Thinking about How You’re Thought Of


imagesThinking about how you’re thought of by others is a complete waste of time. This probably has been discussed in countless counseling forums but I have to tackle it here anyway because many folks are still haunted by the thought–how they’re thought of. We sometimes put a CCTV cam in our subconscious, so to speak, aimed at taking detailed shots at what transpires around us when we’re facing people.

And then we watch the recorded footage over and over again in our minds, breaking our hearts, until it demolishes our self esteem altogether.

I often have college students asking me what to do during class reports–specifically how to deal with being too conscious about their audience. Once they step in front and face the class, they imagine how all eyes are on them, gauging their performance. Don’t we also often have that feeling when we’re with other people in public places? We feel like everyone’s interested about what we’d do and how we look.

Sometimes it’s imagined, but sometimes it’s real–some people are too interested about us that they watch us. How do I deal with this?

Simple–mentally I always say, “So what? Who cares?” And it always does the trick. Instantly, I become invincible. No amount of heckling or mental bullying can knock me down. When I face big audiences, I just assume that mindset and at once I’m able to perform naturally, unperturbed. So, do I sometimes also get affected by how I’m thought of? Yeah, kind of, though I’ve been facing big audiences for years since I became a public speaker in churches and in secular jobs.

Second, I trained myself to size up people in the audience instead of letting them size me up. When I stand up on stage or talk to people in private, I turn the limelight on them, so to speak, so that they’re the one in the spotlight, not me. You have to learn to do that. You have to learn how to make them conscious of you rather than you being conscious of them. I learned that by constant practice:

1. Don’t bite the bait–if you always wonder what people are thinking about you, you’d remain their slaves. You’d act or perform according to their standards. You always lose that way. So, practice my two mental freedom formula: So what? and Who cares?

2. Turn the tables on them. Watch them intently (but always in a friendly way), instead of them watching you intently.

Then you stop thinking about how you’re thought of.

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