Our brains often play tricks on us. Exposing different cognitive biases (mental traps) can help us avoid them, make smarter decisions & solve our problems much better.
One of the cognitive biases is the so-called “Spotlight Effect.”
Knowing about it might help you reduce at least some stress around any public speaking and make your performance & delivery of what you are trying to communicate actually better. It can help you SHARE YOUR VOICE more often and with more confidence and freedom.
Even when not speaking in your native language (shout out to all fellow speakers with an accent & sometimes messing up in both languages – native and the other one – at least, that’s my case!).
Since all of us are basically the center character in our own life stories, our brains have the tendency to think that we must be as important and as visible to others, as we are to ourselves.
That might be creating a degree of anxiety and unnecessary additional stress in some people. Especially if you tend to be more introverted and self-conscious and are to do some public speaking.
The good news – other people don’t really pay THAT MUCH attention to us, and if we embarrass ourselves, or show up to a meeting with a coffee stain on our sleeve, they will NOT talk about it every day and every hour for weeks or months! 🙂
They might notice and forget about it the moment you start speaking.
That helps me – as a kind of an introverted individual – speak more freely. I choose to focus on the difference that I want to make, and what you need rather than on myself and how I look or sound.
As, if I embarrass myself by completely mispronouncing some word or basically making up a new one by butchering a word from a different language I speak and making it look and sound like English while hoping it has the same meaning…
or when I get spinach stuck in between my teeth all the way through lunch… Where everyone but me could see it … And me finding out only when I get to the car and look into the mirror…
Well, chances are that you will forget about it soon. And re-focus on your own problems & goals. 🙂
You never know who might need to hear your opinion. Your voice. Your experience. Your perspective. It matters. Don’t let your fears of not being perfect stop you from sharing.
Let’s dare together to get embarrassed, even laughed at, to mispronounce and misspell words, to have weird word order …. to speak even with coffee stains on our sleeves…
because there is something bigger at stake. It’s the positive difference that we can make for others, the lives and businesses that we can help transform for the better – that will be remembered more than our flaws.
What do you think?