Watch tv. Eat every thing in sight. Sleep. Go on a run. Go on your phone and scroll, and scroll some more. Then, when you are all done with that, what do you do? Do you push through the nerves or do you let them consume you?
Here is what I do:
- I get nervous. I feel that icky feeling in my stomach, slightly dizzy and uneasy.
- I retreat, not literally, but symbolically and mentally. I try not to think about what is making me nervous.
- Naturally, I cannot ignore my nerves because they are very present. I want to give up my nerves and just not do what is making me nervous. Just give up.
- I decide not to make any rash decisions. I will sleep and I will think about what I will do the next day.
- Sleep. Watch a film before I go to sleep that will make me relax and distract me momentarily.
- Wake up, eat, relax, calm. Now, that thing you were nervous about, time to think about it and ask the real big questions. Will it bring you closer to your goals? Is it necessary for your success? “Then don’t run away from it. Embrace it. It means you are moving forward, getting closer to your dreams.” is what I tell myself.
- I try to look at the situation in a new way that makes the whole scenario seem like an “opportunity” and not something you HAVE to do.
- Finally, I decide if I will do it, even if it makes me nervous, or if I should hide away in my house forever.
This process does not apply to all decisions, obviously. Some things make you nervous because you just shouldn’t do them. But, one thing I always try to think about is: am I making a decision out of “fear” or out of “courage“? Let’s talk about that.
Fear vs. Courage
I applied for an internship and I got requested to do an interview. I am nervous. I tend to get all red when I talk to people in interviews because I really care about the work I am doing. I am also shy sometimes. Immediately, I want to decline the interview and retreat to the dark rabbit hole of the internet to distract me from my reality. So, I watch a movie and decide to think about it the following day so I do not make a quick decision that I will regret.
I wake up the next day and see the situation differently. I understand that this interview is in fact what I wanted all along. I did apply for the internship and I do want the internship. So, this interview was actually a good thing that I wanted. They looked at my resume and wanted to meet me. That is good. Ok, but it still makes me nervous. That’s alright, I am going to push through it anyway. This interview is bringing me closer to my goals and that is a brilliant thing. Something to be proud of, not run away from.
I still feel the nerves, but I decided to change the nerves into excitement that this could be a positive milestone in my success. If I decide to not follow through with the interview, it would be because I was scared. It would be out of fear. Fear that I am not good enough, fear that I will not know what to say, fear that the interviewers won’t like me. But, without an interview, I for sure would not get the internship. However, by choosing to get out of my comfort zone, I am excited for the interview. I know I could get chosen or I may not, but at least I tried. At least I can look back at this moment and know I did my best and I did not just let an opportunity pass me by just because I was nervous what others would think of me.
In the film industry, I have learned that I will be nervous a lot. But it is the good kind of nerves, the nerves that you have because “this could go so well and you are just so excited to be doing this”. The nerves you have when you just care about something so much that you want it to go right. But, if I decide to pull a away, let the nerves stop me, then I eliminate the chance of success because I have given up before it even started.
Do you make decisions out of fear or courage? Do you get nervous for every interview you have for a job, or are you more confident than you may have been years ago? I was so very shy when I was younger. So shy. Let me emphasize that big time. But, I LOVE film, I LOVE writing, so I will not let my remaining shyness, my nervousness, stop me from going out there and trying my best. I hope you reach your dreams, because with hard work and determination, I know we both can.
One last thought:
I have found that the smallest decisions, the smallest milestones end up making the biggest difference on my life as a whole. The decision to email a film festival and ask if they need help, or to take one college course just to see what it was like, have changed the course of my goals. An interview may seem like a small thing, or it may seem like a big thing, but do not underestimate the ability of small circumstances to bring you closer to your goals. Meet the right friend, have the right conversation, they all have the effect to change your future. So let’s keep going and reach and work for what we want. Let’s go!