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  1. #11
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    Re: Overcoming the "spotlight effect"

    It's not really off topic because people who struggle this way can benefit from realising the kind of subconscious activity that can be involved in it. I think you are on the right track with your plan of trying to use good self-talk with it.

  2. #12
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    Re: Overcoming the spotlight effect

    About the "spotlight effect" in the workplace, etc:

    The One Reason You Shouldn't Obsess Over Your Mistakes

    ...If you're someone who sets high standards for yourself, your errors probably feel really difficult to move past. You might play your mistake on an endless internal feedback loop like a cinematographer in the editing room. Or maybe you talk through every facet of it with your significant other, best friend or a colleague over and over until you're making them crazy, too.

    Why exactly are we so, literally, self-centered? In part, it's due to something called anchoring and adjustment. We're anchored in the world by our own experiences, and so we have trouble adjusting far enough away from those experiences to accurately assess how much others are paying attention to us.

    Think of it this way: when the ship is anchored in port, it's difficult to gauge the enormity of the rest of the ocean...

  3. #13
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  4. #14
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    Re: Overcoming the spotlight effect

    Excessive Self-Monitoring Works Against Us
    November 23, 2015
    by Deniz Sidali, M.A.

    One of the ways that most human beings gauge progress in their performance is by self-monitoring themselves. Self-monitoring is an ability to regulate behavior to accommodate social situations. People who closely monitor themselves often behave in a manner that is highly responsive to social cues and their situational context. But, just like anything in life, excessive and unrealistic self-monitoring can be detrimental to one's performance as well as their psychological and physical well-being. And it can promote or maintain social anxiety.

    Self-monitoring practiced in reasonable ways can promote improvement in one's functioning. By reasonable ways, I am referring to the setting of realistic, specific and operationally defined short-term goals that are achievable in a short duration of time. For instance, if I have a fear of rejection in social situations, I may choose to speak to people who are less intimidating (i.e., older or younger than me as opposed to same age, successful peers) because past interactions with these types of individuals were fruitful and enhanced my social skills. I can then gather feedback from these interactions and generalize them in my interactions with people I find to be more intimidating (i.e., same age, successful people).

    People who self-monitor excessively are not usually mindful or present in the moment. So by over-scrutinizing their performance which may or may not be realistic, they may be practicing distorted cognitions and irrational beliefs (i.e., "I am not good enough compared to people my age", "I cannot even put two words together to make sense", "No one finds me interesting", "I am a blabbering idiot", etc.). By repeating these irrational beliefs/statements while you scrutinize your social behavior, you are impeding your performance, evaluating your performance (i.e., social skills) negatively, and globalizing these specific instances towards negative evaluations about yourself as a person (i.e., "I am worthless", etc).

    So, why may people be high self-monitors? Well, we want to be desired, valued highly, liked, and seek approval. As I mentioned, one of the core beliefs perpetuating high self-monitoring is low self-worth. On the one hand, we may seek to be valued. While on the other hand, we rehearse these negative/irrational beliefs or self-statements that we are worthless human beings. This in turn leads to us feeling bad about ourselves in the form of unhealthy anxiety, unhealthy anger, depression, shame, and guilt.

    In REBT, we refer to adjustment of social cues and situational contexts as the practical solution or the A-C connection. In some cases, the practical solution may resolve matters. However, if high self-monitoring is a systemic problem that impairs your social functioning and quality of life, it could lead to psychological problems such as social anxiety and fear of public speaking. So resorting to the practical solution may not be entirely helpful. Whereas, challenging your irrational beliefs, generating rational beliefs to promote cognitive flexibility, practicing positive affirmations, and setting realistic, specific short term goals can be highly effective. Examples of these approaches could include repeating to oneself while in a social situation, "I would prefer to be viewed as entertaining by others, but it doesn't mean I have to be", "I would like to be liked by others, but I can live with it if I am not liked all the time", "If I am not the Belle of the Ball, it's not the end of the world", etc. Sometimes we can try our best to be entertaining and there is no guarantee that we will be valued, liked or accepted. We can do our best while seeking to do better in the future. It is important to recognize when we are performing well and to appreciate those instances.

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