Act as if…
What is our greatest fear in life? Jerry Seinfeld says, “According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death.” And Seinfeld adds, “Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”
Public speaking regularly rises to the top of our list of fears. I was thinking about this as I watched our youth lead worship yesterday. I’m sure that to our congregation our kids seemed fearless. They stood confidently before us and through song, prayer, and a sermon, they moved us all. People were amazed that they could be so poised at such a young age.
Here’s a little secret. They were afraid—very afraid! They were afraid what people would think or that they would forget their lines or stumble over words. But here’s the difference: they choose to act as if they were confident and ready to lead us in worship, even though their insides were knotted up with anxiety.
This is true for all those we admire for their great accomplishments. It is not that they didn’t experience fear and anxiety in daring to do something great. They were as fearful as any of us would be. But rather than succumb to it, they chose to “act as if” they were confident, poised, and meant for the moment.
So remember, no matter what you’re feeling inside, you can choose to act as if things were different. The funny thing is that when we “act as if” things were different, soon we come to feel and believe differently. Sometimes we can’t think our way out of fear. We need to act our way out!