In a job interview, surely one of the main emotions that prevents you from being calm is fear: fear of the interview, not measuring up, not getting what you want, a lack of body control, fear of rejection, etc. To be able to control this fear, the first thing we are going to do is know what it is, how it works and how it is faced. In this way, both in a job interview and in any daily situation that generates this discomfort, you can manage it and turn it in your favor.
What is fear? : it is one of the most basic and powerful emotions of the human being, it occurs in any culture and time. It is a necessary emotion, but deep down unpleasant that makes us feel bad, generates anxiety, causes our body to react physically, it is a passive emotion that makes us feel defenseless and that when we feel it, we withdraw or move away from the source that produces it, precisely because of that, because it makes us feel bad. Danger is related to imminent danger, but it is the associated anxiety that makes us anticipate future dangers.
Its function: fundamentally its function is survival, because without it we would simply die. To live without fear would be to live in a very risky, reckless way and we would put our lives in danger. Fear serves to survive, to face dangers with sanity and is an adaptive mechanism, it has to do with our ability to react quickly to dangerous situations. Fear, therefore, has a very important utility in our life, but as long as they are functional fears, rational fears. Fear, therefore, will be an emotion that will work according to our mental models and patterns, it will work according to our life learning and hence the importance of distinguishing when this emotion becomes problematic or dysfunctional.
Dysfunctional fear: The problem with our fear emotion is when our beliefs and interpretations cause us to feel fear in an irrational way. We will really be feeling fear of our fear! If we manage our fear in a dysfunctional way, we will be incorporating a brake on what we really want to do: not carrying out a project, a dream, not taking a trip, not making decisions, not attending an interview or not giving ourselves the opportunity to meet people and opportunities. So the problem now is what we do with the fear that paralyzes us! We are afraid and we don’t really know why.
How do we recognize fear? Whenever faced with a desired or desired situation we see that the excuses to carry them out begin to make their appearance, we are surely dealing with our fears. We tend to hide this emotion by making it credible to us: “I don’t have time”, “now is not a good time”, “first I’ll do this before …”, “I’ll try later”, “now I can’t but I’ll do it” , “Surely there are people more prepared than me”, and so on for a long time, etc. I assure you that if we think the situation well, analyze it sincerely and deeply, surely you will recognize that fear is lurking.
How to face fear? : the first thing we new must know is what we would like to do and do not do, what we want to achieve and cannot achieve, how we would like to live and do not live. From there, we must think about what those fears that are holding back our desires are based on, what are the beliefs that support it, what influences this emotion from my past and what I can do so that it does not affect dysfunctionally ever again. my life.
Steps to face fear: Here I suggest some simple steps for you to manage the fear that paralyzes you.
- Name your fear and acknowledge it without judging yourself: fear of failure, of losing something, of exposing yourself to others, of rejection, of standing out, of being singled out, what they will say, loneliness, loss, illness, old age, suffering, not measuring up, not knowing what they ask you, making a fool of yourself, etc.
- Recognize how fear is expressed in your body : break with the expression of fear in your body, for example, change your position when you notice that fear begins to make its appearance, perform breathing exercises when you begin to notice it agitated, tap muscle to your face when you start to notice its trembling, etc. Fear has its own body language and you must learn to recognize it to cut with it.
- Analyze why fear appeared in similar past situations. Know the history of your fear, try to go back and discover why it appeared, at what moment, who were in those moments, what originated it. A good exercise for this analysis is to write what your mind says when you give it the order to find the origin of your fears. You will be surprised by the possible associations that you will discover. Once you know the origin of your paralyzing emotion, you can prepare an attack plan so that it no new longer has as much impact on your daily life.
- Be aware of your previous successes : You will also have a success story before the fear appeared. Become aware of the resources you used to achieve successful past goals. Discover your talents, your values, your strengths, your current tools that you can use. You must know yourself a winner and not live like a loser. Fear appeared at a certain moment in your life and we must redirect it to resume the moments of success that have also existed and can return to your life.
- Think about the worst thing that can happen if you take a riskBeing aware of the worst possible scenario if you face your fears will help you realize how exaggerated your fear and anxiety are. In the vast majority of cases, the worst possible scenario is far better than the consequences that may arise in your life for not facing a certain situation due to fear. For example, if you do not go to an interview because of fear, you will never even have the option to be accepted or rejected; If you don’t talk to the girl you like, she will never even know that you were interested in her; If you do not change cities for fear of what that new place may await you, you will never know if it was something wonderful or that it could have changed your life; If you are afraid to change your look, you will never know how beautiful or attractive you could have seen yourself, and so on, hundreds of simple and complex situations that are subjected to fear. I really like the following sentence that I have read at some point on the net: “Do it, and if it new scares you, do it with fear.”
- Alternative plan : when fear takes hold of you in any situation, what is really happening is that it is warning you of the dangerous situation you are going to face and the possibility of a lack of resources that will prevent you from succeeding. You must have a contingency plan, an alternative plan for situations that may arise. Simply by acknowledging your fears that you have already done, your chances of success have increased. Now if you plan alternative actions, you will really be successfully facing the dangerous situation. For example, in the case of interviews, prepare them in advance, do not leave any detail loose, handle yourself safely and think that you are not perfect, that you can be wrong, that you may not know and that the person interviewing you is a human being just like you. I recommend: 16 basic tips at the time of the job interview. and Questions and answers in a job interview.
- Gradually face your fears : facing an emotion as powerful as fear, must be done little by little, we must accustom our brain to a new form of response, we must make new functional connections. For example , if you are afraid to speak in public, start speaking in small groups and in situations where you can have control, little by little you will be able to generalize to other situations; Another example , if you are afraid of a job interview, you should practice your ways of speaking, your body language, your way of communicating, you should record yourself to get feedback on possible mistakes, etc. There are many alternatives to face the fearsome fear.