"Be like the star that glows in the night sky"
There are some of us who enjoy bathing in limelight whilst some of us prefer to shun away from it.
This article addresses the suffering state of mind in relation to the fear of attention.
Attention In Depth
Some people may choose to draw away from the crowd out of choice and wisdom, but there will be those who choose to do it from the the state of fear – and this is the area of the consciousness which needs to be addressed if one wishes to live a more fulfilling life.
Realize the difference between 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 choices are made out of fear, so that is why it is important to transform this negative state of mind. And the first step will always be to understand why it is there.
Often when we have a fear of attention, the occurring theme will always be about Self-Judgement – in particular, it will be about the fear of rejection.
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 of the belief that we “might/will” get rejected and be punished if we were to reveal our true Selves to the world. At the consciousness level, we are basically labelling ourselves as some sort of a criminal, staying away from the light and imprisoning our Selves into the darkness!
The other reason why we may dislike attention is because of our negativity towards people in general. You can read the Catalyst - Lonliness to understand it further.
Importance Of Addressing Attention
To address the Fear of Attention we need to first have the desire to address it. 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. Here 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 not able to express our beings to the fullest extent with a peaceful mind without fear.
Do you usually downplay yourself in fear of standing out?
The fear can thus wash our colours away and bring 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.
When we are scared of coming out into the light the Knowing of The Self can also become impeded too.
Path Of Creator
Attention In Relation To The Path Of Creator
The journey of Self-Transformation is about accepting oneself and becoming comfortable with who we are. It is about developing the confidence to show honestly to the world who we are even if there is an audience waiting to criticize in front of us.
People are all born with the free will to make choices. Everyone has the divine right to like and dislike each other. The journey of transforming the mind will take One to realize that the importance is in developing Acceptance towards people's free will, towards Other Selves who may not like you for who you are, to realize at the deeper level that the dislike for judgement from others is simply a reflection of the lack of Self-Acceptance one has for themselves. For if one really could accept oneself, then there would be no need for the validation to come from others.
As the Seed Cause of all forms of Sufferings come from Negative Ideas, the journey will take us to discover many Negative Ideas within our consciousness which has created the Fear of attention which will mainly revolve around the theme of self-judgement.
At The Ideal Level
The Fear of Attention can be transcribed in 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 Negative Ideas we have about ourselves will continually be sustained the more we judge others because this will create the fear of being judged in the same way.
As the Seed Cause of all forms of sufferings comes from the lack of acceptance of The Self, 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 developing accepance towards Other Selves for having their own unique and different opinions towards oneself.
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 etc."
As you release your fear of attention you will find it more natural to be yourself. Perhaps your wardrobe will gain some new colours as the difference between wearing something out of fear and wearing something which resonates with your body and soul will become clearer and clearer to you. The less fears you have, the clearer you will see your desires - The clearer you will be able to see yourself.
The destination is not about becoming attention-seekers, that is simply a choice, but rather to reach a state of mind where we can be comfortable being ourselves and revealing to the whole world honestly and clearly as to who we really are without needing to hide our light - just like the stars glowing in the night sky.
“It is not ok to be better than others”
Let us use example of a possible Negative Idea that can exist behind the fear of attention.
For the mind which carries the 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 it's wrong for oneself or others to act and appear better than the rest of us.
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,” the state of judgement we have towards them can be transformed into encouragements towards ourselves to do the same when we need to do certain things that might draw attention.
For the mind which carries the positive declaration one will be able to freely choose whether or not to hide themselves or to express their character for the whole world to see.
Develop Experienced Knowledge
Often we can have a habit of not drawing attention to ourselves. As a result we may not be aware that it may be a fear that is driving such a habit. To truly know if you have a fear of attention you can observe your reactions to see if you have any negative reactions when you do things which may “attract attention.” For instance you can speak louder than usual, or you can do incorporate more body language into your life to develop the 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 fears will come up – this is then you can begin observe the negative physical sensations throughout the body with a Still Mind. The more you do this and trying to pull yourself out of the fear into the state of Stillness the more you are in fact transforming the fear.
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.