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The “spotlight effect” in PR and how not to worry about what others think of you

The “spotlight effect” in PR and how not to worry about what others think of you

Do you ever feel like everyone is watching you? Like every move you make, every word you say, every mistake you do is under a magnifying glass? If so, as a public relations professional or business person, you might be suffering from the spotlight effect.

The spotlight effect is a cognitive bias that makes us think that we are more noticed and judged by others than we really are. It’s like we have a spotlight shining on us all the time, highlighting our flaws and failures.

But guess what? The spotlight effect is mostly in our heads. Most people are too busy with their own lives and problems to pay much attention to us. And even if they do notice us, they probably don’t care as much as we think they do.

So how can we overcome the spotlight effect and stop worrying so much about what others think of us? Here are some tips:

1. Remind yourself that you are not the center of attention
Unless you are giving a speech, performing on stage or doing something extraordinary, most people won’t notice you or remember you for long. Focus on the situation, not on yourself. Instead of worrying about how you look or sound, pay attention to what is happening around you and what you can learn from it.
2  Put yourself in other people’s shoes
Imagine how they see you and what they think of you. You might realize that they are more friendly, supportive or indifferent than you expected.
3. Challenge your negative and irrational thoughts
When you catch yourself thinking that everyone is judging you or laughing at you, ask yourself: Is this true? Is this helpful? Is this realistic? Replace your irrational thoughts with more positive and realistic ones.
4. Just enjoy life
The spotlight effect can make us feel anxious, insecure and embarrassed. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By recognizing and overcoming this cognitive bias, we can free ourselves from the imaginary spotlight and enjoy life more.
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