I have anxiety. A lot of it. You probably wouldn't realize it just by looking at me (I hide it well), but I get anxious at almost everything. Sometimes even just the thought of doing something will make me anxious. I think the most anxious I've ever been was before my driving lessons (not even the test!). That was the closest I've come to puking from nerves. It's a trait I'd give up in a heartbeat if I could. It's annoying and embarrassing and just plain sucks.
When you struggle with anxiety like I do, you develop all kinds of little tricks to make it go away. There's meditation/controlled breathing, but that only seems to work in the moment. Focusing on something else, like hair spray fumes, works sometimes. Some people bounce around to try to get that nervous energy out. I've just always kind of powered through it. I think I even powered through a panic attack in 8th grade. Public speaking just wasn't my thing. Still isn't, really. Luckily, I think I've found a new trick, one that just might work for me...
I have an interview tomorrow and I suuuuuuuuuuuuuck in interviews. I've bombed some interviews pretty badly. I get so tongue-tied and I wind up rambling and kinda, but not really ending my sentences. When you really want the job and know you have the skills for it, but you can't convincingly articulate that, you wind up feeling defeated. It's so easy to just give up and not want to try anymore. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to dig up an excuse not to go to this interview. Truth is, I don't have a good one.
So often I let my fear get the better of me. My nerves take over, they find an excuse to latch on to, and I ultimately avoid doing the things I want. I'm tired of it. There are so many things I want to do, but if I keep letting my anxiety win, I'll never do them. I tweeted this over the weekend because it's something I need to keep telling myself and I hope it will help others:
Don't let anxiety force you into mediocrity.
If you let it, anxiety will always get the better of you. It will always talk you out of opportunities. It will always find an excuse to avoid people. It will always, always dull your shine.
I've been bingeing 7th Heaven recently and there's one phrase they use in multiple seasons: The flipside of fear is excitement. When I think about this interview, instead of being afraid I'm going to bomb, I'm going to think of how exciting the job could be. I was all gung-ho about it when I first applied because it sounded so cool. I'm going to remind myself of that, of all the cool things I could learn and all the neat stuff I could accomplish. Maybe by flipping my fear to excitement, I'll ace this interview.
Oh, and writing this all out kind of helps too.