How do you respond when you’re competing or being watched/observed?
According to Elaine Aron, one of the statements that someone who experiences high processing sensitivity (a ‘Highly Sensitive Person’) might identify with is:
“When I must compete or be observed while performing a task, I become so nervous or shaky that I do much worse than I would otherwise.”
Does this ring true for you? How do you like being watched?
The Simplest Task Made Tricky
I recently stated a new job. When I first made cups of tea for my colleagues I discovered something quite bizarre. I really struggled.
Simple things like filling the kettle, finding enough mugs, and then actually making the tea. Something I’ve done a million times before, I could feel myself getting nervous even though I wasn’t nervous.
I was experiencing the feeling of being observed.
No one was necessarily watching me but it still felt like I was being observed.
It led me to realise that a lot of those negative thoughts and feelings that we experience when being watched or observed are all in the mind. We can be conscious of how we respond to these kinds of situations.
In this episode of the podcast I explore 7 things that might happen to us when we are under an eye of observation.
- You Become Sensitive to feedback, signals, and the moods of other people
- You Actively React to Increased Adrenaline
- You Feel Watched/Judged/Inspected Even Though You’re Not
- You Alter The Way You Perform the Task
- You Become Rude
- You Try Too Hard
- You Feel Rushed
Another of Aron’s statements that highly sensitive people may relate to is: “I get rattled when I have a lot to do in a short amount of time”.
It’s worth noting that this is not always externally motivated. Be aware of the internal factors that create this.
Ask yourself where the pressure and stress that you are feeling when being observed/watched coming from. Are you genuinely being rushed? Are there really unfair expectations on you? Or is it something that begins and ends in your own mind?
Over to You
Do you identify with the discomfort of being observed? Has it ever stopped you from doing something you really wanted to do?