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LEARN HOW TO DEAL WITH

PUBLIC ATTENTION

Free Yourself From Anxiety


When All Eyes Are On You.

In Association with ‘The DHV Academy’


This book, ‘Learn How To Deal With Public Attention’ is Copyright © 2010 with all
rights reserved. It is illegal to copy, distribute, or create derivative works from
this book in whole or in part, or to contribute to the copying, distribution, or
creating of derivative works of this book, unless you have consent from the
author.

Copyright © 2010
Author: Brendan Corbett
All Rights Reserved.

www.dhvacademy.com
When the attention is on us, our thoughts are consumed by the
fear of others opinions, criticisms and judgements. It is a
common worry that causes anxiety and prevents us from doing
most things by avoiding them.

We have to wonder: If we didn’t worry about the attention from


others, what kind of things would we do? How often would we
risk, try, fail and persist?

- Brendan Corbett
C o n te n t s

BEFORE YOU BEGIN

THE TWO BOOKS EXPLAINED

PART ONE: SELF-ANAYLSIS 1


1.1 HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOU? 2
You may not have consciously thought about ‘Public Attention’ preventing you from doing
certain things, so here is a thought provoking section for you to step back and see what
feelings and behaviours it causes you to do.

1.2 HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE? 12


It doesn’t matter where you are at, what is important is how do you want to be? Imagine
how your life would be if you could do whatever you wanted without much thought about
public or social consequences.

1.3 WHAT ELSE COULD BE STOPPING YOU? 18


Is there something physical holding you back? If the chance to do something is right there
in front of you, then it’s a case of you getting in your own way and convincing yourself not to
do it. We need to change that.

PART TWO: HOW WE THINK AND FEEL 26

2.1 THE ANXIETY-BEHAVIOUR RESPONSE 27


Whether it is extreme social anxiety, an average person, or a performer who struggles in
other contexts- it is all the same process inside their minds. Sometimes understanding is
enough to override the reactions.
2.2 OUR EVOLUTIONARY FEELINGS FOR SURVIVAL 35
If you didn’t have language, you would still have feelings. This section focuses on the
evolutionary instincts within us that cause us to feel some discomfort or anxiety in certain
public contexts.

2.3 THE POWER OF CONTEXT AND COMPARISON 45


Now that you have a better understanding, you can start to question where you are
holding back. We can all feel okay in certain situations until something extra is involved. Why
is that? And what is yours? Start to contrast situations and realise the differences.

2.4 SUMMARY NOTES 49


‘Part One’ and ‘Part Two’ were all about theory and understanding. It can sometimes be
hard to take in a lot of content and take notes. So here is a brief overview so that you can
recap at any time after you have read the chapters.

PART THREE: METHODS AND STRATEGIES 53

3.1 WHY YOUR SELF IMAGE IS SO IMPORTANT 54


You understand the cycle, and you know we can’t possibly go through each context one by
one- it would be too time consuming. Let’s take a look at how you see yourself and how that
affects your anxiety and thinking.

3.2 THE METHODS AND STRATEGIES 62


You would assume there is a huge list of ways to help. Well, in actual fact, there are only a
few real ways to change your thinking processes and perception of self. Here is a brief
description of them and how they work.

3.3 A RECAP OF THE STRATEGY 72


You know the feelings and behaviours, and you also know the strategies on how to not
have ‘Public Attention’ be an issue for you. Here is a summary and model of how it should all
fit together. Then in ‘Part Four’ you will can apply it.
PART FOUR: APPLY IT 75

4.1 PRACTICAL #1: VISUALISATION AND MOTIVATION 76


There is no point trying to do something unless you know you really want to do it. How do
you get motivated? It’s different for everybody, but when the vision and feeling is there it
compels us to go do anything we need to.

4.2 PRACTICAL #2: CHANGING YOUR SELF-PERCEPTION 92


It is often down to an inner issue. That means you can do these in the comfort of your own
home. Start to believe in other possibilities and results. Learn to use your imagination, but in
the right way.

4.3 PRACTICAL #3: HANDLING ANY NEGATIVE 102


Everybody on some level is apprehensive about being criticised, challenged, judged,
looking stupid etc. We can’t avoid these happening, so it is up to us to be able to securely
handle any attention when they occur.

4.4 PRACTICAL #4: COMPLETE SOCIAL AND PUBLIC FREEDOM 109


Take a list and see how far you are willing to forget public attention and negative feelings
to do what you want to do. How many things

A FINAL WORD

CONTACT AND FEEDBACK


Before You Begin

Before You Begin

What is ‘Public Attention’?

You probably assume this book is focussed on learning how to conquer stage fright and
give a kick-ass presentation without any fear or anxiety. After all, up on stage is where you
get the mass exposure to public attention.

However, being able to get up on stage with ease is not the primary focus of this book,
although it is something you will be able to achieve.

My focus in this book is to help those who feel anxious and uncomfortable in their day-
to-day lives. Anxiety doesn’t only happen up on a stage in front of an audience. People can
experience it and have it as a recurring feeling in multiple scenarios.

Think about the possible situations: starting a college class for the first time; going on a
date; having an interview; eating in public; showing your creativity; going shopping; talking
to new people and groups; doing something new. These are all scenarios that involve public
attention. That is they are exposed to people and are open to judgement and potential
embarrassment.

We all have varying degrees of anxiety in these kinds of public and social situations. You
may even feel that it doesn’t bother you. It ranges from the person with extreme social
anxiety, to the average person who feels anxious in certain contexts, and beyond to the
performers who you would think are extremely confident, but they too have some form of
anxiety in other contexts.

LOOK AT EVERYDAY EXAMPLES


I don’t want you to think I am suggesting we fear people. We don’t. We only fear their
perceptions of us.

I have always used a common example based on attraction. We can talk to somebody we
are not attracted too fairly easily. But with somebody we actually find attractive, suddenly
we start to get these feelings. We get the queasy stomach and the nerves. We feel anxious
about risking messing it up and saying/doing the wrong thing.

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Before You Begin

The reason we feel this way is because something is on the line- us. People can feel this
way regularly, in many of the above situations, if they always think in a negative way. We
start to experience all of the physical symptoms that go along with anxiety.

So, the anxiety seems to be us trying to not have others perceive us in a negative way.
We want to put on our best show. That explains how you can talk to your friend you have
known for years with ease, but with a stranger you can become hesitant and reserved.

It is the same action of conversation, only the change of context


changes how you feel.

Another example...

Let’s say somebody has been thinking of joining a class for a while- maybe a dance class.
What are their first thoughts? They can be, “I can’t wait to join that class. It will be so much
fun!” But the majority of people may not think about the dancing at all. They put a negative
spin on it and think, “I can’t do that, I’ll completely embarrass myself. I’ve never done it
before. I probably won’t get it right anyway.”

But then they can quite easily head home, buy a dance DVD, and practice the steps in
their own living room. Why can’t they do it in front of other people?

Another option would be to wait around and convince yourself not to bother until you
have a friend who is willing to come and support you. Why can’t we just get up and go? What
holds us back?

It can reach a point where we feel embarrassed with photos and being on film. Why do
we feel so self-conscious? How can we hate our image so much and not allow others to see us for
what we are?

This is the fear and anxiety associated to Public Attention.

A DESCRIPTION ABOUT THIS BOOK


I want to help you reach a point where you don’t feel anxious on a regular basis. We can
all try our best to avoid uncomfortable situations, but that is not a fulfilling life to lead.

I do not know where you are personally with your life. I do not know if you are the
extreme case of being nervous ordering food, to the more sociable average person who gets
on with life but still cannot do the things they want to do.

Personally, I believe the level of where you are at is irrelevant.

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Before You Begin

Anxiety with public attention has a pattern, and I believe it all


starts with:
- The perception you have of yourself;
- And the beliefs of what you think others will perceive of you.

I noticed that people have differing contexts in which they feel anxious. But it would be
ridiculous to try and cover every single context where people say, “I feel comfortable here,
but not here”.

So I took a different approach. I wanted to understand the underlying source and pattern
rather than breaking down the multiple contexts.

What causes these differing levels of discomfort and avoidance in people? How can a
celebrity wow us in front of millions and yet be shy one-on-one? How can somebody
probably be extrovert in life or work, but still not go attend a class and do something new?
How can somebody talk to strangers and clients at work, but not even go up to a stranger
they fancy?

The more I thought about it, the more I realised there has to be some pattern in all of
these scenarios.

There can’t possibly be this many individual problems. It has to


come from a similar patterned way of thinking that determines our
confidence and anxiety.

Anxiety and discomfort is a mental process. It slowly builds within you the more you think
about it. You could be fine chatting away with your group of friends until somebody whips
out a camera. That stimulus of seeing the camera made you feel and react a certain way.
You could sit in the back of the class feeling fine until the tutor says; “Now I’ll go around the
class individually”. These moments can fill us with dread- but why?

I believe the best way to understand these feelings is by focussing on how public and
social attention affects us. You can disguise it whatever way you want to and label it as
other fears, but at the core of all this anxiety is your self-image...that is what you truly are
fearful of exposing.

When the attention is on you- it is quite easy to feel naked and vulnerable. That is when
we start thinking about failing or embarrassing ourselves.

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Before You Begin

You can’t feel embarrassed without the company of others, unless


you sit there thinking in a certain way about something.

And the anxiety comes from this struggle to always try and show our best self.

That is the common factor in most, if not all, of the situations involved with feeling
anxious. How often do you feel anxious alone, unless you are thinking and anticipating
something?

So, this book works towards helping you with your self-image, thus allowing you to feel
comfortable and less anxious when you are involved in public/social situations.

At least then you won’t let the feelings of anxiety hold you back. You won’t have
consistent behaviours like avoiding situations, sabotaging your efforts, and shying away
from exposure and attention.

NOTE:

I have to offer you this word of warning. Because this book is for feeling comfortable with
public attention, I wouldn’t want you to go to the extreme and think, “I’m free! Woohoo! Let’s
go streaking!”

It doesn’t have to go to the extreme just to prove a point. As long as you achieve comfort
through everyday circumstances and situations, and you can easily do the things you want
to do, then you will have accomplished the goal this book has set out for you.

DO NOT EXPECT TO NEVER FEEL IT AGAIN


Uncomfortable feelings may be something you wish to completely go away, but
unfortunately that is never the case. The body uses feelings as action signals for us. I’ll
discuss this further in Chapter 2.2.

Your focus should not be to get rid of them entirely. Your focus is to see them in a
different light. Think of the performer stood at the side of the stage who you think is an idiot
for calling his feelings ‘excitement’ instead of ‘nerves’. They are similar feelings, only the
perception and belief of what they are changes.

In some situations you will not be as comfortable as others, and these ACTION SIGNALS
will happen. In ‘Part Two’ I will explain to you exactly why they happen. Most people hope
or wish for the perfect scenarios to happen and they play the “if only...” game, but we have
to be realistic.

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Before You Begin

It also seems that people feel less anxious in areas where they are confident. Of course,
confidence can be seen as the cure to anxiety, but how do we achieve that?

We cannot always depend on having done something before to feel confident.


Sometimes we just have to start from the beginning and learn as we go, but the anxiety can
cause us to turn away from stepping up and having that first experience.

Regardless of the context, it is the common ways of thinking that


allow us to do one thing and not another; to feel comfortable in
one situation and not the other.

The attention will always exist. You can try live a sheltered life and avoid any form of
embarrassment; public failure; public rejection; public criticism and judgement, but that will
never free you from yourself.

Don’t depend on trying to achieve confidence in something first. You should be able to
dive in and do whatever it is you want, and comfortably handle the attention.

Once you feel secure within yourself- then it doesn’t matter who is looking, who is around,
what has been said, or who challenged you, or what stupid thing you think you did.

You will feel confident in what people see in you, and that alone can rid you of a lot of
anxiety and discomfort in the presence of others.

I imagine we would get on with doing a lot more if we knew


nobody could see us.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE
I do not know your specific situation. I do not know what previous history you have had;
any medical issues/treatment; your personality and character; or the experiences you have
been through.

I have written this book in a generalised way. The same principles will apply for anybody,
except the methods and the strategies may be different to achieve the same outcome.

With that in mind, I would like you to approach reading this book with the idea that you
are responsible for overcoming whatever feelings you have in regards to public
attention/social anxiety. Some people may require an individual approach and a personal
helping hand. However, it will always be the same prime method, which is learning to
change how you think- and only you can do that for yourself.

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The Two Books Explained

The Two Books Explained

When you purchased this book, ‘Learn How To Deal With Public Attention’, you should have
also downloaded a workbook along with it.

BOOK #1: THIS BOOK


This books purpose is to outline theory and some practical ideas for you to apply. It is
designed to reframe your thinking and encourage you to understand how fear and anxiety
works, especially when we shy away from public and social attention.

By reading it you will be given ideas and examples to draw your attention to one
significant factor that is the underlying reason for your anxiety and ‘fight or flight’ feelings.

Because the majority of it is theory, I suggest that you do not disregard it. It is there to
help change your perception and have you believe that you can change.

BOOK #2: THE WORKBOOK


The ‘Workbook’ is a compilation of strategies and techniques to make a shift in our
internal world. They are the techniques that help you in changing your perspective; habitual
ways of thinking; your feelings; and your behaviours.

By reading the first book, you will be able to apply the ‘Workbook’ techniques with
confidence. You know that their intention is to change your internal world and self-image,
and you will notice how they make a dramatic change to your responses and you as a
person.

Read through this first book in its entirety, so that it plants the seeds and beliefs you
need to feel motivated and compelled to take action and apply what is in the ‘Workbook’

The two books combined are a strategy to relieve you of the anxiety; panic; worry; stress;
doubt or fear, caused by social and public attention when all eyes are on you.

I hope you enjoy them both.

Brendan Corbett

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PART ONE
SELF-ANALYSIS

 Know Where You Are Right Now

 Define How You Would Like To Be

 Discover What Is Stopping You


1.1 How Does It Affect You?

1.1 How Does It Affect You?

I would like you to approach this chapter with an open mind. It is quite easy to draw a
discreet veil over certain things, but here you may find some examples you can relate to,
including some behaviours it can cause us to do without even realising it.

Anxiety is the term which includes states of panic, stress, fear, doubt and worry. It is the
result of the anticipation of something negative. If these are recurring themes for you, then
this book will outline the strategies to overcome them.

PUBLIC SPEAKING
I mentioned in the introduction this book is about dealing with ‘Public Attention’ and NOT
‘Public Speaking’. Many people fear public speaking, but I believe the same feelings people
feel when called upon to do a speech or presentation are also felt in every day situations.

But why does public speaking always hit the top 10 list of things most feared? It’s not
because of the mechanics behind it. Anybody can prepare a speech or presentation if they
took the time to learn how. So it is not a fear of the
speaking itself, but more about the consequences of
speaking in front of an audience. That is the
underlying fear.

We can agree that we all do embarrassing things


and mess up. For example, if you drop the tomato
sauce at home you would probably have a giggle to
yourself and clean up the mess. But if you drop it in a
public place where the entire restaurant turns
around and looks at you, you are suddenly
overwhelmed with multiple physical symptoms. You
get the reddening of the face; the queasy stomach,
the feeling of shrinking down; the sweaty palms; the
tension in your throat; the amplified sound of the
smash.

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1.1 How Does It Affect You?

That torrent of symptoms is similar to what would be felt if you stumbled over your
words in front of an audience. Even just the anticipation of it can cause the symptoms,
purely through imagination alone.

Why is it okay to drop the tomato sauce when nobody is

looking?

Why would it be okay to stumble over your words in the

mirror practicing at home, but not in front of an audience?

By contrasting the situations in this way, it makes you realise speaking wasn’t the actual
root cause of the anxiety. The fear comes from the anticipation of potential disaster, but
that only happens when people are looking.

So, if you asked me to define ‘Why do people fear public speaking?” I would answer that
the fear is not about being up on stage or giving the speech. We can all stand on a stage
without an audience. We can all practice a speech with nobody around. The fear comes
from the PUBLIC ATTENTION we receive. It is only when you know all eyes are fixated on you
that you become vulnerable. You are open to all of the opinions, judgements and scrutiny.
But it becomes even more intense for you if you believe that all of the opinions and judgements
will be negative and exaggerated.

Some other fears to hit the Top Ten list are fears such as REJECTION, FAILURE and
INTIMACY- all of which involve other people.

Do you really fear rejection and failure? You can send in for a competition and get
rejected/lose without any real concern. Nobody saw or knew about it. It’s completely
different though if you get rejected face-to-face by somebody else with others around you.

You see, attention happens to us all of the time. That is why I decided not to draw my
efforts on public speaking alone. I wanted to tackle the issue whereby people can
comfortably handle ANY public attention, whether it is dropping a plate in a restaurant;
going on a first date; dealing with failure of rejection; attending an interview; giving a
speech at a gathering. We break the patterned cycle that causes it to become exaggerated
and overwhelming discomfort.

All of the above cause attention from others. We should be

able to feel comfortable regardless of how many people

have their eyes on us.

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1.1 How Does It Affect You?

YOUR BEHAVIOUR: AVOIDANCE VERSUS TOLERANCE


Not many people would associate (or admit) their avoidance is due to the discomfort of
public attention.

With public speaking it is obvious the number of people is a fear factor, but even then
people can disguise it in ways such as: “What if I don’t know what to say?” “I can’t give a
speech. I’ve never done one before!” “I know I’m going to mess it up.”

Why would “messing it up” be such a bad thing? You probably messed it up a lot of times in
the mirror practicing at home. On the surface level this appears to be the reason for their
panic, but the real reason behind it is they really don’t want to embarrass themselves during
all that attention. That is what it really the true concern and worry.

If the speech really is going to be too unbearable for you, then you may find yourself
trying any means to get out of it. This is known as sabotage. It’s amazing how creative we
can be when the situation calls for it. We can think of many excuses on the spot. If you can’t
get out of it, then you may write your speech word for word and bury yourself into the
paper you’ve written it on. You would sabotage your efforts to play it safe and rush through
it. Then you would rationalise, “It wasn’t that important anyway.” Just to soften the blow.

These behaviours are similar to what people do in other situations without realising it.
Approaching somebody you fancy is another perfect example. A friend may encourage you
to go do it, but you say things like: “What do I say?” In this instance the discomfort for you is
the potential public rejection. Even if it is only between the two of you, it could still feel like
the whole world is watching.

But you can argue the actual act of talking to somebody is relatively easy, only it changes
when there is something on the line (i.e. being rejected by somebody you are showing an
interest in). That alone changes the context of the situation, yet I am sure you can talk to
your friends completely fine, right?

So ask yourself: What situations or contexts do you avoid or feel anxious in? What situations
cause you to behave in this way?

Both the date and speech examples are enough evidence to

suggest it is not the actual doing them that worries us. It is

the potential public consequences and attention drawn on

us that triggers our feelings.

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1.1 How Does It Affect You?

I have been emphasising the avoidance behaviour up until now, but you may be thinking
to yourself that you do not avoid many things. Even though you do not avoid certain
situations, you could be going through experiences by merely tolerating the feelings.

But is tolerance really a good way to live?

Say for instance you have joined a gym. It was a struggle at first to even step through the
door, but you knew it was something you had to do. It doesn’t end there for you. The ways
in which you think about yourself causes you to feel like people in there are judging you in a
negative way. Now, as a result, you feel if people are looking at you, you have to put on a
good image. While you are on the treadmill you try your best to not show your sweat or
that you are out of breath after only five minutes. You may even sabotage it and cut the
session short or miss out a few until you get the motivation to get involved again.

So yes, you are at the gym and you haven’t avoided it, but it still feels like an
uncomfortable struggle for you, regardless of how many times you have gone and done it.
This is why sometimes practice and repetition does not make us confident. We need to
handle the psychology behind it.

Tolerance is difficult to observe in yourself because you are

still moving forward and getting on with things. So ask

yourself, how often do you feel insecure and anxious but

you just “face it”?

We can no doubt get through life without much call for speeches and being up on stage. I
mean, who in their right mind would step up to get in front of an audience? But in every day
life we are still faced with social and public situations. We shouldn’t have to tolerate them.

Be honest- Do some situations make you feel more anxious than others?

THE SOCIAL ANXIETY EXTREME


People with social anxiety will be able to tell
you more about this level of tolerance and
avoidance. Say for example they go to a public
place to do some shopping. Even walking through
the isles they are thinking, “I look like an idiot.
The store person is looking at me. I bet they think
I’ve stolen something! Oh God, they are going to
see what I’ve bought. They will laugh at me”.

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1.1 How Does It Affect You?

Even with that level of anxiety, they know they still have to go and do the shopping. All they
can do is tolerate it, or avoid it in some way by asking somebody else to go instead.

For me, Social Anxiety is really the extreme of what this book is designed for. It’s the
mental process where you believe that attention is on you in a negative way, so you do your
damn best to not make a fool of yourself, or you avoid most situations. It is an internal
pressure.

But this does not explain how some people can feel embarrassed in a positive light. For
example, receiving a reward at a ceremony or winning in competition. Some would much
rather receive their recognition on the quiet and not draw attention to themselves. You can
sometimes see how sheepish performers can be on TV when having to go up and make their
acceptance speech. This is summed up with this statement:

Any attention can be bad attention, depending on the way

you think about yourself.

People who have Social Anxiety will find it hard to discuss their problem because that in
itself is embarrassing. It often reaches a point where avoiding most if not all social situations
is the only solution, unless they are motivated enough to tolerate their anxiety and just try
to get on with it.

But we have to look at a person with social anxiety to understand the behaviours to an
extreme.

In our own little heads we can be brilliant at rationalising our behaviours. You may have
fleeting thoughts such as, “Do I really have to go on that date tonight? This dinner party is
going to be a pain anyway. That presentation won’t matter much. I’ll just get out of it”.

We can be flippant with our excuses, but we have to look at the underlying behaviours.
With that kind of doubtful thinking we are drawing a discreet veil over the fact we are trying
to get away with something. We do this because we know it is going to be an uncomfortable
experience. So we need to stop conjuring up these excuses and mentally stroking ourselves
by saying “It is okay. It is not so bad if I don’t do it”.

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1.1 How Does It Affect You?

HOW TO MEASURE AND NOTICE YOUR LEVEL OF ANXIETY


I use Social Anxiety to give extreme examples of public attention because for those who
suffer with it- even walking through a street can be difficult.

Walking down the street is not the most taxing of activities, so why then can it be a
nervous experience for some?

In the same way for the average person, going into a class or workshop is no difficult
task, yet why would some hold back from doing it without some degree of anxiety?

We have all had to go through this experience when starting a new school or college.
Some can wander into the classroom with no anxiety at all, while some tend to stay
reserved and sit back so they do not (you guessed it) draw attention to themselves. What’s
the difference?

The “Public Attention Discomfort Scale” (which I believe is fictional because I just made it
up) would probably range from something as simple as shopping or walking down the
street, to being up on stage in front of a huge audience. Somewhere in between you have
your everyday social and public occurrences. It would be hard to pin point or list everything
in between.

Instead, you could use ‘Being by yourself’ as a starting point to contrast and compare
situations. Then you judge how you feel in different social and public situations that could
involve attention on you

What behaviours do you take? What thoughts do you think?

This approach shows you how the added factor of being around people changes how you
feel, and to what extent.

It is only a basic example because other factors could play a role in what causes you to
feel anxious and uncomfortable. I understand that it is not only ‘Public Attention’ and ‘Social
Phobia’ that causes anxiety. We can feel it for a number of reasons, so the lines between
what is the actual root and cause can sometimes be a bit blurred.

However, to keep it simple, let us focus on this area. Let’s see what changes when we no
longer have it as an issue and we take it out of the equation. As you progress through this
book you will become to understand on a deeper level what I am referring to.

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1.1 How Does It Affect You?

You will notice when you are alone you feel little anxiety or no uncomfortable feelings,
unless you are thinking and anticipating something, like an interview or a date or an event
etc.

It’s this added factor that can trigger off our fears of everything else. It’s hard to feel
anxious when you are alone, in the same way it’s often hard to laugh when we do not have
company. Ironically, a laugh is a natural response for us when we feel uncomfortable and
nervous. Our bodies are just wired this way, but more of this in another chapter.

You know what the anxiety feels like. Therefore, I ask you now to think back and
remember times when you were anxious in your own personal life. What contexts does it
occur for you? Can you rate the levels? What were you thinking and anticipating to happen
to cause it?

I do not expect a huge list where you mentally exhaust yourself. Just use it to become
aware of it.

 Do you avoid talking to the person you fancy and let the opportunity slip by?
 Do the time leading up to an important interview get more excruciating, causing you
to put everything else off as you thought about it over and over?

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1.1 How Does It Affect You?

 Have you avoided doing something you may enjoy- like a class or experience?
 Do you find yourself choosing to be more reserved and out of the way? Why is that?
 Do you feel uncomfortable being in public?

The underlying question is- Do you avoid, sabotage or

tolerate?

BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF


Only you know how you feel. I don’t think anybody should spend their days having to
avoid certain things or tolerate them while inside it feels like torture. It shouldn’t reach a
point where it restrains you from having a fulfilled life where you always err on the side of
feeling anxious. You can already see how anxiety or how disguising anxiety manipulates your
decision making and choices.

And it takes self-honesty when you are thinking about how this has been affecting you
because as I mentioned earlier- on the surface the real reasons are often disguised. Nobody
would ever consciously say, “I’m nervous because I don’t want people looking at me. I’m
nervous because I think X will happen and people will think X of me”.

In ‘Part Two’ you will understand the real reasons behind why these feelings exist. It is a
natural feeling; only some have it more under control than others.

You are using the beginning of this book to assess the point where you are at now. You
are drawing attention to it and thinking about how different your life would be if public
attention was not an issue.

Just remember the definition of what public attention is. It is the belief that you are being
observed, and that leads you to conjure up possible negative consequences, depending on
how you think of yourself.

These consequences take on many forms, such as:

 I am going to be rejected.
 I will look stupid and embarrass myself.
 People are wondering what the hell I am doing.
 Nobody likes me or wants me here.
 I am being boring. I can just tell.
 I am going to screw up and everybody will stare at me thinking “ugh”.
 I am wasting everybody’s time.

9
1.1 How Does It Affect You?

 Everybody can see I’m struggling. This is so embarrassing.

If you believe in consequences like these, then it is no wonder you feel uncomfortable
and would rather avoid/tolerate situations. Nobody would want to go through that by
choice.

However, you may not consciously think that way. You may think passively to try and
disguise the real reasons. You soften it with thoughts like:

 I don’t really need to go to that class anyway. I can leave it.


 We probably wouldn’t be right for each other anyway. Plenty more fish in the sea.
 I’ll just write up the speech and get it over with. Nobody will care much.
 I didn’t really like going to the gym. I’ll just go jogging instead....in the dark.

Try not to be too passive and live in denial when thinking about this. Use the public
attention as your primary cause of your avoidance or sabotage. The feeling is more common
than you think; only people choose to not express it in that way.

And remember, anxiety is a patterned response by the way we think and anticipate
something. We don’t feel it unless we notice something. So it doesn’t matter how big your
list is. You shouldn’t think to yourself, “Oh My God this is huge!!” and become
overwhelmed.

Once you understand the process that causes anxiety, it will

apply to every situation you feel it in.

Next...Gaining More Leverage And A Vision Of How You Would Like To Be.

10
1.1 How Does It Affect You?

ACTION STEP
Define situations where you feel anxious or the thought of doing it makes you feel
uncomfortable, in ways such as: worry, panic, stress, doubt and fear.

Also, think of situations where it has caused you to avoid them, or you have sabotaged it
and “softened the blow” of it to yourself.

Get an idea of how has been affecting you but without you even realising it.

CONCLUSION

Feelings: Worry, Panic, Doubt, Stress, Fear


Physical Symptoms (examples) Shaking, Tension, Hard Breathing, Flushing of the face...
Behaviours: Avoidance, Sabotage, and Tolerance

You should not focus solely on situations and choices you have avoided. We can still get on
with life with the anxiety, only we try to tolerate it. That can sometimes become a struggle.

Define where and when you have these recurring thoughts and feelings. It is in our biology
to avoid anything which may be uncomfortable, so how has it been causing you to behave?

Regardless of what you say, the reason for your discomfort (more often than not) happens
because other people are involved. We can all mess up when nobody is watching and feel
totally fine about it.

It doesn’t have to always be negative attention that feels uncomfortable. Any attention can
be bad depending on how you think about yourself.

Have a reality check, step back, and really be honest about how it has been affecting your
life.

11
Questions & Purchase

Questions & Purchase

THE ADDED WORKBOOK


Upon purchasing this book, you also get a ‘Workbook’ which is a compilation of all the
methods, strategies and techniques to deal with ‘public attention’.

QUESTIONS
If you have any personal questions or feedback, then you can send me an e-mail through
The Contact Page on the website. Just scroll to ‘Brendan Corbett’ in the form box.

PURCHASE
If you have problems with the book, then you can also go to The Contact Page and scroll
the ‘Send To’ box down to PRODUCT QUESTIONS.

You can also go to the website page to read more detail about this book: Purchase Page

Questions: brendancorbett@dhvacademy.com

Product Questions: products@dhvacademy.com

Purchase: eBook Purchase Page

Thank You

Brendan Corbett