But what if your trousers fall down? And why it doesn’t matter if they do. Even if a billion people are watching…

Have you ever felt nervous about a stressful situation & started panicking about endless worst case scenarios, including a major wardrobe malfunction?

Me too. 

And probably everyone else on this planet who wears clothes and who isn’t the most super confident human being.

And you know what, it doesn’t matter even if your trousers do fall down.

It could be in a work presentation, on a first date, or appearing on TV live in front of over a billion people… As a proud Brummie, many of my talented creative friends were involved in this week’s phenomenal opening ceremony for the Commonwealth Games. 

One of them was terrified that their trousers might fall down on live TV, in front of an audience of over a billion people.

Imagine that…  a billion people seeing your trousers fall down.

Maybe a good idea to wear your best pants for a day like that!

But you know what, even if that did happen, it wouldn’t really matter. And here’s why…

For years I’ve often been nervous & shy, and not felt as good as other people. I worried about all sorts of things… including my trousers falling down. 

Then I trained as a Celebrant and began taking funeral services. One was for a former army man, and life hadn’t been kind to him.

For his Funeral we had a bugler playing The Last Post, and Standard Bearers from his regiment. I was so nervous about making sure everything was perfect, desperately wanting to honour his life and give his family the best possible send off for their much loved Dad and Grandad. 

That’s when I realised that my trousers were not the most important thing that day. 

If they stayed up or down, they were only a minor detail on the outskirts of what really mattered that day. 

A family had lost someone they loved very much, that really mattered. Giving him a meaningful goodbye and paying tribute to his years on earth, that really mattered

If my trousers fell down and everyone saw my pants, well that didn’t really matter.

If anything, it would be a tiny post script to the things that did matter on that day. It might make someone smile at an otherwise incredibly sad time, and would perhaps be a story shared at the reception afterwards. ‘The Celebrant whose trousers fell down’ – nobody would even remember it was me.

Because it doesn’t really matter

Many of us wear trousers, most of us wear pants underneath, and so it wouldn’t actually be that shocking. Maybe everyone else would be so relieved it was my trousers that fell down, and not their own!

And even if a billion people were watching you on TV, what really mattered would be that thousands of people worked for months to create a magical opening ceremony for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. 

Your tumbling trousers might become a meme for a while, but Ozzy the giant mechanical bull would still be centre stage.

I’m happy to report that my friend’s trousers didn’t fall down on live TV, by the way. But my friend found it useful to keep that question in mind, ‘What really matters here, in this moment?’ to calm the worries down.

I’ve found it a massive help in focusing attention onto where it really matters in any particular situation. A Mindfulness Practice helps me to notice where I’m placing my attention, and nudge it to somewhere that really matters.

What really counts? We’re all just imperfect human beings who are doing our best. Our trousers don’t matter that much.

Although for a stressful situation, you could always wear your best pants, and carry a safety pin. Just in case…

Photo with thanks to Matt Moloney at Unsplash.