ANXIETY & JOB SEARCH & REMEDIES The most dominant feeling when you are searching for a new job is often anxiety or fear. Most of us know the feeling. We had it on our first day of school, our first date, our first presentation. It seems to be part of being alive. The anxiety also saps our confidence, erodes our competence, and makes our job interviews difficult and even painful. Recent research has indicated this feeling of anxiety can be erased, temporarily, long enough to complete the interview feeling great. You can stop your feeling of anxiety any time you wish. Now that is a new idea. There is a fairly simple brain strategy that is easy to learn, but difficult to remember to use, which erases fear. Of course, the anxious feeling will return, and that is good because the Left Brain which holds ALL your fear, keeps you safe. Switching brains by changing your attention, from Left Brain to Right Brain, dissolves the fear. Actually the Right Brain doesn’t DO fear. Only the Left Brain can produce the tight chest, shallow breathing, awkwardness, and loss of words. All the symptoms of anxiety that used to show up in your job interviews can be put on hold simply by focusing your attention in the present moment. When you put your attention in the present moment, you are tapping your Right Brain’s computational abilities.
These are peace, joy, connection, expansiveness and creativity. The Right Brain only works in the NOW. The Left Brain does past and future, but as soon as the Left Brain kicks in, the Fear resurrects. How do you keep your attention in the present moment long enough to complete the job interview? Good question. If you have a lot of fear stored up, it may take as long as 90 seconds to dissolve the fear, so you want to do this before you are face to face or phone to phone with your interviewer. The easiest way to stay in the present is to check out your body. Start with your big toe, then your left foot, then your right foot, then your calf, etc. After about 90 seconds, check how you feel. The anxiety and fear will be gone. I have tested this on about 50 people. It works. The other strategy for Right Brain access is to notice objects in the room around you. Pictures are processed in the now by the Right Brain. Either of these brain shenanigans will serve as triggers for the Right Brain. Your attention is the key.
If, during the interview, you happen to need a creative approach, go to your big toe, juggle the data of the interview, and see what happens. Creativity is simply a shift of attention away. Being silent a moment is not going to kill your chances of getting the job, and creativity is now highly prized in most work places. Since most people in our culture are Left Brained, chances are that this brain exercise will begin to balance your use of your two brains. This is the optimum situation. The fear in the Left Brain keeps you safe, the creativity, peace and joy of the Right Brain keep you happy. We are beautifully designed creatures, but as Buckminster Fuller said about the universe, “an instruction book didn’t come with it.” Unfortunately, those who are depressed and looking for a job, simply need an instruction book for the extraordinary abilities of their own brains. Maybe this will do. If you remember to follow the instructions. Genie Z. Laborde, Ph. D.