Welcome to this seventh module, designed to help you to better understand and build your courage and reduce any fears you may have about job hunting

Tackle the module in bite size chunks, don’t feel the need to do everything in one go and allow plenty of time to digest and apply the information covered

The module includes helpful ‘Activities’ for you to complete, it is strongly recommended that you undertake them to get the most out of the content and the key learning points

Allow yourself time to reflect and take on board the advice, key messages and suggested tasks contained in the module to enable you to move your job campaign forward

This module will

  • Explain what the barriers are to being courageous in your job hunting

  • Provide user friendly techniques to manage your fears and concerns

  • Enable you to ensure that you do not allow your fears to affect your success

  • Help you to reduce or avoid anxiety and to feel positive about your campaign

One dictionary definition of courage is 'the ability to do something that frightens one’

 

 

Another definition is ‘the ability to control your fear in a dangerous or difficult situation’

 

 

A third one is ‘to do something difficult or dangerous, even though you may be afraid’

 

 

So courage isn’t about not being afraid but, rather, the ability to manage your fears

 

 

In particular, job hunting courage is about the ability to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’

 

The most common job hunting fears (but there are lots more) include

Fear of uncertainty

Fear of looking undignified

Fear of reduced self-respect

Fear of being demotivated

Fear of losing ……

Fear of rejection

Fear of ridicule

Fear of change

Fear of making mistakes

Fear of embarrassment

Fear of blame

Fear of failure

Being courageous often involves being open, non-defensive and prepared to fail

 

Every successful entrepreneur has innumerable stories of failure before becoming rich

They embraced and managed their fear of failure as part of becoming successful

They also take more risks as they are confident of being able to deal with failure

Another related common trait is their ability to learn and resiliently bounce back

More on resilience in the next section  for now, let’s focus on courage

Our fears can be very powerful and influential in what we do, say and think

Courageously overcoming our fear(s) can be incredibly empowering and liberating

So why is it so difficult to overcome our fears and what can we do about them?

When we feel fearful our brain tells our body to produce adrenaline

 

 

It’s a perfectly natural, normal and safe auto reaction that you can’t stop

 

 

It’s your brain’s primeval way of preparing your body for a ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response

 

 

Although you can’t stop it, you can manage and harness your response to it

 

 

In job hunting terms, you need to ‘fight’ a campaign, not take ‘flight’ or 'freeze'

 

 

Successful job hunting involves feeling the fear and still make the campaign happen

 

 

Our response to a fear related adrenaline rush can be managed via two dimensions

 

 

Our response to fear consists of our feeling response and also our thinking response

Our feeling response to fear or an adversity or challenge can be either positive or negative

Similarly, our thinking response to the same adversity can be either positive or negative

Our positive or negative feeling and thinking responses drive our subsequent behaviour

The model below may help you to identify and manage your feeling and thinking responses. Let's have a look at what each quadrant means in terms of how we tend to respond and behave

TRAPPED

CAPTIVE

AMBIVALENT

ENTHUSIAST

KEEN

ACHIEVER

ANXIOUS

DOER

Because you are positively managing and harnessing your fear at both levels, your courage enables you to make things happen and enjoy doing them

Emotionally, you can feel ready to face the fear, but your negative thinking can make you unsure and hesitant to do anything about it

You know it is the right thing to do, so you do it, but you may feel stressed and nervous while doing it

The fear can make you both feel and think negatively with seemingly no way out, with your decision making frozen - like a nocturnal rabbit caught in bright car headlights

Lets look more closely at our feeling and thinking responses and how we can manage them

The adrenaline fear generates makes you feel anxious and uneasy or perhaps worried

Naturally, your brain attributes the sensation to the fear that generated it

However, the same adrenaline is generated when you are excited or enthusiastic

Bungee jumping generates adrenaline, sometimes even just the thought of doing it 

Some view bungee jumping as exciting, others see it as a fearful activity to be avoided

 

Its simply a matter of how your brain works and how you interpret the adrenaline rush

So, you need to retrain yourself to attribute the feeling adrenaline gives you differently

 

 

In essence, you need to change your attribution, something like this for example

  • Original attribution – 'the adrenaline is making me feel fearful or anxious'

  • New attribution – 'the adrenaline is making me feel excited and enthusiastic'

When you experience an adversity or something you fear

 

 

Your thinking response is driven by one underlying  thought  – ‘I can’t handle it’

 

 

If your driving thought was ‘I can handle it’, then you wouldn’t think it was fearful

 

 

Either way, the thought is rooted in your level of belief or trust in your own abilities

 

 

Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, famously summed it up

 

 

‘Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you're probably right’

 

 

So the solution to thinking less fearfully is in having more belief and trust in your abilities 

 

 

It is about truly believing that you are ‘good enough’ to deal with the adversity or fear

 

 

That is very easy thing to say, but much more challenging to actually make happen

Below are a couple of techniques to help you to build your belief in your ability to cope

 

Use either or both, whatever works best for you and for the adversity or fear you’re facing

Technique 1 – keep repeating your version of one or more of the following mantras

  • ‘I know I can do this’

  • ‘Doing it will get rid of the fear’

  • ‘I’ll feel better about myself if I do it’

  • ‘Doing it is less scary than living with the fear’

  • ‘If I do it I’ll be in control of my fear and situation’

  • ‘I can handle this’

Technique 2 – redefining how you measure success and failure by truly accepting that

  • ‘I’m not a failure if it didn’t work, I’m a success for trying’

  • ‘Failing is just part of my journey to get to where I want to be’

  • ‘Failing is painful, but I can live with it to achieve my goals’

This module has enabled you to

 

 

  • Recognise the key issues concerning courage during times of adversity and fear

  • Understand the importance and value of managing your fears and concerns

  • Recognise the impact on your behaviour of your feeling and thinking responses to fear

  • Better manage your future success by accepting and controlling your fears 

  • Learn some useful, practical tools and techniques to increase your courage

In the next module, we will look at your resilience i.e. your ability to bounce back and manage adversity, challenges and difficulties with a tool kit of pragmatic models and techniques for you to mix and match in whatever ways work for you

Go to the next module by CLICKING HERE

Go back to the Job Hunting main menu by CLICKING HERE