My Vulnerability at the Max

The Basics

There have been several times throughout my life where I have felt that if I did not take a certain risk, I would be giving up on myself by not even allowing myself the opportunity to try. The most notable occurrence of this was when I was going through the process of applying for my first real internship at a travel agency. I love to travel so I thought that, naturally, this position would be a good fit for me. However, I did not really take the time to consider what might be asked of me in the interview and if I could actually answer those questions.

When I first got called in for an interview at the office, I was immediately beyond enthusiastic that I had even gotten to that point. However, the excitement quickly wore off, and was replaced with more fear and anxiety than I have ever felt before. It felt like my body was going into shock and it was hard to focus on current tasks, because all I could think about was that I was about to interview for a job that I most certainly wiStock_000015441894Smallas not qualified for in the slightest. After I was able to calm down and breathe again, I decided to call my sister for any advice that she had to offer, which of course, was also hard for me since I did not want my sister to think I was just complaining and worrying about
everything. However, according to Margie Warrell, people love to be asked questions as it makes them feel needed at the same time as it helps you get necessary information.

My Epiphany Moment

It turned out that calling my sister was one of the best decisions I made throughout the process. She gave me a confidence-boosting pep talk, and most importantly, reassured me that she would still love me and be proud of me regardless of whether or not I was offered the internship in the end. This, to me, I realized was my biggest fear, that no one would be proud of me and would just think of me as a failure. But after hearing all of my sister’s many failed attempts at job interviews, it made me realize that this happens to everyone and is not something to be ashamed of. Similar to Brene Brown’s discussion, shame is at the core of vulnerability, and since it is the fear of disconnection, it obviously has a large portion of power over one’s own thoughts that they might not be appreciated for who they are.

In the article, “The Power of Positive Thinking,” Remez Sasson discusses how positive thinking and thinking oneself of being worthy is contagious just as much as negative thinking is. For example, if I were to have gone into that interview with having a negative attitude and just kind of walking through the steps, my interviewer would have caught on as soon as I walked through the doors, and associated my bad attitude with how I would come to work on a daily basis. However, since I do not consider myself to typically have a negative attitude, I forced myself to go above and beyond my usual attitude and make it very clear to my interviewer that I absolutely wanted the job and that I would take every action to prove my worthiness to be offered the position. Right before I stepped out of my car to walk to the office for the interview, I sat in my car talking out loud and giving myself a modified version of the same pep talk that my sister had given me a couple days before. When I felt ready, I hopped out of my car and practically ran up the steps, never having that same feeling of confidence and worthiness ever before.

A few days following my interview, my new manager called to inform me that he would like to extend an offer of employment. From this experience, I learned that I need to have self-confidence and always put my best foot forward in the best way that I possibly can.

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2 thoughts on “My Vulnerability at the Max

  1. Heidi,
    Job interviews are definitely one of the most nerve wracking parts of life for me. Its like you can do everything right but still not get a job because of reasons out of your control. I fully agree that all you really should concentrate on is putting your best foot forward and know that you’ll end up where you’re supposed to.

  2. Hello Heidi,
    I completely agree, job interviews are always so easy to go into confidently and then so easy to turn frightful so quick. Like you said, self confidence is definitely the most important thing in critical situations, just trying to stay calm and believing in yourself ability is definitely the way to go about these situations.

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