You know that feeling: Heart thumping. Room spinning. Is it all of a sudden really, really hot in here? Sweaty palms and elephants in your stomach. Glamorous, right?
No, we’re not talking about the stomach flu. We’re talking about fear.
At some time or another, we all have to do something that terrifies us: Maybe it is truly scary, like a kid being in the hospital, or a little smaller, like a big job interview or taking a huge chance. Whatever the circumstance, fear is no fun. It makes us feel small.
So, the question is, when we’re really, really scared, how do we make ourselves feel big again? How do we stop being scared?
I’m not the cool kind of fearful—total opposite of the person who gets nervous but skydives anyway. I’m the person that jumps off the high dive…only because the person behind me pushed me. It’s a knees-knocking, all-encompassing kind of scared, like we all experience sometimes.
A couple weeks ago, I got asked to do something really amazing, but equally terrifying. And I was panicking.
But then, someone gave me exceptionally wise advice that’s stuck with me ever since. You might know him: His name is Joey and he does extraordinary things for children’s hospitals. This is what he told me:
“The best thing that helps me is realizing that it’s not about me. Your entire mission isn’t about you—it’ll be about the children you’re trying to serve. Make it about them.”
There’s our answer: Take whatever is scaring you, and make it about others.
It’s amazing: Somehow, when we take our lives and make them about serving others, about making other people happy, and doing what we can to make things better, our problems seem lesser, our fears seem smaller. It’s like a diet for what scares you, or makes you unhappy.
It sounds simple, but it’s hard: We’re just human, after all, and we get scared and frustrated and sad. Sometimes we question whether we’ll be able to do something successfully, or wonder why nothing seems to go our way.
We will always have problems, and fears. But those things will seem less important when we shift our focus to helping others solve their problems, conquer their fears, and climb their mountains.
We may not be fearless, and we may not have superpowers like the ability to fly or eat whatever we want and never get full, but if you ask me, we have a pretty big one: We have the power to care about others.
What’s a little fear in the face of something so cool, so meaningful?
Be scared. Do it anyway.
But more importantly, help someone anyway. Fight for them or believe in them anyway.
We’ll be glad we did.
The Monday Life-Communications