August 2, 2023




Spotlight Effect, Joy's Nemesis & More

At a glance

Here’s what we’ll cover today:

Mental Model: Spotlight Effect.

Insight: Joy's Nemesis.

Quote: Habits Breed Success.

Question: Cultivating Gratitude.

Poem: Dare to Be.


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| Mental Model

Spotlight Effect

”We overestimate how much people are paying attention to our behaviour and appearance.”

Imagine you're on a stage, standing under a spotlight. You're hyper-aware of every gesture, every note, every word. You worry about how your performance is perceived, how each audience member is interpreting your actions. This, in essence, is the Spotlight Effect - the belief that we are always under scrutiny, that people are paying more attention to our behaviour and appearance than they actually are. The reality? The audience's gaze isn't fixed solely on you. They're too busy thinking about their own performances, their own spotlights.

This idea, while simple, has profound implications. We often overestimate how much others are paying attention to our appearance and behavior. We think that everyone notices that small stain on our shirt, or that awkward comment we made. But the truth is, people are far more focused on themselves, their own actions and mistakes. This is not a dismissal of your worth, but rather an acknowledgment of human nature.

Let's look at an example. Perhaps you've been avoiding a social gathering because you're worried about being judged on your attire. But while you're anxious about your outfit, others are probably worried about their own. The realization that people are not as focused on you as you imagine can be liberating. It lifts a huge weight off your shoulders and grants you the freedom to be yourself.

A quote by Dr. Seuss encapsulates this perfectly, "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

The antidote to the spotlight effect, although straightforward, can be difficult to swallow: just be you. Embrace your individuality, knowing that others are too preoccupied with their own performances to scrutinize yours critically. This understanding does not eliminate the spotlight but rather changes the way you perform under it. It transforms the stage from a platform of judgment to a stage of self-expression.

In the grand theatre of life, the best role you can play is yourself. And as the curtain rises, remember, you're not the only one under the spotlight. Everyone else is, too.

| Insight

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Challenge: Reflect on an instance when you compared yourself to others and felt inadequate. Write down three things you can do to redirect your focus towards your personal growth and goals.

Example: Unfollow social media accounts that trigger comparisons, practice gratitude, and set realistic goals based on your individual circumstances.

| Quote

James Clear, a productivity expert and author, on the power of consistent habits:

"Success is the product of daily habits, not once-in-a-lifetime transformations."

| Question

How can I cultivate more gratitude in my daily life?

A Poem I Enjoyed

"Dare to Be" by Steve Maraboli

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.

When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.

When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, all.

Until next time,


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