Our younger daughter graduated from university two weeks ago, and today starts her new job in her chosen field! It’s a fabulous day from the perspective of proud mama and papa birds who see that she can fly. But, she texted me this morning: “I’m really nervous.”
Flashback 39 years ago. I had just given my first sort of public talk, of a devotional nature, at my local church. When I was done, I was walking past the ancient matriarch of our congregation who was playing the piano. “You did real good!” she said, still playing and never missing a note on the piano. I thanked her and said: “But I was so nervous.” To which she responded, one hand still playing and other hand raised to point a finger at me: “Young man, you worry the day you are NOT nervous.”
Her response seemed a little harsh to me at the time, but I’ve since learned to interpret it differently. My attitude toward that kind of “hindrance” has become that nerves are a form of energy. When I am nervous before a new or unusual event, that energy is available to me however I want to use it. I can let it distract me and make me think that I won’t be able to do the new thing, or I can use that energy to actually DO the new thing, ENGAGE new people, CREATE new possibilities and EMPOWER me to do things that I don’t feel confident about doing. Somehow, just knowing that “nerves” in this context are a form of energy at one’s disposal helps make that kind of transformation in attitude and readies one for take off.
So, that was my returning text this morning: “Just think about the nervousness as energy. You can use it for your first day at your new job.”
We may encounter today what first seem to be hindrances. Can we make a little space to consider how they may actually be helps? Bon voyage!