Please note, if you subscribe to Midwife Diaries (free) you'll get the first chapter of my book Become A Student Midwife: The Survival Guide For Passionate Applicants for free!
I’m thrilled both that you want to become a midwife and you’re getting this midwifery application support coaching.
This is to celebrate ‘Become A Student Midwife: The Survival Guide For Passionate Applicants’ the second edition coming out. This is a book that’s packed with information to get you through the process, from personal statements, current midwifery news, different types of interviews and tests, reading lists, student midwife tips and so on.
The book has 70% new content and though the old version did a great job and has served people well, I've learned so much more through my work with so many midwives/student midwives since then that I really wanted to get this info out there.
**Do watch the video to find out why you might want to hold off buying the book until Wednesday...**
I was a practising midwife in the UK and New Zealand and these days I do midwifery support online. I love this aspect of what I do because the tools you need to be a good applicant and get a place are the same as the ones needed for excellent midwifery.
On to today’s coaching which is on the topic of….
How To Beat Midwifery Interview Brain Melt
I have an amazing strategy for coping with fear. Fear comes up a lot in midwifery, as I’m sure you know, so this technique will be important for your career.
In an interview that fight, flight or freeze sensation of your brain melting can be awful as someone with your entire future dangled on a string in front of you asks….'so what is the role of a midwife?'
Can I take you back to 2006?
I went to my interview at Kings back in 2006. I failed it and I know why.
A mature applicant who looked like she knew EVERYTHING about midwifery said to me ‘oh, you’re a bit green my love’ (as in new, fresh, inexperienced).
Because of that I totally bottled the interview. Looking back on it if I’d have had my head on straight I would have done fine and these days I know exactly how to handle my fear when it’s so important.
I know how to say to my fear, yep, it’s your job to tell me this is a scary situation. I talk to my fear in my head because I know my limbic system has kicked in and I have to talk to it like I would an out of control child.
The thing that most people don’t realise, but midwives often do, is that you can’t reason with your fear or make it go away.
And why would you want to?
It’s doing an essential task. When we’re driving and a car swerves at us or when we’re on the edge of a cliff fear keeps us alive. You probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for your fear.
But the problem is your fear overreacts to everything. It’s designed to because back in our past, it was far better to mistakenly run for cover 100 times if it meant avoiding the lion once.
But in a midwifery interview fear will activate the parts of your brain that stop you thinking clearly: hence the brain melt.
What you can do is talk to your fear, imagine it like a person walking beside you protecting you. You won’t get rid of it 100% but it’ll take the sting away and help you breathe and think.
You can say to fear: thanks for doing a really, really good job at keeping me alive. But right now you don’t need to be concerned for my safety. You can just sit in the corner, fear, and I’ll keep going with my future because I want to become a midwife.
It’s too important for me to let you make any decisions over this situation.
(NB: A lot of my learning on this subject has come from a creativity book called Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, highly recommended for midwives and indeed all humans).
This is the essence of courage (one of the 6Cs, part of the NHS’ ‘Compassion in Practice’ strategy), feeling afraid but tolerating the feeling, working with it and doing the right, brave thing anyway.
Practice walking with fear and answer the following aloud:
Why do you want to become a midwife?
What is the role of a midwife?
How will you cope with the pressure of being a student and qualified midwife?
By the way, I don’t blame that candidate for her comment at all. I needed to have more resilience. And actually I don’t regret not getting into Kings as in a butterfly effect way, I almost certainly wouldn’t be writing for you now if I had.
And it’s a huge privilege to be writing for you.
Thank you THANK YOU for all the support. So many of you chipped in to say what you'd like in terms of free training and to send your good wishes.
Honestly, when I first started MidwifeDiaries it was a hobby and when the first edition of the book came out there were crickets for months. I was convinced everyone either hated it or didn’t want it.
And then the amazon reviews started to come in! Big surprise. It just goes to show, you have to give things your all and then set them free and see what happens. Especially with the stuff you care about most.
If you have any questions about this coaching, any questions or concerns about what the book covers, or anything else you want to contact me about all you have to do is leave a comment.
In the next bit of training, we’ll be covering something essential: how to ensure you show you understand the role of the midwife in your personal statement. This is a key reason applications are declined and there is a way of doing this that you may not have thought of.
Look out for the post on Monday and then one on Wednesday...
Thank you for subscribing, for wanting to become a midwife and for being brave enough to go after what you want in life.
P.S. I hope you found this helpful! If so please consider sharing this, like it, mention what’s going on in The Secret Community For Midwives In The Making or elsewhere.
MidwifeDiaries is a tiny company and this kind of word of mouth keeps us afloat.