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Coping With Nerves

When you get your invitation to attend an interview, you may start to feel a little anxious and apprehensive.

This is quite normal.

In psychological terms, it is known as performance anxiety tension.

Although everybody experiences it – it is important that you know how to handle it.

Otherwise, in extreme cases, it can overwhelm you and may adversely affect your performance.

Test anxiety

The prospect of being interviewed fills many people with anxiety.

However, the first thing to remember is that this feeling is perfectly normal – in fact, natural.

It is important we emphasize this fact.

You’re facing an important interview where the job you want may depend on your performance – so naturally you’ll feel anxious and nervous.

In fact, this feeling can be positively beneficial.

Performance anxiety, when consciously acknowledged and directed can actually enhance your performance.

As most top-class sports people will tell you, a normal level of performance anxiety can enhance your performance.

It keeps you awake and alert; it heightens all your senses; and when consciously acknowledged and directed, it can raise your level of awareness and concentration to a higher octave of concentrated focus

However the reverse is also true: Excessive anxiety can undo all these positive benefits so it is important that we learn how to manage this form of anxiety.

That feeling… ..

We all know the feeling.

It seems to rise from the stomach (butterflies in the belly!) and gradually and imperceptibly spread throughout the body.

Your heart may start to silently thump or your hands sweat.

You may sense a feeling of terror creep into your awareness sending your mind into turmoil.

Your calm confidence and awareness may temporarily vanish and your mind seem blank.

Powerless

This description may sound disturbing but we have all, at some time or other, experienced varying degrees of this feeling and the unpleasant thoughts that accompany it.

The first and most important thing to remember is that these thoughts, although unpleasant, have no real power.

As any counselor or psychologist will point out, having these thoughts does not make them happen.

They are just a reflection of the performance anxiety may be filled with a whole array of irrational thoughts:

‘I can’t do this Test’. ‘I’m going to fail’. ‘My mind will go blank’. I just know it will.’

Or: ‘Even if I know the answers I won’t be able to express them well. you are feeling.

Top Tip!

Having these thoughts does not make them happen. They are just a reflection of the performance anxiety you are currently feeling. They are like dark clouds in the sky.

Don’t curse them, fight them or take them too seriously.

They will try to make you believe they are real – that you should do battle with them.

Don’t.

Simply note them as they chase through your mind … … … fighting for attention… … … .then disappearing.

Like the dark clouds in the sky… …

Infinite opportunities

Also, it is essential that you keep your interview in proper context.

At the end of the day, it is only an interview and even if you fail, you will still have hundreds of more opportunities in the future

This does not mean that you should not do your very best to succeed – of course you should.

It simply means that you should keep the importance of the interview in proper context.

Although part of you (your negative self) may try to insist that your whole future depends on this interview – this is not true

There are still hundreds and hundreds of job  opportunities in the world for you today.

Do not put unnecessary and needless pressure on yourself. It will only hinder your performance

Try to adopt this mature and healthy attitude

As any decent financial expert would never advise you to put all your investments (eggs) in the one basket – likewise in your career, you should never invest all your hopes on one opportunity.

Always remember, there are lots and lots of other opportunities.

Never believe your whole life is dependent on any one test.

Paradoxically, as we keep mentioning when you adopt this attitude, you’ll notice that your interview performances will actually improve.

You will experience less pressure, and this will help you to concentrate and respond more quickly to the types of questions favored by smart interviewers


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