"Be like the stars that are not afraid to shine"
Some people like to be looked at, to be admired, observed, and gossiped about.
On the other hand, there will be those who will not enjoy bathing in the limelight in the same way, some may even try their best to hide themselves away from sight.
To let one's presence shine or not to shine—that is simply a choice. However, when one makes those choices out of fear and negativities, then it will be a Suffering experience, thus these negative states of the mind will have to be addressed if one wishes for greater happiness.
This article will explore the suffering state of mind in relation to the fear of attention.
Attention In Depth
Some people may make the choice to draw themselves away from the crowd out of wisdom, but there will be those who will be compelled by their fears and negativities to make that choice.
Realize that there is a difference of making a choice out of wisdom and making one out of fear.
The former is a choice made by a state of clarity / happiness and the latter is a choice made by the state of confusion / suffering. One can never be truly happy when one make choices in darkness, so that is why it is important to transform the negative states of the mind.
And the first step will always be to understand why it is there.
Why are the fears there?
What's so bad about being the center of attention?
Often when we have a fear of attention, the occurring theme will always revolve around Self-Judgement— in particular, it will be about the fear of being rejected.
For instance, the fear of attention can be simply translated as—
"the fear of being seen for who we really are.”
Thus the fear is there because there is a deeply rooted belief that we might get rejected, or be punished, if we were to reveal our true Selves to the world.
At the consciousness level, we are basically labeling ourselves as some sort of a criminal! There is no happiness when we limit and imprison ourselves in this way!
The other reason why one may dislike attention is because of our negativity towards people in general.
You can read the Catalyst - Loneliness to understand it further.
Importance Of Addressing Attention
To address the Fear of Attention, we need to first have the desire to.
So, here we will look at the ways to naturally develop the desire to by understanding how the suffering states of the mind can impact our lives. We will also clear some blockages and confusions that may arise on the journey of transforming the mind.
The fear of attention can make us suppress our presence or downplay our character. Whilst these actions can be seen humble in some minds, cultures / religions etc the fears need to be addressed if one wishes to expand The Self and explore The Self even deeper. We can never experience true happiness if we are unable to express our beings to the fullest extent with a peaceful mind that is without fear.
Do you usually downplay yourself in fear of standing out?
The fears we carry can thus wash our true colors away, bringing great limitations to our expressivity, in particular our creative potential. The fear of attention perhaps is one of the greatest impediment to a creative artist whether one is a painter / musician / presenter and so forth.
The fear of standing out can also make us hide our unique passions in fear of being criticized by others. It can thus make us avoid doing what we love in fear of being judged by others.
The fear of attention may also be driven by the states of shame and self-judgment. There can also be ideas that one do not deserve to be loved for who they are, or ideas about what Perfection is.
Without addressing these beliefs, the Self can never be truly happy with just being who they are.
Path Of Creator
Attention In Relation To The Path Of Creator
The journey of Self-Transformation is about accepting ourselves and becoming comfortable with who we are. It is about developing the confidence to show honestly to the world who we are even if the audience out there is a judgmental one.
Realize that people are all born with the free will to make choices.
Thus, everyone is endowed with the divine right to like and dislike each other.
Realize that there will always be those people out there that will not like you, and similarly, there will always be those that will like you. The journey of Accepting oneself thus will also involve Accepting others for who they are too.
And through this journey, what one will eventually realize is that at the deeper level, the dislike for judgment from others is simply a reflection of the lack of Self-Acceptance one has for oneself. For if one really could accept oneself, then there would be no need for other people's validation.
As the Seed Cause of all forms of Sufferings come from Negative Ideas, the journey will take us to discover the many Negative Ideas within our consciousness that has created the Fears of attention, which will often revolve around the theme of self-judgment.
At The Ideal Level
The Fear of Attention can be transcribed into the following declaration for the linear mind to understand it a bit clearer.
“It is not ok to stand out”
We can create attachment towards the Negative Idea when we have fears in relation to Self-Judgement—especially in areas of rejection.
On the surface, one may think that most of the work is done by transforming the way in which we view ourselves. But at the deeper level one also has to be aware that the work will also require one to transform the way they see Other Selves. This is because the more we judge others, the more we will fear being judged the same way. Thus the negative attitudes we have towards ourselves will always be sustained by how we judge others and vice versa.
As the Seed Cause of all forms of sufferings comes from the lack of Self-Acceptance, the journey will require one to develop Self-Acceptance both ways—i.e. to Accept The Self for being unique and different at the same time accepting others too for having their own uniqueness and preferences.
And through developing the Knowing of The Self, one will be able to discover different Negative Ideas behind the Negative Ideas, for instance:
"It is not ok to be rejected"
"It is not ok to be laughed at"
"It is not ok to fail"
Discovering the Negative Ideas within will help one to know what one really needs to Accept.
The destination is not about becoming attention-seekers. That is simply a choice; rather, it is about reaching a state of mind where we can be comfortable being ourselves so that we can live honestly and clearly without needing to hide our light.
“It is not ok to be better than others”
Let us use explore an example of a possible Negative Idea that can drive the fears of attention.
For the mind which carries this negative declaration, the person will tend to underplay their character in fear of appearing too bright in front of people. The person may also think that it's wrong for oneself or others to act and appear better than others.
The transition towards the positive declaration begins when one realizes that in judging people who seek limelight we are also creating the fear of being judged in the same way too.
By accepting others when they seek attention or “show off”, it can help one to transform the state of judgment towards others, which can encourage one to accept that it's ok to draw attention too.
After the negative idea is transformed, one will be able to freely choose whether or not to hide themselves or to express their True-Selves for the whole world to see, out of the brightness of wisdom rather than the dark states of the mind.
Develop Experienced Knowledge
Often we can have a habit of not drawing attention to ourselves. When we are used to live in such a way, we can forget to question what is driving such a habit.
To truly know if the habit patterns we have is driven by our fears, we can observe to see if we have any negative reactions whenever we do something that may “attract attention.”
For instance you can speak louder than usual, or you can do incorporate more body language into your life to see how you react.
Doing something different every day will help to greatly accelerate the Self-Knowing.
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
One way to address the fear of attention is to simply practice the Creator’s Meditation in a place where it might draw attention— i.e. at the lounge where your family might be around, in public spaces like parks, or at work, or just outside in your garden.
The more you sit there in an open space, the more the hidden fears will surface—then you can begin to observe the negative physical sensations throughout the body with a Still Mind.
The more you do this and try to pull yourself out of the fear into the state of Stillness, the more you are in fact transforming the fears inside.
Know and Transform The Self!
Try the 10 Day One-Self Catalyst to uncover your deepest Negative Ideas / States of Self-Rejection. The more possibilities of The Self that you can accept the more comfortable you will be when around people.