Reply To: Freezing during interview programming test

Paul McCabe
PSTEC Pro and Forum Moderator

    Hi Sb_in_ca,

    Thanks for your post.

    It sounds like you are experiencing a degree of performance anxiety, which shows up as a fear of making a mistake or being judged harshly by others. Of course, we might say that consciously a behaviour or thought makes no sense (and may feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about feeling or acting a certain way), but it will make sense on a subconscious level.

    This pattern is perfectly common and can be resolved in quite a straightforward way.

    In fact, as with many things, there will be more than one way to resolve this pattern. Your first instinct looks to be spot on and, indeed, the Click Tracks may be all you require.

    You can simply run a CT on these type of scenarios and the feelings associated with them:

    – being judged harshly
    – public performance
    – job interviews
    – tests/exams
    – criticism based on making mistakes

    There will be historical causes and memories around these concepts, I suspect. Use those and CT while thinking about them, trying to bring up and feel the unwanted feelings (e.g. fear).

    CT down to 0 or 1.

    You can also CT embarrassment about feeling this way, or the worry that people might be thinking less of you when you are fearful or making a mistakes.

    Another, highly recommended way to approach this is from the belief perspective. You can clear the causal beliefs with PSTEC Negative or Belief Blasters (

    There are different instructions for each program, of course, but they are both very effective for eliminating beliefs.

    The sort of beliefs that typically feed into a public performance (e.g. job interview or test) fear include:

    – “I'm not good enough”
    – “I can't do anything right”
    – “I'm a failure”
    – “I have to do everything perfectly”
    – “I'm not capable”
    – “I'm not competent”
    – “It's scary for people to focus on me”
    – “What makes me good enough is having people think well of me”
    – “Mistakes are bad”
    – “Failure is bad”
    – “I'm a fearful person”
    – “Tests are scary”

    If you have either of the aforementioned programs, I recommend saying those beliefs out loud to see whether they feel or seem true.

    If any of them do, follow the instructions in the individual tracks to eliminate the beliefs. For Belief Blasters, put the beliefs into the past tense and really, really try to believe the belief while running the track.

    Then, if you have any of the PSTEC Positive tracks, you may wish to layer in some things you really wish to feel and believe in this particular context (or, better, at the identity level).

    Something along the lines of:

    – “I now feel absolutely at ease when doing live programming tests”
    – “These tests are my chance to calmly show how good I really am”

    This is not an exhaustive list, nor the only way you can approach this, but I am confident you will get this handled.

    Hope this helps.

    Please keep the thread updated with your progress and feel free to ask for any clarifications, if you require them.

    Best Regards,

    Paul  :)

    Paul McCabe – PSTEC Master Practitioner

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