Category Archives: Women

Battling the ‘shame gremlins’


Job interviews, when they go badly, have a way of piercing your soul, shattering any confidence you walked in with, and leave you berating yourself for hours (or days) about what you did (or did not) say.

That was my experience this week.

For a long time I have wanted a job in my area of passion. I have put in several applications, with what I thought was an a-maaazing cover letter only to hear nothing. I finally got a positive response in a place where I have been a volunteer for several years. It is a place that I love. It is a place where I believe in what is going on. And when this job opportunity came up, my heart leaped in my chest.

Now perhaps it didn’t go as badly as I imagined. Perhaps I was able to get across my relevant strengths and assets. We are all our worst critic, right?! But I felt like I stumbled in several questions. My brain couldn’t think fast enough to respond well and I felt like I ended up using the “status-quo-cliché” type of responses sometimes. (On a side note, this is actually one characteristic of an introvert…. we think deeply and ponder a lot and sometimes need more time to process during a discussion before we respond than an extravert might. Rapid-fire answers are sometimes not our forté.)

I felt disappointed afterwards. But also, I felt embarrassed. I think it’s one thing to be interviewed by strangers, perform poorly and then never have to face them again. But (gulp) I am in there every week and I will have to see and interact with my interviewers. With the people who saw me ‘flame out’ in an interview.

My self-talk went from bad to worse. You know how it goes… “Oh my goodness… how could you not be prepared for that question?” “Wow… your inadequacies really shone through on that question…!”  to “I am useless. I am incapable. I’ll never get a job in this area.”

The enemy loves it when we linger in those thoughts of self-condemnation. He doesn’t even have to do anything… we are doing it for him! We are not loving ourselves. We are being downright mean to ourselves.

Since I am in the middle of one of Brené Brown’s books, I decided to try to turn this ship around. I could plainly see from my self-talk that the ‘shame gremlins’ (as Brené calls them) were out in full force. Instead of listening to the voices of shame echoing in my head, I decided to see how I had demonstrated vulnerability and therefore, how I was courageous.

1. I submitted an application despite being out of the field for a long time. I ‘threw my hat in the ring’ despite my insecurities.

2. I showed up. I went through the uncomfortable process of an interview even though I was nervous and scared.

3. I was honest about the areas that I needed to grow in. I didn’t shy away from my shortcomings as they are pretty key to this specific job.

So there. Take that, shame gremlins!

Next week I will hold my head up high and I will walk in to volunteer. I will not let the shame gremlins have the upper hand. I will walk in knowing that I am a beloved child of God. I am a daughter of the King. I am worthy, I am capable, I am lovable. And that is enough.