Re: fear of seeing people you know in public
I have that exact same problem sometimes. When I go out, I don't want to run into anyone I know so I tend to only go to places far from home. I think the root of this fear comes from my childhood. When I think back to middle school and high school, I remember having a lot of trouble associating with people because I always felt different from them for some reason. I felt like everyone wanted to be bad when all I wanted to do was be good and do good in school. It always seemed to me like I was never cool enough, didn't wear nice enough clothes, didn't do drugs or drink like a lot of people were starting to do, wasn't having sex like everyone else was bragging about, etc. I always felt that because I wasn't much like the so-called "cool kids" that I wasn't any good...as if I didn't have the right to feel confident about myself... see what I'm getting at?
Now as an adult, I often fear running into a lot of those people around town because it kind of brings back those old memories. As if anyone even still cares, right?? The truth is, I was nice to everyone in high school and middle school, even if they weren't nice to me...that, in the end, is all that really matters and all that anyone will really remember about you anyway. If people want to think you're no good because you want to BE good, then its their problem and not yours.
So, the heart of the problem really lies in self confidence issues. Seems to me that when you are truely confident and secure in who you are and what your purpose in life is, there is never a need to fear judgement or scrutiny from others. I've had a problem with self confidence for a long time but as I'm getting older, I'm realizing how foolish it is to live like that...always worrying about what others will think of me... please...what an incredible waste of time.
Think about this...if every major inventor of the last 100 years worried about what other people thought of what they were doing and listened to their scrutiny, we would still be riding a horse and buggy, reading by candle light, and there would be no computer for me to type this post on...Now what does that tell ya?