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MOTIVATION: Stuck in the Border?

Today’s post is a as a follow up to the thoughts and comments on Yday’s post – AND THE PRELIMS ARE DONE!

We talked about the different phases each of you are after the prelims exam. There is a constant dilemma whether you should check your answers or not and there is a constant dilemma esp when you are stuck in the border and there is a disappointment if you have scored less than the cut off published by different sources. Well, let us try and address these situations today and how we can try and deal with them

1) Checking the answers?

I would firmly say, DON’T CHECK THE ANSWERS! I do agree that this may sound improbably and you would have that curiosity to check the answers, but then again, think of what happens if you do. If you have scored exceedingly well, then there is no doubt and you will feel confident enough for the next stage. If not, there is a whole new set of emotions you will have to counter. The several dilemmas are never easy. The reason I say that you should not check the answers is that you can avoid this turmoil of emotions.

Having said that I do understand that it is very hard to do so and most of you would have checked the answers. For the ones who have and the 3 possible outcomes, let us try and address how we deal with them

a) Scored Exceedingly High

Well in this case, you have managed to pull it through and it gives you the confidence to go ahead, so don’t bother discussing about cut off or scores or anything, you always will have less time than you think for the mains, so get started on the plan soon and you will be ahead of the competition

b) Scored Exceedingly Low

In this case, you will go through a turmoil of emotions and the most common questions being

– Where did I go wrong

– Should I quit this process

– Am I useless

– Does this exam deserve all this hardwork and for what purpose?

– I am smarter than a lot of these people who seem to clear, why it did not happen to me.

– And so on…

All these questions are very valid ones, but don’t ask them right now. You are reacting to a certain situation a certain scenario of disappointment and none of the answers you get when you are in such pain is going to be positive. Let it seep in, let it take its time. Take a little break and distraction and find a way to move ahead.

And if you are thinking of another attempt, prepare for mains nevertheless, that way you don’t miss out on the precious time and you are still well prepared for the next attempt. I know that the instant reaction is to start preparing for the next prelims, but trust me you will have time for that, now is the time for mains and let’s focus only on that, even if you feel that you have not made in the prelims, not because it makes you feel better but because that is best way ahead for your ultimate goal.


Well, like we talked about Yesterday, this is the toughest place to be in and you feel like talking to a lot of people and cross checking answers and trying to call the UPSC board if you can find a solution. For such a case, BELIEVE IN A LIE! Yes, I said believe in a LIE. Believe that you are going to make it, let it be a lie, strongly tell yourself that you are going to make it, do all the things you would do if you clear and are sure about it, that brings your best foot forward. The reason being

– If you are short of the cut off and don’t make it

You are still using this time lag between the result and this situation for the best and it is still bringing out a preparation phase in you

– If you make it

Then you are still in line with the competition. If you make it and are not ready cos you wasted most of your time thinking about  what might happen, then the real fear is you making through and not being prepared for the next stage.

uncertainty, how to handle stress, stress management, i feel uncertain, I am scared of my futureHere is a post on uncertainty which will help you deal better with it:

I agree that it is one of the most difficult places to be in, but you are in a situation that has forced you to be in it. The only way out is to find a solution to handle it very smartly. That way, you are headed somewhere. No one knows what the real outcome is going to be, but what you can do is be best prepared for it. After all, you are here to fight and the best thing to do is to THROW THE STRONGEST PUNCH POSSIBLE :).

10 ways to handle uncertainty in life