In college, I took voice lessons every semester as part of my music education degree. In order to graduate, one of the requirements was a senior recital. This concert consisted of a solo performance lasting over thirty minutes. Just the idea of singing that long makes a person’s throat hurt, and standing alone in front of a crowd with all eyes on you can bring one to even more of a panic!
My voice professor told me, “When you are up on stage, don’t worry about the audience and what they are thinking. Believe it or not, they won’t be thinking about you. People are too consumed thinking about themselves, they won’t focus solely on you for very long.”
I had never given it much thought, but what he said seemed to be true. When you step inside someone’s new house, you typically think to yourself how you wish you had the same house or perhaps you compare it to your own home. If you see a child acting out in the grocery store, your thoughts immediately focus on how you, “hope my kids don’t do that to me when I’m in public.” Rarely do we pick apart the other person without eventually turning the focus back on ourselves.
The same applies to body image. Despite the stress of singing in front of a crowd, the one thing I was paranoid about during my recital was how chunky my arms looked in my performance gown. If I had asked every person in the audience what they were thinking as I stood on stage, I could almost guarantee no one would have mentioned my chunky arms.
We become so paranoid with certain areas of our body we forget that no one thinks about our bodies the way we do. If you lose weight, people look at you and think, “Oh…I need to hit the gym.” The focus on you may only be for a second but they are mostly thinking about how they need to eat better or improve a certain part of their physique.
So next time you are in a panic over a couple-pound increase, or a specific area of your body, remind yourself that no one else will even notice.
Keep calm and carry on. There is no need to fret over something no one else is even thinking about.
Posse Discussion: This week we talked about areas of our bodies in which we are self-conscious. Are you ready to “let go” of that area? How can you have peace with this part of your body? i.e. accept it, work to change it, change your perspective, etc.
Click here for more ideas on how to have peace with your body.