It’s not all about you … or me

I often think about how I’ve grown since my junior high years. I’d love to go back and tell young Candace, “Everyone else is so concerned about him or herself. They’re not paying attention to what you are doing.”

Like most adolescents, I went through an awkward stage. I thought everyone in school noticed every wrong answer in class and non-cute outfit I wore. As I grew up, I found myself wondering insignificant things like: Did I wear this shirt last week? Then I realized, I don’t remember what my co-workers wore last week. Surely they don’t know what I wore either – especially if I don’t remember what I wore!

OK it’s not just about clothes. I’ve had co-workers thank me for not letting them look stupid. I usually smile, say “you’re welcome, but I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Just like anything else, I didn’t notice what they were self-conscious about, and they didn’t notice the things I was self-conscious about.

So remember that next time you feel stupid. The woman next to you didn’t even notice because she was too preoccupied wondering if she wore the right shoes.

What advice would you like to go back in time and give yourself?