I clutched the paper labeled “Resume” to my chest. I could feel my heart pounding and my hands were sweating, but I’m desperate to find a job and live independently again. I just don’t want to make the same mistakes I did before.
This sounds familiar to many of us. Whether it’s our first or tenth time looking for a job, we’ve all had to hand in a piece of paper and return later to hope that the company has at least considered us as an applicant.
Facing the anxiety
I have social phobia. This means a look you give me, whatever the reason may be, I may perceive as being judgmental. This makes looking for a job all the more difficult. Its something I have to face to look for a job that pays so that I can go to school and I can eventually live outside of my parents’ house. Some of us feeling anxiety just as strong as social phobia, others of things diary of the unknown.
This anxiety is a type of fear. For most of us, it’s the fear of rejection and that includes me. Our brains tell us that rejection will cause us physical harm. For some reason, this kind of fear is the most debilitating. But there’s a way to get over it besides countless repetitions of doing the same thing and facing the same rejections.
1. The breathing that relaxes you
The first thing to do is to just breathe. Sit in your car and take a long deep breath after all you’ve mastered the first half step of getting into your car and driving to the company to handle a piece of paper saying why you are more qualified than others for the position.
This kind of deep, slow breathing slows down your heart rate and clears your mind. Right now your brain is in fight or flight. That means that it is receiving the perceived rejection or the unknown as an enemy that’ll kill you rather than as a benign life experience.
Your brain will be going 5x faster than normal, and you’ll be stumbling over your words and not processing any new information your brain needs to respond appropriately.
By breathing slowly you are forcing in a greater amount of oxygen, and your heart knows this and therefore slows down so that it isn’t sending useless, oxygenless blood to the parts of your body that needs it.
It also forces your mind to focus on the moment at hand instead of the future it wants to imagine. By focusing on this moment that you’re talking to a possible future employer, you can ask questions coherently instead of tripping over yourself.
2. Prayer even without faith
Have you noticed that whenever people think they’re dying or they’re in a bad situation the first thing they do, regardless of faith, is calling on any god that they can think of?
Regardless of how or if you are spiritual or religious there’s a comfort in thinking that there’s someone else there to talk to before and after.
For the religious, we choose prayer. For others, they might chose to talk to themselves or to the air around them. Sounds crazy? Well, your anxiety about rejection sounds crazy too, so why not accept the small crazy in yourself and talk to the open air around you?
I prefer to pray. And you’ll be surprised at how many questions I answer myself. Just by talking to myself I can address the fear and I can logically explain it away. There’s great comfort in thinking there’s somebody else to talk to.
3. Animals help too
There’s a reason why people with pets live longer than those who don’t and that’s because animals ease our stress. They’re excited and happy all the time. They don’t see you as a failure.
I have a dog that I’ve trained to give me comfort when I’m stressed and when life is getting the better of me. You don’t have to train a dog to give you comfort through. Some easily have a sense of empathy and know exactly what to do to come for you.
Just being in the room with another animal like a dog or cat can provide so much comfort.
You’ll get there
The most crucial thing you can remember, however, is that you will ultimately get there. You will eventually find the job you dreamed about and it might take some time.
We’re not naturally patient creatures in today’s time. Most of us want something right here right now and jobs are included. We live in such a fast-paced society that we forget that things take time to process, to grow and that it’s okay if it takes longer.
Success isn’t measured and how fast we can get things done. Success is an illusion that cannot be measured. We make ourselves successful and if we don’t think we’re successful we’re going to be successful it will show but if you believe yourself to be successful then you will be successful and you are successful.
I think that that’s something we’ve never been taught and that we do not teach but we should.