Imagine yourself getting up on stage for the first time to perform in the school talent show. You have never wanted to do this before but your music teacher signed you and your beautiful voice up. Your legs are wobbly, your heart is pounding, you feel like the sides of your jeans are soaking wet from wiping off your sweaty palms over and over again. The butterflies are unreal and you are feeling a little light headed…
Why? Why do we get so nervous to perform in front of others? To be ourselves, to fail in front of others, to be the butt of the joke? Well let me tell you…
Michael Gervais, the Seahawk’s High Performance Psychologist, likes to call it FOPO. FEAR OF PEOPLE’S OPINIONS. Whether good or bad, we care so much about what other people will think of us.
“ Will I still be considered cool?”
“ Will I be made fun of? “
“Was my outfit flattering enough?”
“ Did I say the right thing?”
Admit it or not, let me tell you, this has impacted everyone. Ask yourself this, have you ever held back from doing something you really wanted to do? Well, why? Was it because you were afraid of what other people might think? That’s FOPO!
Brene Brown, research professional, spoke with a wide range of 70 to 80 year old’s about this exact topic, just to find out they suffered from FOPO as well. Several of their regrets in life stemmed from not saying that “I love you”, when they felt it, or maybe not being courageous enough to take that risk when they should have. Instead, they remained comfortable with a safety net around them. They kept themselves far enough way to avoid judgement. Now these individuals, who have limited life left, are expressing regret directly related to FOPO. Interesting, right?
I want you to ask yourself something… Are you the one that scrolls through social media and aspires to be as fit and toned as that model, or maybe you are the one that scrolls through and assesses everyone’s life to see who’s is better? Your’s or their’s? Have you been aching to say “I love you”, and you just haven’t found the courage to do so? Do you sit down at night to reflect and maybe catch yourself saying I wish I could have done that today…
If your answer was commonly yes, I have to break it to you, you are experiencing the cheap seats! You are practicing your inner critic and encouraging your judge to be the leader in your life. Why not reflect at the end of the day and be that model you see on your insta-feed or feel satisfied because you opened up to your loved one. Yes, experiencing the front row seats might require you to put a little more skin in the game but the experience is more than worth it! The cheap seats will only let you be the critic in life, they will let you view life from a distance perch, but you will not be able to feel the beat inside of your soul. Take the risk, commit to courage, and be the one who others wish to be. Be that kid, attending the talent show, ON THE STAGE.