80/200 – said the mark sheet at the end of the 2 hour mock test. Tears trickled down her face- she couldn’t believe it. There were just 2 weeks to go for prelims. 5 lakh appear, 10000 clear. How was she ever going to make it into that 10k with that score? She felt despondent. “Should I just skip the attempt?”- She thought to herself. The fear of failure had gripped her. She began to doubt her preparation & her level of preparedness.
Sounds a little familiar? Anyone in the same boat? Are you plagued by self-doubt? Does almost every mock score disappoint you? Do you feel like you haven’t prepared perfectly as yet? That there’s so much left to do & revise? This is a very common feeling- nearly every aspirant feels this way! (Even those on their 10000th revision). Let’s discuss on how to overcome such feelings of self-doubt & how you must persevere through every setback. (Tell us about the challenges you have faced/are facing & how you overcome them every single time in the comments!)
The Cambridge dictionary defines perseverance as “continued effort to do or achieve something, even when this is difficult or it takes a long time.” Continued effort- not once in blue moon- but consistent effort! Studying for the UPSC CSE requires perseverance, determination & your single mindedness. Things may get difficult at several points (several times in a day too!), it also takes a long time for your efforts to bear fruit. But you must persist.
How can one keep going when the going gets tough? Think about your goal & WHY you chose that goal with CLARITY. Then think of HOW you can achieve the goal; what are the actions that will empower you to fulfill your aim? Be clear about the WHY & HOW. In moments of despair, they will help you to keep going.
Now that you’re clear about the how & why, what is the next step? Put in the effort. What drives you? Do you constantly daydream about being an officer, training in LBSNAA? Do you build elaborate castles in the air? You must dream, and dream BIG- ALWAYS. However, life rewards the DOERS more than the dreamers. So take action. That enables you to transform your dream into a reality someday. Even when everything seems to be going against you – face it, keep going! As Confucius said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” Don’t stop no matter how insurmountable the obstacle may seem. Let the action that brings about progress (however small) drive you each day. Do not stop until the goal is achieved. As Winston S. Churchill said, “If you are going through hell, keep going.”
So what happened to the girl in the story? Well, she didn’t give up. She decided to face the challenge & used the dismal score as a learning opportunity. She started viewing temporary setbacks as an opportunity to achieve permanent growth. She kept going through every failure & success. As Abraham Lincoln said, “I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.” She wasn’t going to walk back on her dream.
Mary Anne Radmacher had written, “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” Try again, no matter how many times you may stumble & fall, get right back up & TRY AGAIN. Do not give up. Not now. Believe in yourself. You will do it! Every time you feel like giving up, tell yourself “I CAN & I WILL DO IT!”
Until next time!