This article on harnessing nervous energy from Careerealism came at just the right time for my family.  The topic is not only relevant for candidates interviewing for new jobs, but also for any situation in life that has your stomach in knots and your nerves on edge.

nervous energyIt’s the last week of school before summer break for my 13-year-old son.  I don’t think any of us ever forget that last week of school and the stress that comes along with exams.  But to make matters worse, he also has an important band solo that will determine his placement for band in 8th grade.  Everything he’s done throughout the year has led up to this point and his ultimate goal of making Honor Winds.  So, to say he has been anxious is putting it mildly.  It also doesn’t help that his little sister is only in kindergarten, and her biggest decision this week was what board game to take to school and what outfit to wear to the big dance party.

I shared one of my favorite quotes with my son in anticipation of his solo performance: “Being nervous is a good thing.  If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t be nervous.”

The author, Jennifer Manhood, recommends asking yourself what part of the [insert event you are nervous about] worries you?  Write it down and then go through the process of trying to eliminate some of those worries.

Are you worried you aren’t qualified?  Then take the time to sit down, review the qualifications and then physically list all of the reasons you ARE qualified. You must have done something right to be invited to participate to begin with.

Are you worried you don’t know enough about the company, event, music, etc.?  Do your research!  Use every resource available to you to learn everything you can.

Are you worried you won’t be able to perform?  Or answer their questions?  Practice.  You don’t want to over-prepare.  My son learned that the hard way last week when he over-prepared and then couldn’t play, but you do want to be sure you spend ample time prepping beforehand.

Find ways to use that nervousness to your advantage like sitting down and spending some focused time determining and addressing the underlying issues.

Being nervous is a good thing.  It means you care.

BeckyHeadshot-lowBecky Pearce is a member of the JohnGSelf + Partners transition coaching team.  Ms. Pearce specializes in social media consulting.  She also leads her own Firm, Pearce Social.