So, as many of you know, I had a group interview yesterday. The interview was originally scheduled for last week, but I canceled last minute because I was overwhelmed with anxiety. Fortunately, I found a good, partially true excuse and was able to reschedule for yesterday.
I already had one interview with them a few weeks back with the library director. It went well. It was very relaxed. We talked about my future and what areas I’d like to work in–nothing too formal. At the end of the interview, she mentioned that she wanted me to come back in to meet with her and the rest of the librarians. I said fine. On the way out, I asked her how many librarians worked there and she said ten, and she also said that out of those ten there are a few who aren’t receptive to interns.
That information hit me hard–not only am I going to be interviewed by ten people; not all of them want me there to begin with. And since I take everything personal, I took this personal.
This set off my hypothetical mind; I began thinking of different scenarios of what this interview would be like. Mostly I just pictured ten librarians sitting across from me, asking difficult question after difficult question. Me, barely able to breath, stumbling, blushing, sweating.
My original interview was on a Thursday, and we scheduled the next one for the following Monday. I was a mess that weekend. Actually, I think I probably wrote a post about it. Anyway, the anxiety intensified to a point where I couldn’t function. I couldn’t sleep Sunday night and had to reschedule for yesterday.
From that point until today, though, I’ve been doing great. So what’s different about this past week from the week before?
Well, for starters, my thoughts haven’t controlled me. The negative thoughts were still there–they just didn’t dominate my consciousness. Part of this is attributed to CBT, the other part mindfulness. By becoming aware of my thoughts, before they took control, I could use cognitive techniques to ensure that they wouldn’t take control.
Next, I began to use meditation to help me relax. Two hours before the interview, I was laying in the bath, listening to a meditation. Once I got out I felt at peace. This feeling carried me into the interview.
Finally, I hashed out the situation with my hypnotherapist on Friday, meaning: we tried to look at my hypothetical scenarios in a different light.
“What’s your worst fear?” she asked me.
“To get up at the end and have to go down a line of ten librarians, shaking each of their hands,” I said. “They’ll see how much I’m sweating.”
“Do you really think it will be like that?” she asked.
As soon as she said that it was clear: there’s no way it would be like that. I may have to wave goodbye, but shaking hands with ten people sounds absurd, and it certainly wouldn’t all be in one line. I always feel so much better after playing out scenarios in my head. Seeing just how absurd my thinking can be, reminds me that my logic can be irrational at times.
The interview, itself, went well. I met only with the library director and one other librarian–no biggie, especially since I was expecting ten people. I did have to engage in a formal interview, but it went well. The director called one of my references earlier today. I think I got. Hurray!