Got butterflies? Work with them


If you have performance anxiety, forget about trying to keep calm and carry on.  It’s just too hard. Instead work with your jitters, don’t fight them.

Even the most seasoned politicians, singers, actors, dancers, and yes, job candidates, suffer embarrassing red-faces, sweaty shaking hands, cold sweats, and a general urge to hurl when expected to wow an audience of many or even just one.

Performance anxiety happens to even the most experienced

Adele has gone on the record to talk about her pre-concert panic attacks. Hayden Panattiere of Nashville says she has to pretend she’s someone else to get up the guts to walk on stage.

At The Bagg Group, we’ve coached thousands of candidates over our 40-year history who have gone on to impress hiring managers at the best companies in the GTA. Still, we can’t keep track of the number of high-achievers who confessed to us of suffering a case of the butterflies before being interviewed.

A Gallup poll from a few years ago shows that 40% of all adults in the US suffer from some degree of “stage” fright.

It goes without saying that it helps –a lot — to prep for your interview. But the reality is that jitters don’t always disappear even when you know your stuff inside out.

When we feel we’re being evaluated and the stakes are high, we overthink … and that’s when the butterflies hatch, explain psychologists. Humans, like all animals, tend to react physically when feeling vulnerable.

There is a super easy way to convert negative energy into positive energy.

It’s a simple process, according to a new study from Harvard Business School, published by the American Psychological Association.

The study found if you tell yourself to get “excited” about a challenge rather than so much as try to relax, you’ll perform better.

“When people feel anxious and try to calm down, they are thinking of all the things that could go badly. When they’re excited, they’re thinking of all the things that could go well,” explains study author Alison Wood Brooks, PhD.

How to herd butterflies:

Say: “I am excited” out loud, just before you go into a situation like an interview.get-excited-and-make-things-happen-19-1024x6401

Just saying those words will make you feel excited, according to the findings of the Harvard study.

The study found those who said the “magic words” performed measurably better than those who didn’t at tasks like public speaking, singing and solving math problems.

Why it works

A little self-talk can move us out of what experts call a “threat” mindset to an “opportunity” mindset.

It may seem almost too easy, but we’re not surprised. What you tell yourself changes everything.

A Bagg Group endorsed tip

This tip gets the thumbs-up from all of us who place candidates in full-time, contract and temporary work, in every sector through Bagg Professional, Bagg Technology Resources, Bagg Managed Resources, Bagg @ Your Service and Turn Key Staffing.

It may be an idea to even say “I am excited” before sitting down to customize your resume to a job posting.

Okay, we agree, that may be pushing it.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)