Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
We might be waiting to hear back after a fantastic interview for a dream job, a pitch for funding, or that sales meeting that could save the business. We’ve all been there and many of my clients are actively waiting to hear back about something right now.
This isn’t a great place to be, especially not for active, high-performers who are used to springing into action. It feels like everything has been done—all the prep work before the meeting, showing up and presenting yourself well, and the requisite follow-ups afterwards. This can be a place of severe judgement that spirals down into second-guessing and anxiety:
- Why did I give such a dumb answer to that question?
- I should have practiced the presentation more.
- I didn’t really speak up and say what I meant to. I froze in the moment.
- I couldn’t stop speaking so fast. I should have listened more.
- Did I give my opinion too strongly?
In addition to the endless self-rumination, it feels like you are in a place of judgement. You’ve done all you can and now you’re waiting to hear the other person or company tell you if they want you or not. If they say yes, then magical rainbows(!) you’re headed on the path of your dreams. If they say no, then you’re a rejected failure. We can get stuck in this black or white thinking, passively suspended waiting for someone else’s judgement.
This is a normal and human place to be. It’s normal for us to feel powerless and out of control. It’s OK to be anxious and antsy, AND, it’s also important to realize that we do still have power, and it’s never a complete black or white scenario.
I’m mainly sharing examples for what to do while waiting to hear back about an interview, however, the three point framework is also applicable for other situations when you’re waiting to hear back.
1. Just Keep Swimming
Dory, the little blue fish from Finding Nemo, tells her dejected friend Marlin to “Just keep swimming” in their quest to find Nemo. It can feel like supremely irritating advice, especially when voiced by a perky Disney animated fish, yet it’s helpful to…