Oh My God! Such a humungous syllabus! One arduous journey! How on earth will I ever be able to do it? Maybe I should better stick to my current job or maybe I can take this up after a year or so!
Similar thoughts like such can storm your heads and be good enough to lay that black seed of ‘fear’. This seed under proper conditions, the sunlight of anxious emotions and watered by lack of self-belief will soon grow into a lush black creeper plant of fear. And, this creeper can wrap your confidence soon and paralyse you before you even take your first step on this road to become an IAS officer.
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Believe me, so many dreams fail not during the journey towards them, but at the very inception when fear grips passion and optimism. Even when you’ve set your foot on the road, you will meet pangs of fear at every second turn, to leave you astray. However, when you will stop to converse to many other aspirants walking on the road like you, you will realize something different. You will realize that, it’s not only you, but every aspirant has a fear-story to share. But, the fact that you fail to realize is that, fear is just a thought, an emotion and it’s ‘normal’ to be fearful at times.
The normalcy of fear hasn’t much been spoken of. And, this is what exaggerates one’s normal fears to leaps and bounds. ‘What will happen if I don’t make it even in the Prelims/Mains? What will I say to others?’ These doubts and fears are utterly normal and they need to be viewed in that light. It’s only when you bloat this feeling of fear as to ‘why I am feeling this way?’, that it takes charge over you and starts engulfing your positive spirit.
So then what saves you from spiralling down into fear? It’s the commitment that you’ve made to yourself or maybe that you want to make. You got to do, what you got to do, with or without fear! When fear crops up in your head, as you see others preparing or while reading people’s testimonies who’ve not been able to make this year, you need to address your fear and just keep going. This might sound easier said than done, but the bottom-line is that fear is a part and parcel. When you’d decided for this preparation, or as you might decide, remember you are also signing up for the ‘fear’ that will come your way. It is as if you are agreeing to the terms & conditions of this mother of examinations.
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
― Frank Herbert, Dune
Once you’ve given your consent to be okay with fear, you really need to practise it. So, the next time, you meet fear on your road, take a deep breath and think about how normal is it to feel fear, because you are a human and humans feel fear. Think that, what’s more important for you than delving in this fear is, honouring your commitment. Because, your commitment will take you places, but your fear will make you remain stuck in your own head!
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
― Nelson Mandela