Inquiry :: Center of Attention

 

Another residual belief – not completely aligned with my conscious view, yet apparently still there somewhere…

I shouldn’t be the center of attention.

  1. Yes (I can find that in me, although I don’t consciously believe it.)
  2. No (Cannot know that is true. Also, cannot know what is best for my and other’s paths.)
  3. What happens when I believe that thought?

    I resist being the center of attention, in many ways.

    I organize my life so I avoid being the center of attention. I avoid situations where I may be center of attention. I sometimes don’t speak up even when it seems appropriate to do so, and I want to speak up. I resent people for placing me at the center of attention, especially in larger groups.

    When I am the center of attention, I become very self-conscious and tend to lose some of my clarity and comfort. I act differently than I do individually with people, or with smaller groups I am comfortable with. I try to pass on the attention to someone else sooner rather than later, even if I do have something to contribute to the group.

    When I have something to contribute and hold back from sharing, there is a sense of frustration and even inauthenticity. I have something to share, I want to share it, the group may benefit from it, and I hold back from sharing because I don’t want to be the center of attention.

    What do I get from holding onto that belief?

    I get to avoid attention. To hold back. To be in the background. To avoid embarrassing myself. To avoid that particular form of responsibility, from being center of attention.

    I get to feel superior, judging those who are the center of attention from my safe place in the audience.

    What is the worst that can happen if I don’t have that belief?

    I may find myself at the center of attention in many different situations, and embarrass myself in many different ways. I may not have the sufficient knowledge or skills to impress people. I may stumble physically or in words. I may do or say something foolish. I may act so people’s impressions of me goes downhill. I may not be liked, or even actively disliked.

  4. Who or what would I be without that belief?

    I would be free to be the center of attention or not. Free to move fluidly between those two according to the situation, and what seems appropriate in the present. I would even enjoy being the center of attention, because it is a difference from how I have lived my life in the past.

  5. (a) I should be the center of attention.

    Yes, that is as true as the original statement. I should be the center of attention, because I sometimes have something I want to share, and it may also benefit others. I should be the center of attention, because I sometimes am – and I can be OK with that. And I should be the center of my own attention, especially in terms of exploring and inquiring into stressful beliefs. That too benefits both me and possibly others.

    (b) My thoughts should be the center of attention.

    Yes, when I notice stressful thoughts I can take them to inquiry.

    (c) My thoughts should not be the center of attention.

    Yes, that is true as well. They come and go as clouds. They are innocent questions about the world. So they are not really that important. They pale in comparison with clear, immediate experience and knowing of the present, the nature of mind revealed when beliefs fall away.

    (d) Others should not be the center of attention.

    That is true as well. When I am the center of attention, I don’t need to place my attention on others – on their impressions of me. If I do whatever I am doing for myself, in a way comfortable for me, it is far more enjoyable.

    (e) Others should be the center of attention.

    Yes, because they sometimes are for me when I am the center of attention. And that is OK as well.

  6. I look forward to being the center of attention.

    Yes, because I can then see if there are any (other) residual beliefs around it. Any further stressful beliefs, which I can then inquire into.

If I am the center of attention, I need to impress people.

  1. Yes (Seems true.)
  2. No (Cannot know it is absolutely true. Also don’t know what is best of my and others path.)
  3. Always looking for feedback and hints about how others perceive me. Always looking for ways to impress people. I know I can’t control others impressions of me and stories about me, but I try anyway.

    There is quite a lot of attention and energy going into this, taking attention and energy away from what I am doing, and how I can do it in a way that is meaningful, rewarding, comfortable and enjoyable for myself.

    What do I get from holding onto that belief?

    I get to be distracted while being the center of attention. I get a way to explain away any bumbling from my side. I get to perform less well than I do in a situation where that belief does not come up.

    What is the worst that can happen if I don’t have that belief?

    I will not try to impress people, and may do something stupid. I may act so that people create unfavorable stories about me.

  4. Who or what would I be without that belief?

    I would be myself when I am the center of attention, free from trying to live up to anyone’s stories about me and free from trying to manipulate others stories about me. I would be clear, comfortable, fluid. I may enjoy being the center of attention for a while, since I may have something to share, it is a role that goes around to many individuals so it is interesting for me to try it out as well, and it is different from how I have often lived in the past.

  5. (a) If I am the center of attention, I don’t need to impress people.

    That is as or more true. I do it for myself, not others. And I cannot control others impressions of me anyway. They create their own stories, no matter what, and these stories are likely to be something else than what I expect.

    (b) If I am the center of attention, I need to impress myself.

    Yes, also true. I can do it in a way that is comfortable for myself, and that would certainly impress me.

    (c) …

  6. I look forward to being the center of attention and needing to impress people.

    Yes, because that shows a stressful belief that I can take to inquiry, and explore what is really true for me around that.

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