One of the most common challenges we face to happiness in a life where one of the fundamental human needs is to love and be loved and to find our place in society revolve around those times and situations where we feel like outsiders.
Can you relate with any of the following:
- Having people constantly walk away from you when you approach them?
- Feeling like you are 2-feet tall when around people you view as superior to you in some way?
- Constantly becoming nervous around people, not being able to be your "real" self?
- Always feeling like you are "performing" for people rather than being the real you?
- Only attracting people who have problems, while those people you really want to be friends with seem to run away from you
- Your mind races with negative thoughts about how you appear to other people
- You are overcome with trying to figure out what other people think of you?
- It's like you are always under a microscope, where everyone is waiting for you to slip up?
While this list is only a partial overview of the feelings that many people complain about when they feel like outsiders, it is perhaps one of the most common questions we get from those who begin improving their life through Attracting Greatness – The Five Pillars of Greatness.
THE HARD TRUTH
One technique I've found useful when you fall into a state of overwhelm about how you appear to others is to take the attention off of yourself.
Think about this…when you put yourself into a situation where you feel everyone is looking at you, watching your every move, noticing the sweat on your top lip, watching every finite move you make – what you are REALLY doing is focusing too much on yourself.
I bet that's not what you think at first is it?
In fact, most people that struggle with feeling like an outsider, feeling like they don't fit in and that others are always judging them tend to blame low self-confidence which is really only part of the story.
It's true, the end-result of the destructive behavior associated with feeling like you don't fit in is lower self confidence, but that's not the cause…and certainly not what we want to go after first to address this common challenge.
Instead, what if I suggested that your feelings of being an outsider, of not measuring up in the eyes of those around you and of constantly being observed is the result of an overly selfish view of your role in the world?
I hear you SCREAM What!
But stay with me for just a minute and we'll help you overcome this debilitating, destructive factor in your life of feeling like you don't measure up.
YOUR SELFISH VIEW OF YOUR PLACE IN THE WORLD
What if you placed yourself above everyone else, you must be better than everyone, you will be the focus of everyone's attention and that you are the only one that matters (or at least you matter more than most?)
What kind of pressure would that put you under?
How can you possibly live up to that?
We don't want to hear this (I didn't at first either), but really this is the ultimate act of selfishness…you have placed yourself at such a height of importance in the eyes of those around you that every single move you make, breath you take or involuntary response you have is heightened in the eyes of the entire WORLD!
By feeling anxiety and stress about how everyone is constantly viewing you…we know that you have over-emphasized (in your own mind) your role in the world — a fundamentally selfish view.
A less selfish view of the world is one in which you really don't feel the center of attention, but instead but the center of attention on someone else thereby reducing the pressure for you to PERFORM on the stage of life.
TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF – BECOME AN INSIDER
What do you do then?
When you feel yourself slipping into the mindset of repelling everyone around you, stop and break that thought pattern by interrupting the selfish mindset and begin to focus on something or someone else…how can you put someone else at ease?
How can you help someone else?
This will take your mind's focus off of yourself, ease the pressure you have heaped on and allow you to be the "real" you without all of the pressure.
Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts on how to avoid being an outsider in your own life.