How to Minimize Bar Exam Stress

bar exam stress

All of us deal with stress in different ways. But how do you minimize Bar Exam stress so that it doesn’t paralyze you? For some people, fear is a motivator. These lucky individuals probably have an easier time of it when it comes to the Bar Exam.

I was one of these people. Fear of failure motivated the hell out of me. I was determined that NOTHING would get in my way as I worked to pass this test. Because that was my mindset, I focused better and with more determination during the study period than I’ve ever focused on anything in my life.

It was sheer fear and determination driving me on.

However, not everyone works that way. If fear stops your brain from functioning at its best, take a look at Passing the Bar: How to Harness Your Mind to Succeed. And you may want to give some thought to how you will keep stress from reducing the effectiveness of your study time.

But how? How do you learn to overcome anxiety, stress, and fear when the consequences of failing are so great?

It’s the Thought That Counts

There is more than one way to minimize Bar Exam stress. But one highly effective path is to learn positive self-talk, otherwise known as affirmations, and positive visualization.

We all talk to ourselves in our minds. It’s called thinking.

But what you say to yourself, and how often you say it can mean the difference between passing and failing the Bar Exam. It can also mean the difference between failure and success in life, but for now let’s just focus on the exam.

You must begin to monitor your self-talk right away. What do you say to yourself on a daily basis when you think about the Bar Exam? What are you telling yourself regarding your ability to conquer this bad-boy?

You are likely not aware of how much of your self-talk is negative, particularly when it comes to this exam. So start to recognize it. Start to think about what you are thinking about!

You may say, “but those are my thoughts. I can’t control what comes into my head.” Maybe so, but you can control what you allow to stay in your head.

Kick the negative thoughts OUT. Don’t let them hang around and wreak havoc. And certainly don’t speak them out loud. Don’t allow your own thoughts or words to lead you around by the nose and make you a fearful mess. You must take control of negative, fearful and dysfunctional thoughts.

Create a list of affirmations that will help when you begin to stress out. Make the affirmations comforting. Make them strong, declarative statements. Repeat them regularly as soon as fear begins to creep in. Then watch as you begin to believe in yourself and perform more strongly as you study.

This takes a bit of practice, but in the end, it is effective.

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