do I have spinach in my teeth?

How much time do we spend worrying about what people think about us?

Well, the sad truth is, 100% of that time is wasted. Not just because worry is a waste of time, but because, um…they aren’t thinking about us.

They’re thinking about themselves and worrying about what everyone is thinking about them!

Seriously, I heard the best story about this from one of my clients last week. She was really concerned about something she’d said at a business lunch and was sure that everyone else was going to be as fixated on it as she was.

When she told one of her mentors about it, they said, “Okay. So what did the person next to you have for lunch?”

“Um, I don’t know! I was too worried about myself.”

“Exactly.”

Another similar story…this last weekend an a capella group that I’m in had the absolute privilege of working with Deke Sharon (yes, THAT Deke Sharon!) in an all day workshop. He was helping us get through some of the things that get in our way, like self-consciousness. And he said that life is like high school. Everyone is so preoccupied with themselves and their own insecurities that they just aren’t even paying attention to you.

Exactly. No one thinks about you anywhere near as much as you do… unless…

And now I’m going to contradict myself completely because there are three exceptions. One, if they’re a stalker. Two, if it’s brand new infatuation and you’re still in the obsession phase. Okay, that’s the same as number one. Four, (three, sir, three) you’re a leader.

Because if you are a leader, they are watching you. More than you know. And you need to lead by example. Which means you do have to pay attention to what you do, how you do it, how you talk to people, how you give yourself grace, how vulnerable you are…all the things.

But here’s the good news: the reason they are watching you is not to judge you and gossip about you (most times, anyway.) They are looking at you to give them cues and clues on how they should be. They are looking at you to be a role model and to lead by example. And they are doing that MORE than you think.

So the takeaway: Nobody is paying as much attention to you as you think, except for when you forget that they are watching you because you’re a leader.

You’re welcome.

In the meantime, remember these things: You are loved. We are all loved. Let’s all be kind. And in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light, Maggie

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