“During a research experiment a marine biologist placed a shark into a large holding tank and then released several small bait fish into the tank. As you would expect, the shark quickly swam around the tank, attacked and ate the smaller fish. The marine biologist then inserted a strong piece of clear fiberglass into the tank, creating two separate partitions. She then put the shark on one side of the fiberglass and a new set of bait fish on the other.
Again, the shark quickly attacked. This time, however, the shark slammed into the fiberglass divider and bounced off. Undeterred, the shark kept repeating this behavior every few minutes to no avail. Meanwhile, the bait fish swam around unharmed in the second partition. Eventually, about an hour into the experiment, the shark gave up.
This experiment was repeated several dozen times over the next few weeks. Each time, the shark got less aggressive and made fewer attempts to attack the bait fish, until eventually the shark got tired of hitting the fiberglass divider and simply stopped attacking altogether.
The marine biologist then removed the fiberglass divider, but the shark didn’t attack. The shark was trained to believe a barrier existed between it and the bait fish, so the bait fish swam wherever they wished, free from harm.”
UPSC is a long journey. It’s a marathon. We set many monthly, weekly and daily targets. We have to write Weekly and Daily Mains and Essay papers, attend Prelims tests, complete GS and Optional syllabus. We have the right motivation. We know our purpose. We know our path to the Success. We want to sincerely put in the efforts and complete all the works on time. But we continuously miss the milestones by large margins. Howsoever we try, backlogs will keep on increasing. It creates a lot of anxiety and stress in the mind. We enter into the vicious cycle of Frustration->anxiety->less performance->Frustration. Slowly, we start losing trust on our goals and targets. It enters into the subconscious mind that, “whatever I try, whatever efforts I put, I’m not going to complete them. I will be lagging behind my targets. I’m going to fail”. This is a very bad mental state.
To come out of this state, you need to start moving in the ascending order. Set the achievable targets and complete them at any cost with full commitment. You need to start seeing the SELF achieving the small goals. You should not fail in your own eyes. Start increasing the difficulty level of targets gradually. You will be programmed as a Successful Aspirant. Else, like a Shark, you will lose the aggressiveness, you will start believing that there exists a barrier between your efforts and success. Remember the ambitions and passion you had when you entered this journey. You should keep the same interest and energy till the final success. Developing SELF CONFIDENCE won’t come by mere repetition of words. It has to be achieved by small successes. Remember, before reaching Mt Everest, you need to climb across many small peaks. Before getting UPSC Rank, you need to have small successes in your own eyes.