Why are we nervous?
We are nervous because this shit matters. We are worried about the outcome of the upcoming action. It isn’t actually the “doing” that scares us, it is the unknown response to “What if?”
Nerves remind us of what it means to be alive. You place your hand on your chest to concentrate on your breathing and you feel your heart beating out of your chest. You are living.
Have you ever been nervous and told yourself not to be?
I have. It doesn’t work. It makes it worse.
Nerves prey on the ones who choose not to address them. They are real, whether you “want” them to be or not. If you choose to push the nerves down and away from you, they like all things, will provide resistance as they try and rise to the surface. This resistance is what creates the stress and anxiety about the nervousness and causes people to stumble. There have been times where I have anxiety about how nervous I am going to be days before the action, but I remind myself the most powerful memories I have were preceded by nerves: a proposal, a performance, a pitch, or the birth of my kids.
There is an immense amount of your human emotion wrapped up in a nervous feeling. Embrace it. This moment matters and that is why you’re nervous. So smile and make room for the nerves as you let them join you on stage because moments that trigger nerves are a blessed result of your hard work. Trust the work you have done and allow yourself to fall back on your effort and experience.