As exam day approaches, tension increases. Despite preparing so well, there is some kind of fear within you – What if UPSC gives very difficult paper this year? What if I commit silly mistake in exam (such as writing wrong roll number, filling wrong bubbles, etc) What if I feel sick on the day of exam? What if CSAT paper is very tough? What if I faint in the exam hall?….
Then there are other fears – that are borne out of longterm imaginary consequences – What if I fail in prelims? What if I fail despite doing well in exam (due to some mistake by UPSC)? What if I pass in Mains – I haven’t completed my Optional!!?
These are all imaginary situations that are yet to take place. That’s why you should not worry much – every scenario that you imagine due to fear is yet to take place. Unfortunately, if you don’t kick away this fear, the very fear will push you to commit these ‘imaginary’ mistakes. Fear wrecks your thinking. It plays with your emotions.
If you want to do well and succeed in this exam, or even in life, you must conquer your fears. But how to conquer them? Especially when exam is just 2 days away?
The best way to overcome fear is to anticipate an event with curiosity rather than with anxiety. Consider prelims as test of your knowledge. Don’t consider it as an event that decides course of your life. Though it is an important day in your life, it won’t change course of your life. In future, you will get so many opportunities to change yourself and the world. You might end up as the Prime Minister of this country. You never know. But to have even remote chance at becoming the PM, you should start with winning these small fears.
For now, prelims is a significant, yet a very small step that you are taking to climb the ladder. Approach it with joy. If you are scared, you might falter even before you climb the first step. If you face it with a smiling face, you will definitely do well (even if your preparation is not that good – believe us!)
If at all you fail due to lack of knowledge or lack of preparation, you can prepare well next time and give another attempt. If you fail prelims due to fear – despite knowing things well, you will regret it a lot. Even worse, same thing will keep repeating itself in all attempts.
As we have written many times in the past, this exam must be enjoyed. Not feared. What’s the point in getting tensed and causing pain to yourself? You cause harm to yourself.
Moreover, these fears should be limited to considering them as ‘wake up’ calls. Fears should end up as motivating factors rather than ruining your life.
When you are undergoing mental agony due to fear and tension, you are actually suffering, which is very bad considering it’s self inflicted.
When the D-Day comes, trust your abilities. Trust your destiny. This trust will give you courage. When you have no fear, you can do unimaginable things in life.
Ask yourself, Why are you afraid in the first place? The worst outcome is failure. The best outcome is a temporary success. After this success, there are many hurdles to be crossed. Will you bow down to fear in all these stages?
Once you learn to face events without fear, next hurdles do not appear as hurdles, they appear as opportunities and stepping stones.
Prelims or no prelims, life will move on. The world will move on. Relatives and friends will be busy in their own lives – they too will move on. It’s you who should move on. Rest of the world doesn’t care whether you are stuck up somewhere or have moved up to become someone great. All the accolades you receive on your success are momentary. Soon everyone will forget your achievements for they have their own struggles to face every day. It’s you who stands still because of your own worries and fears.
Fear is a jail. It isolates you. No matter who you are, where you are, fear will always come to you. You can not run away from it. You just have to beat it. You should learn to free yourself from it. As Nelson Mandela said, “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.”
Coming Sunday is that moment when you free yourself. That freedom should be enjoyed. Love what you are going to do on that day. Live that day without fear. And the true freedom is one where your mind is free from fear and anxiety. Best part is only you can unlock yourself from this prison and free yourself.
On 18th June, be brave and fight well. Nothing can beat a free man, especially the one who’s enjoying his freedom from fears.
Wish you all the best!