Transform Your Thinking

Discover How To Deeply Accept Yourself No Matter What Happens

Have you ever felt nervous before giving a talk? Did you feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, or ashamed afterwards?

In today’s episode you will hear Dr. Aziz’s hilarious and heartfelt “Reverend Story”, which will show you how to increase your speaking confidence, approach life with courage and compassion, and above all accept and love all of who you are.

Click below to hear this episode!


Learning from My Reverend Story

Have you ever felt nervous before giving a talk? Have you done the talk or speech and then felt bad or uncomfortable or embarrassed or ashamed afterwards? Did you ever want a certain outcome so bad and then when you didn’t get it you just felt terrible? If so, then you’re a human and you are going to learn how to deal with each of those scenarios, how to break free of them, and how to just come to a deeper place of self acceptance and courage and power so that stuff does not stop you from getting out there and doing it again and again and better and better ad that’s all going to be contained inside of The Reverend Story.

Welcome to today’s episode of the show. Excited to be with you here today and if you want to jump in to the conversation call me on the studio hotline (206) 338-3176. You can also go to so you can jump in to the conversation, share what you’re learning, you’re experiencing, challenges, taking points, and we can all support each other to more confidence, more badassness. Also go to to check out more about the show. You can get show notes there as well as send me a message through that site as well.

Today, we’re going to get into The Reverend Story. Now The Reverend Story is something personal from my own life and I want to share it with you because there’s so many lessons in there about what get us stuck, what can make us feel anxious or self-doubt or self-critical, how to work with it, how to break free of it, and ultimately just, you know, how to love ourselves more is one of the elements of the story. Another reason I want to share is because I want to highlight how all of this stuff that I teach I’m still working on myself and that this illusion or idea that someone out there maybe you’ve, you know, put that on me I know I put that on other people, teachers of mine, where I’m like oh they got it all figured out, man. I just got to be more like them or they don’t struggle with this anymore because they’re so great and that’s why I want to share this story is, well, I am great but so are you. We’re all great and we’re all still working on our shit, right? So this is why I wanted to kind of highlight this and it’s fun and interesting.

So, The Reverend Story. It’s a story of glory, attachment, hubris, and ultimately liberation. So, sit back and enjoy let’s dive in to it. So, basically I am a reverend I am from the church of the internet. Oh yes, The Universal Life Church, whatever it is. You go on and you fill out a form and you pay 10 bucks and you are then ordained to do weddings and other stuff like that. And the first time I even did that is because a good friend of mine from high school and college approached when he was getting married and said, hey, will you marry me and my wife. And I was really surprised I never done anything like that before and I was honored. I said, wow, that’s really cool. Thank you. I was very excited about it.

So this was a number of years back and on the flight over there I sat down and I wrote in my journal and I just like, what would I want to say? And I just poured my heart into it and they also gave me an outline of, you know, how to do the rest of the ceremony so they helped me out. And then I got there and I actually felt ill. That’s some sort of horrible instant rapid decline onset of food poisoning or something. I remember we were in this big supermarket called Fred Meyer which is out in the east coast or Midwest wherever they were, Detroit area I guess that’s Midwest. And we were walking around the store me and my wife and a few other people and I started looking around. It’s this big box department store like a Target or a Wal-Mart and I was looking around and I was like, man, you know after you’ve run for a long time you want to kind of bend over and put your hands like right above your knees and start breathing more heavily? I wanted to do that and I looked around and I was like, this store has a terrible lack of benches and seating.

So I remember I went out like I sat on the curb and I wanted to like lay down on the sidewalk. I was like, what’s happening to me? And then I just like barfed all night long. It was terrible. It was horrible. I was so sick and he and his wife and all their family are all doctors so they’re like coming in like throughout the night like you’re missing the reception dinner. Are you okay? And I’m like, (gagging) I’m not okay. And the bride’s mom is a family medicine doctor. She comes in she’s like, yeah you’re fine, it’s food poisoning, it will pass. And then my friend comes in later and he’s like, I have an injection that will help you with the nausea. Do you want it? And I was like, what the fuck? Where did you get an, we’re like out of the beach house. Where did you get this? Do you travel with this stuff? And he’s like, do you want it or not? And I was like, uh, okay. So he injected me with this thing and dude it was the worst choice ever. I got so much worse. And it was like burning vomit and it was, I don’t know. Joe!

Anyway, I made it through. The next day I felt like I stopped throwing up I was just really weak and the wedding was at like 4 p.m. or something and I was still in bed, man. It was like noon and people were coming in and like, are you going to be able to do this? And I was like, yeah, yeah, totally, I can do it. And I’m lying in bed I’m just like rehearsing what I want to say and getting prepared for it and then eventually it’s about, you know, an hour before it’s going to start and I grabbed my phone and go to YouTube and I started playing the final countdown, if you know that song. by Journey or something. I don’t know, maybe not. It’s the final countdown… tenenenen tenen ten ten… So I was just playing that again and again and get myself like pumped up and I get out there and really shaky and whatever but it’s beautiful it’s on some I think it’s one of great lakes is where we did it on a beach and I just shared and it was really from my heart. So I talked about love and like sort of the commitment that comes with diving into loving all of someone and married them and it was awesome, it was incredible. And I just felt really free and no one there knew what I do for a living really all my friends were from earlier in life they don’t know that I talk and speak and train and teach for a living. And so afterwards everyone was amazed. The bride’s father who funded the whole wedding was very skeptical of them having their high school buddy marry them and so he was very, you know, weary and skeptical and he came up afterwards and he shook my hand he was like, that was very powerful, thank you. And then for the rest of the night the rest of the reception random people were just coming up to me and be like, that was incredible, that was awesome, thank you so much. And I was just like, yeah, I’m the man, you know. I was riding high. It’s just this was so great. I was so happy. I love them and everyone’s appreciating me. So I got a lot of love I also got a lot of significance, right, so incredible. You may be listening to this and being like, wait a minute. I thought this was a story of getting attached and being nervous and having a hard time. What the fuck? He’s just bragging. This is setup my friend. This is the setup. This is the glory part of detail and then we know how it goes from there.

But anyway, so that was my first experiencing of reverending. And then I was approached a couple of years later this was just recently by another friend who was at that wedding who said, hey I want you to marry me I mean that was awesome what you did. So can you come do that for us? And of course I said, you know, yeah. Do I want a repeat of that experience? Hell, yeah. And so I agreed. And then we enter into chapter 2 of the story which is going to come right after this.

So, here we are. I’, going to go to officiate a second wedding and after the first one I was a demi God, I was Thor, right, I was the man. So I’m coming into like, yeah, I got this, man. And so I didn’t prepare anything and I said I’ll just prepare it on the plane, right, that’s what I did last time stick with what works. However, I didn’t factor in now I was traveling with a year and a half old toddler and I don’t know if you have kids or if you’ve done that but holy shit. You don’t have any down time to be writing a speech at least we didn’t and it’s multiple flights. We’re flying from Portland to Pensacola m Florida ad we’re traveling layover in Dallas. I mean it’s just like full on day of travel with a little kid so I didn’t get a chance. And then when I got there again still taking care of the kid so I went to the beach but I did. I had some time and I created something that I thought was really hard. I actually talked with my wife, she’s amazing, she’s a teacher, too. And we talked about, you know, love and marriage and kind of ways to highlight some of the gifts in the relationship that are not necessarily automatic. It’ll come by default but if you take on the certain practices how you can have just an incredible relationship which is what we have. And so I wanted to share that with this couple that was getting married and everyone there at the wedding.

So I wrote it, I was excited about it, I was very good, and then I realized like, oh man, I got to memorize this? And that’s not how I work. Like if you’re listening to this I don’t have a script for any of these podcasts, any of my programs, I’ll just take bullet point or write a few sentences out. Like for this episode I wrote out first reverend gig, demi God. And that’s enough for me to know like, oh yeah, I’m going to talk about the first one. But for this thing I was like I got to memorize something so I make sure I deliver it and I was trying to memorize it and I didn’t have that much time and I was on the beach and I had to go help my wife with my kid and then, anyway, long story short I got it down but I didn’t have it like really ingrained in there. And I’m really nervous. I’m more nervous way more nervous this time than I was last time hic is really interesting because I do a lot of speaking and I’ll get nervous ahead of time but it’s like this kind of energy building and like, oh here we go.

Kind of like getting on a roller coaster but I know I’m just going to nail it because I have done it so many times and I have a lot of self efficacy and belief in myself for public speaking. But for some reason with this one I was like nervous and like, you know that self doubt kind of nervous you get where it’s like, oh man, what if I mess this up? There’s so much pressure on this. So I was feeling all that and I was like, okay, here we go. And I was getting closer to the time and I’m memorizing it practicing it again and again eventually I was just like, I can’t practice this anymore. I got to just do this. And so we drive to the place it’s also on a beach it’s in Pensacola, Florida on the golf coast there in the southern part of the United States and everyone’s gathering there, I’m waiting up there with the groom and we’re about to start the ceremony. It’s very small wedding very intimate kind of like a destination wedding.

So just the closest people to this couple. And I’m standing up there and the wedding planner lady comes out and she’s like, you’re going to stand there? And it’s like, you know, I’m kind of looking at the couple and the audience and I’m standing  there with the groom we’re waiting for the bride to come out. She comes up she’s like, you’re going to stand there? And I was like, yeah. She was like, no, no, no, no. You need to stand like with your back to the audience facing the couple. And I was like, what? What are you talking about? Like I’ve never seen that. I’ve been to a lot of weddings, my own weeding, seen a lot of movies, I’ve never seen that before. She’s like, listen, I’ve done 2000 weddings, okay, and that’s how it’s always done. And I was like, I looked at the groom and he’s like I don’t know what the fuck she’s talking about. I was like, well, I think we’re just going to do it this way. So I was really proud of myself there I was assertive but it also kind of was like an intense interaction to have like moments before the speech, right? So here we go, shake it off, and like here we go, Aziz, take some deep breaths, self-compassion.

And then, you know, bride comes out, she’s beautiful, music’s really sweet, I mean it’s just the most beautiful I mean I and then I start talking and I just realized like, oh, that’s right I can do this and so I start sharing and I’m energetic and I’m engaging, and I’m interacting with people. But then I notice the bride and the groom like the groom is kind of looking off a lot and the bride is like looking really distracted she’s kind of looking down. I can’t tell she tell she’s really restless or what’s going on with her. And like, okay, that’s cool and I keep talking and then I look at the audience and everyone’s kind of on everyone. But a lot of people are a little shifty like people are looking down and I’m like, okay. And then I lose it and I’m giving my speech and I just go into like anxious abort mode. I’m like, abort, abort. You’re losing them. You’re losing them. Jump ahead to the ceremony part.

So I cut out a big chunk of the middle of my little speech, my little sermon and it was like the part that had the jokes in it, it was the part that had some sweetness in it, you know, and I just cut it all out not really consciously it wasn’t a real conscious decision it was just like (gagging). Have you ever done that during a speech? It’s not like you methodically think about what strategically to remove you just ass out and then all of a sudden you’re at the end of your talk. And that’s what I did and then we did the ceremony and the changing of rings and all that and it was very beautiful, very sweet. And no one knew that I did this. No one knew that I cut part of it out because no one had heard of it before. And to them it was great but to me something weird was happening and I could feel it inside of me. And it was over I was like, oh, man, like what just happened there? And then afterwards when I started talking to people I discovered what really was going on and it shifted even more.

So there I was I was giving the talk they’re doing all the photos afterwards on the beach and I was talking to some people and a couple of people have said, hey that was really great. And have you ever had that where if you didn’t perform in the way that you wanted to it’s hard to take in someone giving you a compliment? And in my mind I was like, yeah right. You’re just saying that. That wasn’t great, you know, and I was even like whoa that was intense. It was kind of like this critical judgmental energy inside of me that I don’t it used to be my entire life was that and now after all this work that I’ve done and everything I don’t go there as often it’s more noticeable when I go there. So all of a sudden I’m like, whoa, that’s interesting I’m rejecting compliments I’m being critical of myself. And then I was talking with someone he was like it was great, I was like, oh thanks. You know it’s interesting I actually left a portion out because I notice a lot of people were looking down and I interpreted that as people as maybe people weren’t as engaged. And he laughed and he’s like, oh no, man. You were oriented to the sun was right behind you guys and it was kind of close to sunset and it’s like the sun was in all of our faces it was brutal. It’s like if we looked at you guys it was burning our eyes. I was like, really? And when someone else said that I was like, oh shit, oh man. And then later on the bride was telling me she’s like, oh my God the reason I was late because we were all kind of waiting for her out there, she was like, the reason I was late is I was putting all my eye make-up and I’d like got some mascara in my eye and it was burning and burning and burning and I was washing it off for like 15 minutes and I just had to go out there even though my eye was burning so when you were talking my eye was burning so much. And I was like, oh man. And then the groom told me he was like, yeah, your speech was great I was so focused on trying to remember my vows that ii wasn’t really paying attention. And I was like, oh man. Right? So this is one of the lessons that I want to share from The Reverend Story is we do that all the time. We misinterpret the reactions of the audience because I’m coming to it from a place where I’m nervous I’m going to mess this up and we misinterpret what’s going on and it goes through this bad filter in our head where we then doubt ourselves.

So that was a huge reminder for me to be really careful about how I’m interpreting what’s happening and be weary of hastily jumping to the conclusion that it’s all going terribly, people think I’m boring, people don’t like me, right? Because that’s just fear and self-doubt that’s going to feed on that and it reminded of a lot I mean it just threw me right back to, you know, when I was younger and giving talks I was terrible and scared and all that stuff. So I realized, well that’s still in there and what a great reminder to like step up and keep offering and not necessarily interpret everything as people don’t like me or they’re not engaged. So that was a great breakthrough for me. And then the better even bigger breakthrough came later because afterwards I just felt low, man. I felt like i had all these stuff come up like I failed them, I didn’t share what I really wanted to share it was like not funny, I suck, they think it was bad, they’re just being nice and saying they liked it, you know. It was on and on and on. And it was really intense it was going on for the rest of that evening kind of in the background and at the same time I was hanging out with friends and enjoying it but I was sort of in the backburner and like that night and the next morning really strong and I was talking about it with my wife the next morning up early before our son got up and I was like, this is weird I usually don’t, what’s going on I’m attacking myself so much? And through talking with her and looking at it later on my own I realized that it all goes back to that first experience, the demi God reverending. So I came in with this expectation that it’s going to be just like that and that I have to be amazing and there’s so much significance and attachment to being significant wrapped in there like, I got to be amazing, I got to wow everyone, and I did before and now I didn’t. People said it was good a lot of people said they liked it and it was good but it wasn’t the same level of their minds are blown. And I was like, wow, so like a part of got really attached to the significance wanting to be really special and great and amazing which is horribly ironic because it’s not about me, right? I’m there to like help this beautiful couple be married be about them. And so I kept brining my focus to that is like I want to bring it, what’s it really about?

And so when you give a talk or even an experience when you’re really beating yourself up afterwards I want you to look at what is it that I’m comparing myself to and in this case I was comparing it to some past experience and you might be doing that as well. Like you do a presentation and you’re comparing it to that, you know, your ideal presentation, the perfect presentation you did.

Or you could be comparing it to something that doesn’t even exist that you never even did, just some mental model some idea of like I’m supposed to be this way and you’re comparing yourself to it and you’re not and then you feel like shit and so what you want to do is you want to look at what is it that I’m comparing myself to. And when I saw that I was like, oh, I was supposed to be this amazing speaker that blows everyone’s mind and I’m like, oh shit I’m familiar with that one. You know, and it’s a pride position. I talked about that in a previous episode I think it’s called, The Seeker to Self-Acceptance.It’s ways back down maybe end of 2014 but that’s what you want to look at is what is the expectation or demand and you just kind of let it go, man. Like I was just like wow I was demanding4 I be perfect and amazing and you know what I don’t have to be I just got to be a human. Because underneath that demand is the fear of well if I’m not perfect and amazing and I don’t wow everyone and impress them they’re not going to love me, you know, and these people aren’t going to love me. And I realized I was inserting that belief in there like my friends don’t love me, their parents they don’t love me. I was like, you know what, man, I don’t need to be that.

Just showing up just being there and sharing with them and giving my heat and holding the space for them and being the officiant for them and it’s a beautiful act of love to give that to them and also to be asked to give that to them. And then it started to unravel a little bit and soften over that day and then just every time I thought about it, you know, if you had this experience where you think back to a painful one like your speech wasn’t good enough or you’re at a party or whatever you didn’t do what you wanted to do and you think back to it and you have that kind of critical cringing energy like (cringe).

Every time I had that I would just let go and send myself love and like I don’t have to be anything other than what I was, it was perfect, I’m okay, and I’m just human. Sometimes I nail it out of the park and sometimes it’s okay and sometimes it can fall flat on my face and it’s all okay. And as I did that over the next few days and weeks it really started to unravel ad then it cracked open and I could feel the beauty and the love in that moment and the perfection of that moment. And now the speech was perfect exactly as it was.

A friend of mine I really appreciated has a lot of experience with AA and he said there’s 3 things that they talk about when they talk about what you share in AA which is one is, there’s what you intended to say what you wanted to say then there’s what you actually said and then there’s what you wish you would’ve said afterwards. And I was just laughing there and I was like, oh yeah that’s kind of how it went for me there. And this humanness came out of it, the self love came out of it, and it’s really what I want for you is to just when you look back at that experience just letting go of any demand on yourself. It’s okay. You don’t need to be perfect. You can be loved just as you are. And now when I think back to that moment instead of being a painful moment it’s like this sweet moment on the beach and I feel a lot of love. And I feel so much gratitude because it taught me so much and it helped me learn even more to share with people that I work with and share with you today. So when we really let go of these demands it’s amazing how many gifts open up. And that actually brings us to our action step where you’re going to apply this in your own life.

Action Step

Your action step for today is to take one of the lessons that you got. What is one lesson you got? What is the most valuable thing you got from the story today and notice what that is and then commit to applying it in your life that you’d want to take away, your one big u-huh. Maybe there’s multiple but just the most valuable one the first one that comes to your mind you know really decide see what that is and then decide to apply that in your life, take it away. I’m going to use it whether it’s I don’t want to let go of the standards or expectations and be more compassionate with myself. Or I’m not going to interpret as quickly what’s happening with people when I talk to them or maybe something else. I mean there’s as many lessons in the story as there are people listening to it so you can draw what you need from it and apply it in your life and let us know. Go to to share what you learned, what you took away from it.

And until we speak again. May you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome.

Music Credit

All music is licensed or royalty free.

DeepSound – Rain Clouds
(Licensed through

Ask The Shrink:
Boccherini Minuet
(Licensed through

Action Step:
Justin Crosby – Skrillit
(Licensed through

Lokfield – Terra’s Theme Dubstep
(Creative Commons License)

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