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Any tips to help me with my confidence ?

Confidence is something I have always had an issue with. I am shy and quiet person you hardly would ever notice. It’s really frustrating now as I start to apply for internship or even other opportunities. I feel I’m not good enough for it and end up not doing it . I missed out of many opportunities due to my lack of confidence and I want to put an end to it. So any tips would be really beneficial.
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chavie’s Answer

Hi! This is actually something I’ve struggled with personally - if I don’t try something, then I can’t fail at it. Don’t raise my hand, don’t apply for that job, the list goes on. But this mean I also don’t get to find out if I’ll succeed at those things.

There are plenty of ways to tackle this issue, but I doubt you want to read a whole essay - so I have two suggestions.

1) do you have a basis for this fear? If you have failed at a lot of things, then it will be about trying to overcome it, work hard, and succeed (easier said than done, of course). If you have a history, however, of avoiding things because you think you may not do well (ahem, me...I’ve also failed a few things. Who hasn’t!), then it will be all about “outcome thinking”....ask yourself “what’s the worst possible outcome if I apply to X,” AND “what’s the best possible outcome”......usually the best possible result heavily outweighs the worst.

2) Fake it til you make it. This sounds ridiculous, but sometimes it works. Kind of like acting your butt off. But think of it less as being fake, and more of simply trying to make something a habit. For example, I really hate confrontation. But sometimes you need to confront people and just tell them how you feel. This is something I had to fake (my feelings were real, I was simply faking feeling totally comfortable doing it ). Now, for the most part, I am able to actually do this without getting tok sweaty. So if you’re not feeling confident, just fake it. Strong handshake, assertive voice...even if they don’t come naturally.


Two options, try one, try both, try neither haha- but just know that there is not one person on this planet who does not have a skill (whether it’s unique or not). Everyone can do something! I know this was long-winded, but that’s just my style. Hope it helped some!


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Samuel’s Answer

First of all, greetings and salutations. My name is Samuel Colis Achiles. I am a recent graduate from California State Dominguez Hills. Just like this, in order to build on your confidence, begin with something as simple as introducing yourself, and telling a bit about any accomplishments you have throughout your lifetime. There is no need to overthink it though. Just any will do. It is because that is the first step toward building confidence, which is telling about any accomplishments you may have. Confidence is built on accomplishments. Otherwise, people will never know just how capable you are, unless you show them. Therefore, your first step is to begin working on something, or anything. Even if it is just a small task which will work toward a goal, it will serve to build your confidence in the long-term.

This brings us to the second step, which is to monitor your progress. The idea is to force yourself not to overdo or overwork yourself toward your goals. Therefore, if you feel your task or goal is too demanding, the best method I can suggest is to divide your task(s) or goal(s) into smaller tasks or goals, so it is much more easier to manage and monitor your progress as you proceed.

The next step I would suggest is to try to do what you feel is correct, to the best of of your ability. It is because as human beings, we live by a value system, and we are bound to make decisions based on such values and morals. Even when these decisions may or may not serve or contradict your interests, always consider the common good. Always remember that your actions and decisions are what define your character. So whatever you do or decide, these can serve as reference points to highlight your accomplishments, and can therefore boost your confidence.

One more piece of advice I would suggest is exercise. This is perhaps, the most obvious and easiest way to not only improve your overall health, but to also place yourself outside physically, and make you more accustomed to more exposure outside your comfort zone.

That is all of the advice from my experience I can offer. I hope this advice was helpful, and may you endeavor safely into your future.

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Anna’s Answer

Hi Fahmeda, When I have worked with clients trying to build confidence and overcome social anxiety, I have found that practicing has been the most helpful for them. First learn a few techniques like deep breathing or meditation to help calm the anxiety. Then schedule or set up a few internship interviews or set aside time to apply to internship positions that you have less interest in for practice. List the qualities you have to offer an internship experience, such as education, current research and knowledge. Once you have practiced a few times and feeling a little more calm then apply and interview with internship opportunities that you have a stronger interest. Practice can help you improve skills and confidence when feeling worried and anxious about interviews and promoting ourselves.

Anna recommends the following next steps:

learn a few techniques like deep breathing or meditation to help calm the anxiety.
List the qualities you have to offer an internship experience, such as education, current research and knowledge.
practice by scheduling or setting up a few internship interviews or set aside time to apply to internship positions that you have less interest.
Now your ready

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Daniel’s Answer

Hi Fahmeda,

That's tough. I have struggled with this a lot throughout my life as well.

One thing that helps is to break down how us human beings make choices. It begins with an event, these events may be big or small but they are constantly happening (Eg. You go to a party, you taste cherry soda). From those events we get thoughts, feelings and body sensations (E.g. I loved that party, This soda tastes terrible). These thoughts and feelings lead to choices or habits (E.g. I didn't like that cherry soda so I will never drink it again). The choices or habits can lead us towards or away from our values and the person we ultimately want to be.

What you seem to desire is called psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility is the ability to live towards our values despite how uncomfortable it may feel.

What I will ask you to do is to self-evaluate yourself as much as you can. Be curious and notice how you respond to your thoughts and feelings.

Notice when you avoid situations based on how they have made you feel in the past. Notice when you are in a constant struggle with that little guy in your head and how that struggle is affecting your performance. Next, notice when your brain automatically finds certain thoughts as truths, regardless of what others might think. Lastly, but this is the most important piece, do not judge or criticize yourself when you do avoid or struggle with your thoughts. When you are curious about this stuff it tends to give you more of a choice for you rather than an automatic act.

Check out www.moritaschool.com for some videos or worksheets to use on yourself.

I will also ask you to look into Brene Brown. She has done some pretty amazing research on being brave. She found that the bravest people are also the most vulnerable people. They choose to "stay in the arena" despite how uncomfortable it is for them. I hate public speaking, I get red, I stumble over words and in my head I tell myself I look like an idiot up there but I need to put myself in those situations and be vulnerable, in order to move forward.

I hope this helps and let me know if you have any questions.



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David’s Answer

Fahmeda, I have struggled with the same most of my life. And when I had to walk into an FBI office, on my first missing person, I had to be confident. There was no room for insecurities. I rehearsed my presentation, for several days, before I went. Even in the mirror. I had never even seen an FBI agent, ever. Other than TV. I knew that if I had to gain any respect from this person, I had to look him into the eyes. That is the main key during interviews. The ones where I find myself bowing my head and looking at my feet. He said to me, “ I know you are being honest with me”. So have faith in your self, for just being an honest person. I also cried during the interview. I realized that I had to be unafraid to show who I really was. Here is the title of a book, that helped me through this. I even used the book’s strategy during that interview. It’s called:” Winning Every Time” by Lis Wiehl. It’s a book based on how to get what you want, by using the skills of a lawyer. I thought to myself, what better tools could I have in a U.S. Justice Department Office, than those that were written, by a former Federal Prosecutor. It gave me a lot of confidence, just walking into the building.


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Sam’s Answer

Hi Fahmeda,
I suspect you are hard on yourself and you are undermining your self-esteem by your negative self-talk. Of course, it's easy to say yes that is my problem, but a bit harder to implement changes to your behaviour to effect a satisfactory outcome, which is to feel better about yourself. The first thing to realize is you are own worst critic. Being critical of yourself will melt anyone's self-confidence. Anyone can make a mistake, magnifying that mistake by making overly critical remarks about yourself can lead to seeing oneself as less than with respect to your expectations. If you frequently evaluate yourself with negative and critical remarks you will inevitably lower your belief in yourself and your abilities. The first thing to realize is you cannot change the truth but you change your beliefs about the truth and this should be helpful. Say for instance you fail an exam. You get upset and declare yourself incompetent. The truth is you failed an exam, the idea that you are incompetent is your belief. Dispute this belief by arguing against the idea. So, you may say to yourself I am not incompetent merely because I failed an exam. I may have been lazy or failed to apply myself but I most certainly am competent and that has nothing to do with why I failed an exam. I know if I had allowed more time and effort to prepare I would certainly have done better. Do you see the difference? I want you to think about respecting yourself by not associating your performance with who you are. You are wonderful, amazing, competent, worthy of love and respect and you can treat yourself this way. Evaluate your behavior, this is something you can always change. Hope this helps. Love and respect.

Sam recommends the following next steps:

Activating event ie: failed an exam
Belief about this event for instance, I'm a failure
Consequence, ie: you feel bad
Dispute the belief to something more realistic and respectful of yourself ie: didn't study just need to prepare better next time. No big deal...

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Jing’s Answer

Hi Fahmeda, don't worry, you're not alone! As you can see from all the answers so far, a lot of people have been fighting this problem including myself :) So when I saw your question, I got a lot to say and feel I can really offer some help here.

The most important thing first is to accept who you're, and observe around, you'll find many others like you. Don't try to change from who you're, since it will make you feel painful and hurt confidence more. Check out how others like you handled this type of situations, and what they achieved, then you may find some path that you can follow as well.

The next thing is to have a clear goal. Do not just set a big goal, but you can further break it down to small steps, identify which steps are challenging and focus your attention there. Use your mind to control your body to carry out the hard gestures you need to take in order to overcome the interview, i.e. walk up and speak to the recruiter, sell yourself, talk to your mentor, etc.

Above is my approach to walk out of my comfort zone and make progress. Keep in mind that whatever you do, you are looking for a good fit. So it's actually never that you're not good enough, but just you haven't found something or someone fitting you well. So relax, don't be stressed out, just do your best, and naturally, something will come. And when you get better, more better things will come.

Jing recommends the following next steps:

Accept who you are
Find others like you and observe how they approached the situation
Identify a path to your goal and take action

Very good advice. Acceptance is key, it allows you to set goals based on who you are. Bisola Alli

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Paulette’s Answer

In order to improve oneself, you have to confront one self in a non- judgemental way. How do you effectively do this, 1. You stop, look in the mirror and accept whose looking back at you. Don't judge the man in the mirror for his/her flaws, but accept his/her, flaws and all. 2. Tell the Man in the Mirror, how confidence and proud you are (remember if you are willing to accept this intervention, there is NO judgment ONLY acceptance). 3. Remember, start where you are comfortable, if its 5 minutes in the mirror, you repeat steps 1 and 2 for 5 minutes but each day add an extra 1 minute to your mirror time. 4. As you continue this intervention over time and follow the instructions as given, your confidence and self-esteem will increase. 5. You must follow the instructions as given to obtain the outcome that you desire. Accept what you cannot Change and Change what you are willing to Accept.

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Lorena’s Answer

Nobody is born with limitless self-confidence. If someone seems to have incredible self-confidence, it’s because he or she has worked on building it for years. Self-confidence is something that you learn to build up because the challenging world of business, and life in general, can deflate it.

My recommendations:

Do one thing that scares you every day.
Visualize yourself as you want to be.
Affirm yourself.
Question your inner critic.
Set yourself up to win.
Help someone else.
Care for yourself.

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Adrienne’s Answer

Hey Fahmeda!
I relate to you in terms of feeling inadequate and struggling with self-confidence. You're doing exactly the right thing by leaning into that feeling, reaching out, and asking for others' input on how they overcome and deal with their confidence. Know that it is a process that starts by acknowledging the small wins. You got out of bed today? Awesome! Brushed your teeth? Wonderful. And with each small win, you build up this small cycle of good feelings that over time will translate to bigger and bigger wins! Of course along the way there may be setbacks or bumps in the road, however all of the parts of journey really come together when you take a step back and look at the bird's eye view perspective and see all of the great things you've accomplished over time. Confidence isn't built overnight, however you are definitely capable of getting the ball rolling with one small effort today. A small rock thrown in water makes large waves!

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Muew’s Answer

Hi Fahmeda,

Confidence is one thing that I have been trying to built and worked on over years. I always wanted to overcome social anxiety as well. After my first job as an engineer, I chose to join the Airlines and became a flight attendant. The role gave me a chance to have interaction with other people every flights I operated. I used to be very shy to talk to stranger especially to someone who don't speak the same language as me. Being a cabin crew has changed me to be more brave to start talking to others first. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to complete or fulfill the job. For me, any jobs that give you a chance to have interaction with others is very helpful to build up the confidence and train you to be less anxious kind of person.

Muew recommends the following next steps:

Find any activities or jobs that allows you to have interaction with people

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David’s Answer

My name is Doctor David yes I am here to help you find your confident believe in yourself that you can do Anything and you will see and sometimes you can ask someone for help.

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Nichol’s Answer

Hello :-) the first step in Confidence is looking in the mirror and finding things you like about yourself. It could be as simple as your eyebrows. New underwear makes me feel great. The next thing is to think back to things your were successful at especially if you didn't think things would work out but you overcame them. Remembering those wins gives your training for your next new situation...meeting new people, new job, interview or anything. when you reflect at your victories, it empowers you to get ready for the next challenge.

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Errica’s Answer

Hey! Kudos to you for posting this and admitting you have a fear. That's difficult for most people, and the fact that you did that shows you are a strong person.
My 2 pieces of advice would be:
1. Pick some small tasks/jobs/hobbies and give it your all. Go in and excel. Be proud of what you achieve in those projects, and looking back on that success will prove you can succeed, which should boost your confidence.

2. Know that EVERYONE fakes it until they make it. Everyone is nervous at times, everyone is afraid of something. Everyone wants to be part of something. Having that connection to know that you are not the only one should give you the boost to go after what you want.

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Ilene’s Answer

Fake it until you can make it. If there is something that you want to do, go right ahead and do it! You may think that you are "faking it". However, you will learn from your experiences. Once you've experienced success, you will become more confident. If you are not successful, you will use it as a learning experience. You will build up your resume with your positive experiences. Pretty soon you may think you are "faking it" but you'll actually be "making it".

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Rima’s Answer

Hi Fahmeda. My name is Rima and I can humbly and with honor be your personal Coach to help you get over this...

But to begin with, something will make you feel better that is, We are all in this together and if not all but most of us did pass through this phase of less self-esteem / confidence

This all will pass away once you start applying very simple daily practices and exercises:

Rima recommends the following next steps:

First step: Start your daily affirmations by telling yourself something positive every morning as you wake uo
Second, List your favorite / happy things daily
Next, talk to your self daily about what you want to be and where you want to locate for instance
Then, try practicing daily talks and speeches in your niche so you get stronger and courageous

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Davida’s Answer

Greetings! Confidence is built within. You want it, so go get it. If you don't know where to begin, start with yourself. I believe in you, believe in yourself.

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Jackie’s Answer

I think you can dressed up, reflect some highlighted moments of yourself before the interviews, deep breath 1 min before the interview, that may help you build up your confidence.

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Lorena’s Answer

Nobody is born with limitless self-confidence. If someone seems to have incredible self-confidence, it’s because he or she has worked on building it for years. Self-confidence is something that you learn to build up because the challenging world of business, and life in general, can deflate it.

My recommendations:

Do one thing that scares you every day.
Visualize yourself as you want to be.
Affirm yourself.
Question your inner critic.
Set yourself up to win.
Help someone else.
Care for yourself.

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Bryan’s Answer

Confidence is a tricky thing - because it's not something someone can give you, but I know if sometimes feels like people are actively trying to take it away from you. The first thing to remember is that confidence is a feeling that starts inside you - which means you first need to stay focused on yourself and not compare yourself to others. There is a saying that I like which is, "the only person I need to compare myself to is my yesterday self". Life - and our careers - are a journey and each of our paths are different. While I had plenty of self-confidence growing up, once I got into the working world I found myself in circumstances that were new to me and/or situations where people were trying to break my confidence. Early in my career, one of my bosses/mentors shared an idea with me, which was to keep a "feel good file". This was a file that I kept that included examples of things I did well, notes I received from people, awards, etc. I also have in that file the 15 rejection letters I received from the 16 job interviews I did after graduating college. From time-to-time, I look through things in the file to remind myself that I am capable of good things - it's a way I pick myself up when I'm facing a new challenge...or after an inevitable failure. It's a way to keep me focused and moving forward.

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Elvir’s Answer

One of the ways I boosted my confidence is by saying yes to more invites to hanging out with friends. By saying yes more I was able to excersise my social skills ask started hanging out with more people.

I also like to meditate and practice mindfulness, as sometimes I leave social events earlier when I don’t really want to, because I usually just shy away. My advice would be to start reading more about psychological tools related to being more social and confident.

As far as jobs are concerned saying yes to interviews helped me gain confidence overtime. Yes, my first one or two interviews didn’t go well, but I learned from it. So don’t be afraid to apply and do it for the sake of getting interview experience.

Also just try to talk to people more. Start small by just smiling, and work your way up to saying hi. You can even ask the cashier how’s your day going, eventually. But start small and work your way up.

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Davida’s Answer

Greetings! Confidence is built within. You want it, so go get it. If you don't know where to begin, start with yourself. I believe in you, believe in yourself.

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Änna’s Answer

Hi! Can I ask how old you are? After high school I joined Americorps NCCC. It is for 18-24 year Olds. When I was in the program, I worked with various non profits around the northeastern and southern parts of the United States working towards unmet human needs. In this program I learned a wide variety of skills including wood working and wildland firefighting skills. I worked with the National Park service, Camp Sunshine, Habitat for Humanity, and many others amazing nonprofits. Not only did I learn a lot of skills that increased my confidence, I had an impressive resume for being 19 years old. While this may not be be ideal for you, I would say explore volunteer opportunities and build on hobbies you enjoy to increase your confidence! Staying busy and learning new things will help you believe that you are a very capable person!

Änna recommends the following next steps:

https://americorps.gov/serve/fit-finder/americorps-nccc

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Dana’s Answer

So I want to give a somewhat *simple* answer to this otherwise complex idea... not sure if thats possible to such a great question but here it is:

Confidence is essentially something telling you one of two things, either “you got this!” or “you’re going to fail and you don’t got this!” You can spend time (preferably in therapy) digging deep into yourself to figure out when, where, and by whom did little Fahmeda receive messages about herself that are negative... but if you dont want to go that route, it’s your job as an adult, in order to survive, to retrain little Fahmeda’s brain into thinking she’s got it! You’re awesome and maybe we should have told you this more as you grew up! Find a picture of little Fahmeda if it helps (I have my clients literally use a childhood picture), and remind little Fahmeda often that she can do this!! And if anyone sent her a message that she couldn’t, they were wrong! That voice telling you negative things about yourself doesn’t really know you...

humans, by nature, focus on the negative. We get five A’s and an F on our report card and we’re a failure. We are brought up in a society that fails to see and celebrate all the small positive accomplishments we make resulting in many adults living with self doubt and shame. I call it “reparenting your inner child.” If your best friend, or your little sibling or little cousin or someone you love unconditionally, were in these exact same shoes, what would you tell them? That they’re valid in thinking they suck? Nope! You’d lift them up. Use that same dialogue to lift yourself up and make sure you surround yourself with people who see your potential. We are our own worst enemy... I believe the goal should be to become our own best friend...

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Lisa’s Answer

Confidence is one of those "vague" qualities that people are expected to have without knowing how to get it. I am a psychologist who helps young adults with life issues and mental health, and confidence is a very common concern for young people. My experience with "getting more confidence" has been to start with what I know about myself. When I started college and later grad school, I often felt that I had no experiences to be confident about. When I took the time to look deeper at myself and where I came from, I realized that my core belief about being a person of value needed to be strengthened. Once I knew that, I could start to see that I was deserving and had rights as an individual simply because I was born.

So if you know that you are a shy person- think of the advantages you have for being self-reflective. Even though you may not be super-outgoing, often shy people are very thoughtful, cautious, and wise. You can develop your inner calm into your outer calm. I have realized that people who are out-going and talkative are often drawn to people who are good listeners. Once you value your own strengths, then others will sense that and value them too. Your unique experiences will help you when you can see the value in what you have done right up until today.

For example, during high school I had many job experiences that others may not see as valuable such as house cleaning, planting potatoes, cleaning bathrooms at a country club, and being a dishwasher in a restaurant. When I think about the physical effort and willingness to work that I put into those, I could feel proud and accomplished about doing honest work for pay. I used that as a building block to see myself as a good employee. Each job experience added another building block in my self-esteem. So let yourself get some building blocks to grow your confidence and remind yourself that it takes time to build it. Even if your experience is primarily taking care of family members, notice all that you have learned from that and you can see how much of that will help you on the job!

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Isha’s Answer

Hi fehmeda,

First of all., I really appreciate the way you shared your problem. Actually being shy and quiet is not something bad to feel about.
After loosing internships you get to know that if you could speak up bit more at the interview or anything you would have been working there today.
This is a great thing as you want to work on this aspect of yours.
First of all: I would personally recommend few things you need to adopt.

1.Make a list of things that you want in yourself. Like say confidence.
2. Start waking up early before sunrise.
3. Exercise for Half an hour.
4. Learn your subject and try speak the anser of questions asked in interview or what you think about yourself and what you want to be in front of mirror.
This has to be done before 8 AM. And after that you may take an hour nap.
5. Talk and contact your classmates. Talk to them. Increase your social communication.
6. What ever your hobby or interest is .take out time to do that. Because above all give time for that you love to do.
Thanks.


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Parris’s Answer

Hi Fahmeda,
Confidence comes with trial and error that you must become familiar and comfortable with. Failure is the greatest teacher because you will learn what not to do and become closer to what you need to do for the success your looking for. Don't be afraid to be wrong and don't try to be right. Just do what you can, until you are comfortable with the results. There are going to be things that your good at and things that require additional work. Master what you are good at and never give up on what needs work. Taking a proactive approach by asking this question is evidence that you are on the right path and will be fine. You are doing great but remember your present is just as important as your future. (I should mention that you learn from your past) Your journey will need for you to pay attention to what is important and at that point, it will become clear what you must do to become better at what is preventing your next steps. Your confidence will build upon your successes and failures. It will be confusing but stay on the desired course (Never deviating but for so long) and your actions should compliment your hard work and dedication rendering confidence.

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Catherine’s Answer

Hello, Fahmeda.

From the brief description, it sounds like you have self-awareness and a desire to change. Those are big steps toward gaining confidence in an area that makes you feel understandably uncomfortable. Interviewing is a skill that is built through experience. My recommendations for you would be as follows:
- Be the interviewer. What do I mean? I am recommending you perform informational interviews and observations in fields that you are interested in. Why? This will help you see the reality of a job, and it allows you to ask prepared questions of various professionals. I think many people skip this step, take a job, and then discover the reality of a profession.

Specifically for preparing for job/internship interviews,
- Pretend you are a detective. Find out everything you can about the company, including how they treat their employees.
- Prepare ahead of time for the typical interview questions, including having short personal stories: how you work on teams, deal with conflict, 4-5 strengths, 4-5 areas of improvement (e.g., being a perfectionist, work/life balance, inexperience) with examples of how you are improving in those areas.
* Practice multiple times in front of mirror answering the questions.
* Practice multiple times with a trusted friend or family members answering the questions, and ask for their constructive feedback.
- Other ways to prepare:
* Dress up professionally for your mock interviews
* Stand in front of the mirror in your powerful "Wonder Woman" pose and tell yourself a mantra (e.g., I am confident. I am brave. I am strong.). Practice, practice, practice. Even right before the interview (e.g., in a restroom of the building where you will interview).
{Here's a brief description of the "Wonder Woman" pose: Put your hands on your hips, legs in wide stance, bring your shoulders down, lift your chin up slightly, stand tall, and look yourself right in the eye.}
* Discover what calms you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our sensations (touch, smell, sound, sight) can impact our emotions. Is it a specific scent? I personally love the smell of vanilla. Is it being warm or cold? Is it drawing or coloring? Is it a special stone that you can fit in your pocket and hold on to? Is there a song that brings you happiness and calm? For me, it is classical music.
* Practice deep breathing exercises. The long exhale is the most important part. Why do I make this recommendation? Because research shows that deep breathing exercises have a calming effect on our bodies. Deep breathing helps us to know that we are safe, not in danger. There are many free apps out there. I personally like Insight Timer.

I hope the above helps you, Fahmeda. I believe in you.

~ Cate



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