There is a psychological phenomenon known as the Spotlight Effect. It describes the feeling that all of our flaws are so obvious to others that it is as if our shortcomings are featured in a spotlight. But the reality of this effect is that others do not see our flaws the way we do and often don’t notice them at all.
I keep coming back to the Spotlight Effect because it is a perfect example of just how untrustworthy our brains can be. The desire to control what others think about us is something we have all experienced. So much of our lives have been given over to the supremacy of the mind and the realities we create.
But thoughts can never be illustrative of all our existence contains. We are not our thoughts—we are so much more.
I have surrendered so many moments that I could have shared with people I love, all because I choose to shine my spotlight inward, convinced that my faults were the only things the world could see. And in doing so, I stifled my own light.
But what would happen if, instead, we choose to share our light, illuminate the world, and open our spotlights to shine for all?
When I think of the people I have had the privilege to meet in my life, what sticks with me most are the moments when they truly allowed me to see them for all that they are. The music of their laughter, the unbridled joy of silliness, the beautiful sincerity of reflection, and the depths of their love.
Choosing to show up with all of yourself each day creates light that goes beyond spotlights. It creates a peace for others, knowing that there is no judgment behind another set of eyes. Comparisons can crumble. And it shows everyone you meet how to enjoy one another for the beautiful humanity we all share.
Leean Gill, Soultype 9, is a student in the NEATO Pathway 2 – New Equations Discovery program. Leean is from sun-soaked California, USA, and is currently traveling the world while writing, drawing, and collecting incredible experiences from all over.