression. It’s easy to get self-conscious. We can feel everyone is judging us — so maybe we should too. We look for negatives. We imagine. We misconstrue. We misread social cues. Then we respond in ways that make the negative things actually happen. That’s the crash and burn part.
This sort of crash and burn can happen to anyone, but we’d like to avoid when we can.
Here are some ways to respond when it seems an unfriendly world is staring you down.
- Breathe. Deep long breaths bring oxygen to your brain to help you relax.
- Think. Remember who or what is more important than this.
- See. Picture a fabulous success from your past.
- Move. Reconnect with your senses. Create energy.
- Raise your chin. Lift your view and your opinion of yourself.
- Smile. Give a smile and get one in return.
- Talk. Say something positive.
- Look back. It’s hard to be self-conscious and self-involved when you’re truly interested in someone else.
It’s the “self” in self-conscious that throws us off. We start thinking impossible, imaginary thoughts. The room isn’t thinking about us nearly as much as we are. They don’t notice the details that we’re destroying ourselves for.
It helps a lot if we trust — ourselves and other folks.
What do you do when people are looking at you?
How do you look back?
–ME “Liz” Strauss