“If you’re nervous, it means you give a damn.”
Ok. I almost called this ‘giving a damn’, but, this is about the relationship between nervousness and giving a shit about something. Here is the basic equation (logic flow):
– Giving a damn means you are thinking about something (because you can’t give a damn about something you aren’t thinking about).
– Thinking is good (especially if it is on something you give a damn about)
– Being nervous CAN be good (but pretty much all of us get nervous when we give a damn about something).
Bottom line on being nervous and nervousness.
All are aspects of giving a shit.
All of which are also aspects of worrying.
Worrying about being good enough or ‘having enough’ or just ‘doing as well as I can.’
Ok. Here is a Life truth (beyond the fact everyone gets nervous). Despite what you may think about yourself … and despite the fact you worry, the truth is, more often than not, you do a lot of ‘right’ (right things, right decisions and right thoughts).
Despite that Life truth we do a lot of navel-gazing (and worrying) when it comes to thinking and ‘having enough’ when it matters.
Oh. About that ‘what matters’ and when we get nervous about having enough thought.
To me it often feels like we’re having too many conversations about things that don’t matter and not enough about things that do. This translates into getting nervous, if not even investing energy, towards a lot of things that just do not matter.
We have gobs of incredibly smart, resourceful, creative thinking people in today’s world and, frankly, I wish we would spend more of our precious attention, energy, and ideation skills solving meaningful things that mattered.
In addition. I also wish more people accepted they had ‘enough’ to deal with all the shit that matters. This also means we just need to accept that being nervous is just part of the gig.
Anyway. Let me share two aspects of nervous and giving a shit.
Nervousness is just a reflection of the fact you recognize that there is something to lose when you care.
Now. This isn’t ‘caring about losing’, but more about ‘losing if I care.’ Some people have this equation out of whack in that they simply believe losing any time is bad. It is out of whack because, simplistically, we care about some things more than others. The winning or losing isn’t, and shouldn’t be, tied to the outcome but rather the ‘level of caring.’
“The more you care, the more you have to lose.”
In my mind your nervousness should be used more often as a platform for discussion or thinking or even level of caring. But, please, … please … don’t make nervousness based on some fear of doing the ‘wrong things.’
Just figure out what you care about, and, accept the fact that if you care that the outcome matters more, and, accept that if it matters more you will be nervous.
Nervousness and anger. Beyond being tied to caring or level of caring … nervousness is absolutely tied to anger.
“My anger at the world coils inside of me. It’s a directionless seething, there’s no name or face to aim at.”
The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn
Nervousness always has a direction.
That is why I get aggravated when someone says ‘I just don’t know why I’m nervous.’
Well. Being nervous always contains an aspect of some … well … anger. You get angry that a world demands so much of you and you get nervous that you cannot meet what the world demands.
This doesn’t mean that you are not capable nor does it mean that in some form or fashion you do not enjoy rising to the occasion. What it means is that you get a little angry just being put in the position . Just think of it this way … your anger coils inside you and comes out externally as nervousness.
But … you know what? Some anger is quite productive.
Some anger motivates you to action and stepping up rather than stepping back . But this also means that some anger translates into being nervous.
I am fairly sure everyone gets nervous about things . But I am absolutely positive everyone gets nervous about the things that matter to them.
I imagine I wrote this because people just don’t like being nervous.
They don’t like the feeling.
And my fear is that maybe in avoiding being nervous … maybe they avoid things that matter.
Accept the burden of nervousness.
You have to.
If you don’t, then most of the things you do will … well … not matter. Suffice it to say that Life is too short to not do things that matter so, go ahead, be nervous.
What’s Next? Talk with others. Take action.
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this post previously published on Enlightened Conflict and is reprinted with permission of the author.
Photo courtesy Pixabay.