Embrace the troubles that you face
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about”. ― Haruki Murakami , Kafka on the Shore.
I came across this paragraph yesterday and was moved by it. There are days when the UPSC Journey feels exactly like a storm. We get very low scores in mock exams. In spite of repeated revisions, we still tend to forget some facts or get confused with some concepts.
That is not the end of the story. There would be rising pressures on different sets of people. For some it could be financial pressure, for others there could it be marriage. One common pressure that cuts across all is that of self-doubt.
Self-doubt is truly the internal storm that wreaks havoc on our minds. “Will I be able to do this?” To counter self-doubt we tend to compare our progress with that of others. This strategy can be helpful if comparisons are made between similar journeys. Comparing your scores in mocks with an aspirant who has been preparing for three years will only make you feel worse.
One definite point of comparison we can have is with ourselves.
“Have my basics improved over the past three months??”
“Have I been able to revise more consistently?”
Even when we ask ourselves this question, it would be helpful to focus on the inputs. By inputs I mean — MCQs solved on a daily basis, revisions done, hours of effective study etc.
Thus the storm of self-doubt can be dealt with by a reflection on how far we have made it in the journey.