Getting #FebruReady for #FearlessFebruary

10 Feb

As you may already be aware, this month, Student Affairs Outreach facilitators are challenging ourselves to do something new and different. When I was first confronted with this bit of homework, I panicked a little. I had no idea what I could possibly do to finish this assignment.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I’m already confronting some fears this whole semester. I’ve talked about this before, but I’m in the process of applying to graduate schools. At this point, I have heard back from all of my schools and everything is going well, but February is definitely my time to step it up and be fearless. The programs I am applying to offer funding if I am hired for an assistantship and interviews take place in February.

This week, I have interviews with two different schools lined up. Monday, I have Skype interviews with University of Georgia, and Wednesday, I’m flying north to Colorado to visit Colorado State University. Later this month, I’ll have more distance interviews with Michigan State University and in-person interviews for the University of Arizona. All-in-all, I’m estimating somewhere between 15-20 interviews between all of the programs.

I’ve never been super comfortable with interviews, but I better get over that, STAT! I didn’t realize this when I first began applying to graduate schools, but February is kind of the most important month of all! The positions I will (hopefully) get offered will pretty much make my decision for which program I choose. It’s really important that I do well. So, it’s kind of fitting that my boss gave me a challenge just when I needed it most.

My challenge to myself isn’t to go and complete these interviews – that would be cheating since I have to do them anyway. My challenge is to choose a positive mindset going into them. Usually, I would let my nervousness get the best of me, stammer through the best I could, and hope that my resume does the talking for me. The reason I get so nervous is because I’m constantly thinking I must look silly, or that I’m saying all the wrong things – definitely not exuding positive vibes that inspire confidence.

Not this time. This time, I’m excited and ready. I’m applying to programs and jobs that I’m truly passionate about, and I know I have the experiences they’re looking for in a candidate. During the interview process, I will be confident and happy and genuinely excited, instead of terrified. I think reframing my expectations as positive excitement instead of negative fear will help me perform better.

Now it’s my turn to give you all a bit of homework too! This month, challenge yourself to look at the trials you face, whatever they may be (maybe that upcoming test or signing up for that dance class), in a different light. In the past, I have tended to focus on the negatives – how I could embarrass myself, what could possibly go wrong… but that’s no way to live.  I’m going to try to look at these next few months where I determine the next part of my life as exciting instead of scary. Okay, so realistically, I’ll still be a little bit scared because it’s a huge decision, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, fear is just a sign that something is really important to you. The trick is not letting that fear control your performance. And the first step to using the butterflies in your tummy positively is having that internal voice motivate you instead of discourage you. This week (and the rest of the month), I’ll be asking myself, “What could possibly go right?” And let me tell you, that’s a loooooong list 🙂

Stay tuned for an update on my #FearlessFebruary adventures in a couple of weeks! I’ll recount taking my very first trip by myself as I fly to Denver, where I don’t know a SOUL! And hopefully, there will be some snow on the ground and I can build a snowman (for some reason, ever since I saw Frozen, I really want to do that…)!

We encourage you to take the plunge this month along with us! If an opportunity to do something that scares you comes up, consider saying “yes!” instead of “no way!” and tell us how it goes!

-Tori

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