Are you aware of the thoughts going through your mind, right now?
What are you thinking about right now?
Are you thinking about the present moment or are you thinking about your future: what you’re going to do later today; planning dinner, making a shopping list, what your day tomorrow will look like?
Are you thinking about the past: what you said to the cashier at the store, how silly you probably looked walking around all afternoon since no one told you that you had spinach in your teeth?
When you are having a conversation with someone, are you focused on them and what they are saying and truly enjoying the conversation, or are you thinking about yourself: what should I say next, how do I look right now, am I good enough to really be having this conversation, what if I say something offensive? That was exhausting for me to even write all of that, let alone someone having those thoughts constantly rolling around on a continuous cycle all day everyday. This is the thought pattern of many people all day everyday. Literally self-conscious/only conscious of the self.
Being so self-conscious really takes away from the experience when all we are doing is focusing on ourselves. You could even go as far as to say that this is being selfish: all the attention is staying with you instead of giving the speaker the floor and all of the attention. Isn’t that what we learned in elementary school, it’s rude not to give the teacher our full attention.
If this happens to you, it’s ok. Know that a large majority of the population lives each day just like this. Floating through life unconsciously completing tasks and thinking about and living the future: how great it’ll be when I get that promotion, take that trip, retire in 20 years. Just get me through THIS so I can get to THAT, never truly enjoying life NOW.
There is a distinct difference between being selfish and selfless. I want you to understand this: caring for yourself in a loving way, and standing up for yourself and what you believe in is selfless whereas focusing on yourself in a vain way, or in an anxious self-conscious – worrying about judgement from others kind of way is considered more selfish. When we stop caring what others think, is when we can truly start to really be selfless and care for ourselves. Put the focus on someone else as this is an act of caring for and loving yourself. It’s selfless humility and feels wonderful.