When nerves strike, are you ready to curl up in the fetal position, or run around like a chicken with its head cut off? The most common responses to nerves are far from helpful, and simply make matters worse – which is a bummer since being nervous about something (like a job interview) means that you actually care about the outcome. Don’t let nerves get the best of you. Learn how overcome your angst and get something done, by channeling that anxious energy effectively.
Change Your Mindset from Scared to Superhero
When you feel your nerves rising up to the surface, actively stop and tell yourself to think of the situation as a challenge, rather than a threatening situation. A challenge is something you can think of solutions to and overcome, while a threat is something that happens to you and is out of your control. Think of what you could achieve if you “survive” the situation, such as getting a great new job or learning a valuable new skill, to power through the nerves and get things accomplished.
Use Your Imagination to Do Your Part (Close to) Perfectly
Stressful situations are generally a combination of things you can control and things you can’t. You can take back control and make your nerves work for you by focusing on going above and beyond for what is in your hands. If you have a 50/50 situation, giving 100 percent effort to the half you can control will help you be productive and balance out what you can’t control (even in the slim chance it goes as horribly wrong as you worry). For instance, focusing on doing as much prep as possible for an interview will help level out the unknown aspects that worry you.
Have Weapons to Defend Against the Mental Hijackers
The best defense is a great offense – even for nerves. In times of calm, prepare a strategy for preemptive strikes for scenarios that induce anxiety. Consider two things: what scenarios tend to make you nervous, and what you could do to distract yourself from the anxiety. Come up with a mantra to repeat in your head (such as “I can do this” or “I will look back on this and realize it’s not a big deal”), remind yourself of your previous success stories, or take part in a relaxing activity to reset your mental blocks.
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