Earlier today, I had an online call for a company’s info session where we’d be just talking about the job contents and stuff. And the company asked the candidates to prepare some questions for the session. 5 minutes before the session started and for the first 5-10 minutes into the session, I was really nervous and I could feel and hear my own heartbeat thumping so loud. And it feels like I’ve got a lump in my throat. I keep swallowing but it won’t go away and my hands tremble so bad.
The feeling subsided a bit after a couple more minutes, and I try so hard not to feel nervous over a simple web conference. It ended smoothly without any problems, luckily. Then I started to make notes about what I learned through that conference today and thought maybe I’d prepare for next week’s interview.
Then that wave of anxiety just hit me again. My stomach immediately didn’t feel right.
Just thinking about the upcoming interview made me so paranoid and uneasy and I thought to myself, “Damn, have I always been this bad at handling this kind of stuff?”
The Growing Anxiety
I didn’t think I was so bad and handling big events. I thought I was able to cope with it well all this time. Then it hit me that I am gradually getting more paranoid each time. Each time I fail an interview. Each time I fuck up or blow up something. All the failures and rejections are eating away at me that I grow even more paranoid each time the same situation comes up again. I would find my hands trembling and my heartbeat so loud it seems like it’s exploding.
I talked to my friend about it and he brought up the fear of failing. I immediately remembered how my mom would always get mad at me every time I fail to understand something or when I got bad grades in the past. Though the target of her anger quickly shifted to my little brother as soon as he entered primary school, I still see my mom furious and constantly yelling at my little brother for doing so poorly at school. Did that affect me so much growing up? I don’t know. Maybe?
That aside, I know that I shouldn’t fear failure. It’s okay to fail and what’s important is not to give up. I know all of that logical stuff in the back of my head. The only problem is that my emotions don’t agree with that. I guess I’m still scared. I never actually conquered it. I thought I would get used to my failures after all this time getting rejected by companies over and over again. But I guess I’m not. I never did.
Being Pessimistic Doesn’t Help
Before a big event like interviews, my mind immediately jumps into conclusions that I would screw up and end up getting rejected. Or I would say stuff that the interviewer doesn’t like and end up blowing up my chances to land a job. Or other candidates will outshine me and the employers will just cross me off the list. It’s all these stupid unnecessary things that I keep worrying over about. And I know it’s useless to worry about things you cannot control. But it’s really a challenge for me to get rid of these thoughts from my head.
My friends would always tell me to stop thinking about stuff and imagine more positive things. My immediate response would be, “Man, if I could do that, I wouldn’t be dealing with this problem right now.”
I tried to give some time to think about why I’m so fucking pessimistic. Having super low self-esteem was the conclusion that I reached. I never outperform others in studying or other stuff like arts or sports. I was mediocre down to the core. I never had that one thing I’m great at doing compared to anyone else. I’m not even active outside school, and I suck at socializing so I don’t have a lot of friends. When I told my parents I wanted to pursue design for university, they outright shut me down and said I have no future going down that path. And when I entered university, I was even more surrounded by people who are better than me in every single aspect.
This low self-esteem became my identity and it stuck with me for so long that it’s hard to part with it right now. It’s so bad that I don’t even have hopes for myself. Even when people around me say I have the potential and skills, that I can make it, that I have talent in something, and that I should have confidence, I couldn’t.
I didn’t want to put expectations on myself only to get disappointed at myself.
Accepting and Overcoming
Just understanding why I’m experiencing this doesn’t completely get rid of the issue but it helps me to understand myself a little bit more. I used to tell my friend how I hate myself for being the way I am. And he said, “So what if you try loving that part of yourself? Maybe it’ll help you overcome it.” I know he said it randomly just to cheer me up, but now that I think about it, maybe that’s why people promote self-love.
I am pessimistic, have low self-esteem, and anxiety issues. But that’s why I’ve worked harder than anyone else so I don’t let myself or anyone else down. But even when I do end up failing at something, I should accept that I have done my best and the results are out of my control. I shouldn’t hate myself and should continue believing in myself. I guess there’s a reason for the quote, “If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will.” Hating myself will continue to worsen the cycle and I will never truly escape it.
I am ultimately writing this post to reassure myself that I can make it. That everything’s going to be alright. And that if I believe in my own worth, people who see that worth will appear one day. I might get depressed again one day after several more rejections, but this post will be a reminder for me that it’s OK to feel that way as long as I can get back up again.
I don’t know how many people out there are facing the same internal struggles as I do, but if you’re reading this post, I hope it could help you in a way to take a step to start coming to terms with yourself.
You can do it. ♥