Thank you so much for reaching out here. Job search while being anxious is a real struggle. I’m right there with you on this struggle bus, having a clinical depression as well and what I think isn’t generalized anxiety, but performance anxiety.
Looking after a job kind of reopens some insecurities and make us more focused on our doubts and fears. When I look at job offers, I see the requirements or the description of the job, and I think: “I’m too anxious to be able to do that”; “I can’t do that”; “I don’t have the capacity”. When I think about my previous job, I feel like a fraud. I’ve spent a couple years there constantly feeling like people saw in me skills that I never had. I don’t know if you ever heard of impostor syndrom, but it might be what you’re experiencing too.
Job search in itself is draining. But when you add a lack of self-confidence, it gets even more hard. Every step on the road gives us reminders of how we feel about ourselves, which makes the whole process feel impossible at times. Hence why it’s so important to take it easy, little by little, steps by steps. Take also the time to process how you feel while doing so. I personally keep a journal with me, and I try to write down my thoughts and emotions after I focus on job search. It helps to keep some distance with our emotions and to understand our reactions better. I’ve also been trying to write down every step I could think of from updating my resume, looking at offers, going to interviews and working to a new place. There are many little steps in between, reminders to put in place. The more you have a clear vision of what needs to be done, the more it feels possible to do it even if it’s still challenging.
We will get there, friend. You are smart enough. But building a little more self-confidence requires also to experience situations where you’ll feel uncomfortable. By giving yourself a real chance, you will give yourself the opportunity to actually see that you have what it takes to work. Confidence is built through little actions. And regarding jobs specifically, don’t forget that rejections are not a rejection of you as a person. It’s just a matter of finding the right fit, which can take some time.
Take it easy. Be gentle with yourself through this journey. We believe in you.