Surviving the Spotlight: What to Do When You’re the Center of Attention

by Jason

surviving the spotlight

Today is my birthday.

And, although this post might be seen as a shameless plug to get a bunch of Happy Birthday comments, I assure you I have other intentions 🙂

I want to talk a bit about how to survive the spotlight when you find yourself in situations where you’re the center of attention.

Being that today is my “special day”, naturally I’ve been getting loads of loving calls, facebook posts and the kindest cards in the mail from those close to me. It’s really great to feel so many well wishes all at once. That said for many (including myself at times), it can be hard to process all that love and truly feel deserving of it.

Social anxiety is directly linked to feelings of low self-worth so when you’re caught in the whirlwind of kind-hearted attention that a birthday, graduation, anniversary, promotion, or whatever may bring – there can be a whole lot of self-created pressure to respond the right way.

Deep down, you want to enjoy the moment and not feel so guilty over allowing yourself to be happy. Yet, social anxiety and GAD may be holding you back.

So for this reason, here, I’ve listed 4 ways to manage your mindset when you’re the center of attention.

4 Ways to Manage Your Mindset

1. Accept Love and Reciprocate

Surviving the spotlight on special occasions can generally be summized as being the focal point of well wishes. So, it’s important to remember your #1 job is to accept the love and warm wishes of others and not deflect their intentions.

How do you do that? By responding with an equal admiration, giving thanks for their thoughts and attention.

On a superficial level, this is all that is required of you. Acknowledge the kindness with a verbal, written or action oriented response in any way you can. From an activity perspective this completes the loop of the love you’ve received.

Rather than avoid the confrontation of someone else’s love by ignoring (and seeming rude), take appropriate measure to show the person you’ve received their message and muster up the courage and etiquette to reciprocate.

For someone without social anxiety, this first tip may seem oversimplistic. However, there are tons of people on the planet who use avoidance to deal with the confrontation of love and they don’t realize the negativity this habit engenders.

2. Allow Yourself to Be Happy

This can be the toughest one of all for many. There’s this feeling of “I’m not good enough or deserving enough.” that gets bottled up inside.

The ability to relax and soak in the moment in a positive way becomes impossible because your mind is consumed by doubt of your worth.

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking doesn’t have a quick, tidy fix. But, you can trick yourself into enjoying the moment by allowing yourself a period of time where you’ll completely ignore your inner, negative voice.

Take a vacation from worry for the next 24 hours. This works surprisingly well when you’re in the spotlight because you put an endcap on your effort. This idea of a cutoff time where you can take a vacation from anxiety makes overcoming social phobia more goal oriented.

You take away the overwhelming task of beating social anxiety indefinitely by breaking down the challenge into bite-size pieces.

3. Redirect Towards Others

As compliments and kindness pour in, take the time to redirect that love in the form of questions and concern towards others.

Questions are a great way to refocus attention on the party being attentive towards you.

Ask about their own life happenings and be genuine in your interest.

When you return attention with an admiration of your own, the receiving party will become appreciative of your gesture and become more self-absorbed in their conversation.

This will make your life easier by keeping the attention away from yourself and enhancing your engagement at the same time.

4. Take a Hint – You’re Pretty Great!

As uncomfortable as these limelight situations may feel, they’re a great lesson as to what your perspective should return to – you’re an amazing person.

People love and care about you and it’s not because you’re wealthy, a celebrity, a model, a rockstar or any other superficial idea that makes someone feel important. People care about you because you’re YOU. And, that word (you) encompasses more than can be summarized in an article.

You affect the lives of all those admirers in one way or another and this crowning moment of attention brings light to your reach.

So, take a hint and recognize that you ARE worth all the hubbub. Smile – this moment is your reward for the greatness you’ve emoted all this time.

If you never knew it existed, let today be your proof in plain sight.

As a quick side note, thank you for your kind birthday wishes all over facebook. I really do appreciate you for being the reason to my writing. Every single person I connect with on this site is a constant reinforcement to my mission of helping others. So, thank you – I love you for it, truly.

I hope this article helps one or many out there and without living these tips, myself, I would never be able to recognize and exercise the gratitude I have today.


Need more convincing? Here’s a leg up for your next big moment.



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