Nervousness and fear are part of our historic, adaptive, survival biology? It’s kept many life forms alive for thousands of years – escaping or defeating predators.
Fear is a complicated emotional and physiological response to uncertainty, threat and danger. It can be very constructive – alerting us to potential harm and triggering the chemical reactions our bodies need to respond quickly to ensure safety.
This preparation the mind and body offer as a response to a perceived threat is quite physical, literally preparing the body for running, fighting or other major physical activity. It is known as the “fight, flight or freeze” reaction where chemicals from the brain and glandular system are released preparing the body to move fast, fight hard or freeze, hoping to be left unnoticed and unharmed.
Clearly, this survival mechanism is valuable but rarely needed in contemporary life. It won’t help if you run out of the room or attack the interviewer! For most contemporary challenges we need to pay attention to what we are thinking and how we are interpreting the situation to not trigger unnecessary fear and nervous discomfort.