I had the incredible privilege of officiating my first wedding last week. The bride and groom were beautiful and radiant, and the wedding was spectacular – we’re talking like gnomes and fairies kind of spectacular. The bride even wore a gorgeous set of fairy wings made from a doll maker in Barcelona. It was special event and one that will be remembered for years to come.
Days leading up to the ceremony, when anyone I spoke to discovered that this was my first time officiating a wedding, I was inevitably asked: “Aren’t you nervous??”
Umm, you think?? Of course I am! It is a tremendous honor to hold space for a couple in this way. So YES. I felt nervous.
Obviously, I had to sit down and think this through. What kind of nervous is healthy and what kind is not? And then the insight hit. It sounded something like this:
So yeah, you’ve got a big task on your hands. Nervous, excited energy is inevitable and what makes things like this so exhilarating. If you didn’t feel nervous then something would be wrong with you. The question is: what KIND of nervous are you? Normal nervous (excitement) or unnecessary nervous (anxiety)?
Straight up: anxiety nervousness is because of the focus you’re unintentionally holding.
You’re unhealthy nervous about this wedding only if your awareness is more on how you’re going to appear, what other people think of you, and how “good” you are at delivering this. If your focus is largely on getting others to admire you, believe in you, or think you’re great then you’re going to be riddled with anxiety because you’re making this about your competency.
But you’re not doing this to prove you’re competent and worthy of admiration, you’re doing this because you believe in love, unity and the union of this couple. Remember that you stand for empowerment, joy, wisdom, clarity, and LOVE. Coming from this stance, the task is then about embodying and sharing these qualities. With this as your focus, your delivery will be meaningful and effective.
Of course the question of what others think will pop up. But you don’t have to let that question take over and dominate your experience. If it does then you’re more concerned about your image than you are about the objective. By holding fast to what you REALLY stand for – empowerment, joy, wisdom, clarity, and love – the nervousness and anxiety are replaced with presence, clarity, vigor, and peace. Turn the fear into fuel simply by keeping your stance as your focus, not your image.
Keep calm and carry on,
Your inner being
Next time you find yourself hesitating to speak up or put yourself out there, just remember to ask what your focus is. Your competency and image? Or what you care about and stand for? Tap into your bigger vision and turn your fear into fuel.
Amy Eliza Wong is a life coach, writer, and speaker in the Sacramento, CA area committed to helping people figure out what makes them tick so they can finally live with joy and real purpose. Learn more about working with her.