As humans, it’s in our nature to serve. Helping someone else makes others feel great, and you feel good, too. When it comes to serving the people in your life, we have a few tools to cultivate a great environment in which those around you feel cared for, and you do, too!
Don't talk yourself out of helping.
A negative mindset is not a helpful mindset. If you tend to talk yourself out of things, evaluate the truth behind what you’re thinking.
- “I’m sure someone’s already done this for them.” So, what! Do it anyway.
- “They probably have people they’re already talking to about this. I’m sure someone’s checked in with them.” No one turns down a listening ear. Do it anyway.
- “They’re really busy … they probably don’t need the added stress of hearing from me.” You may be the brightest part of their day. Do it anyway.
- “They don’t like parties. I wouldn’t want them to feel pressure to come to mine.” Most people gain from the benefit of a simple invite and are less likely to feel left out! Do it anyway.
When in doubt, step up and don’t let your own fear and assumptions keep you from serving. Do it anyway.
Remember that you can't fix everything.
You can’t fix every problem, and you won’t be the main solution for everyone’s needs. Great news … no one expects you to be! Finding ways to serve your people doesn’t mean you save them. Serving means that you’re looking for ways to benefit them, no matter how small it may seem.
- Been awhile since you saw a close friend, but your schedules just don’t jam right now? Leave a note on their front steps to say you miss them.
- If your sister seems stressed when you text her, drop by, fold a load of laundry, or empty the dishwasher.
- Kiddo having a rough day? Empathize. Sit down, look them in the eyes, say you love them, and that you want to hear all about it. And then follow through.
- If your spouse or partner is in a busy season of life, say out loud that you appreciate what they do for you.
- Does your nephew look upset? Give him an extra squishy hug!
There’s a lot of love to be shared, and just because you can’t fix everything, doesn’t mean you can’t help with something. Need a spare idea or two to get you going? Check these out.
Accept help from others.
It’s a scary and tough place to be vulnerable—for everyone. One of the most difficult things in the world is to realize that we may need help and can’t do everything ourselves. It’s humbling, and yet imperative, to recognize that as difficult as it is for you to accept help for yourself, others might also feel the same. Be patient. Be empathetic. Be caring. And like we just discussed, do it anyway!
Often, even when someone says they don’t need help with something, they probably do—they just don’t know how to ask for it, or don’t know how to define the help they need.
Sound like you, or someone you know? Likely, yes. Let’s look at what you can do to more readily accept help from others.
- Be vulnerable. That’s a big scary word for a lot of people! Being vulnerable means you don’t have control of a situation. But that’s okay! Let the ego go, and let yourself be served.
- Let someone else give. Allowing someone else to help you, may be exactly what they need. If you’re the one always serving, but don’t accept help yourself, it’s off-putting and makes others feel less than. Take a break and say, “Yes!” the next time someone offers.
- Practice paying it forward. Your neighbor mowed your front yard yesterday after they mowed their own. Say thank you, be appreciative, and then go help someone else! No need to keep it a two-way street—there are a lot of yards out there to mow!
Whatever your reason for being of service to others, there’s no doubt it’s worth it. Creating connections, keeping life in perspective, having empathy, or building a sense of purpose for yourself and those around you—there are a million big and little ways to serve your people today. What’s yours?