speaking infront

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Me, Me, Me

Recently I asked a public speaking group I was working with…
“Right now, how many people here are thinking that everyone else is thinking about them even as you just sit in this group?”.
Tentatively 8 people put their hands up. We talked about what was happening for them.
Each one of those eight were thinking that other people were judging them, or noticing when they did things wrong, or how they sat, or what they were doing with their hands. They felt like they were sitting in a constant stream of judgement by others. And of course it was all negative judgments. A lot of the fear of public speaking is based around being overly self-conscious. And we we are nervous we tend to over-think massively
 “They are all thinking about my red face” thinks Simon. (I’ve changed the names)
“They are thinking about me and that I’m overweight” thinks Julie
“I really know that they are just thinking all about my spot on my face and the fact that I pronounced a word wrongly half an hour ago” thinks Sarah
But we simply can’t all be thinking about Simon, Julie and Sarah and the other five people at the same time. The maths doesn’t work.  Something else is going on. Again our brain is doing strange things (see the previous blog entry) .
I’m not sorry to say that everyone else is NOT thinking about you. On the contrary lots of people are just worried about what other people think about THEM.
And that is liberating. If we really got that freedom, we could just live our own live