How to Deal with 4 Causes of Bar Exam Misery Podcast (Episode 008)

by Dustin on

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Today, I talk about the 4 mind states that cause bar exam misery and give you actionable items on how to overcome these moments during your bar exam.

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Greetings future bar exam passers from all around my name is Dustin Saiidi founder of and I want to talk to you today about the four causes of bar exam misery and how to deal with those when they arise during your bar exam prep.

You already know that the bar exam is not the most pleasant time during your life, but what is it exactly, almost at the level of science that is really causing misery during the bar exam time. I want to go through that first and then I will talk about how to deal with each of those emotions that you are feeling in that moment. I can deal with that in a really appropriate and empowering way that is going to help you pass that block and be able to keep moving forward.

What we are going to go over today are not necessarily feelings and emotions that you are going to stop or that you did not want to stop necessarily, but it is more going to be about how can you choose to deal with it in the moment that it arises, how to first recognize that it is arising and that it is affecting you in that moment and then how to deal with it in an empowering way.

So what is the definition of misery for the purpose of this podcast is: negative emotions that are affecting you at an intolerable level. You are going to feel one or a combination of all four of these at some point, so let us see how we can go from hat negative emotion to a more positive and healthy emotion to get through that period.

The first emotion that you may feel that is causing misery during your bar exam is number one, the feeling of being stifled . So what is stifled exactly? Really it is feeling suppressed or stuck or in context of the bar exam not knowing where to go or what you should do next not knowing how to get around a certain topic or a certain subject, maybe you just did not pass an essay and you are not sure why and you cannot figure out why, or you did not get an high enough score to pass on the MBE or a practice test and you are not sure why and you do not know how, you do not know where to go and fix the problems.

Those feeling were you do not know where to go next that you are feeling stuck, that is the feeling of being stifled. Guess what this is going to happen to you during your bar exam. It happens to me and probably in million and one times. Part of dealing with the solution is seeing the bigger picture, getting out of that mentality that you need 90% to pass or 90% to get an A. A lot of you are very smart A students in college and even high school and law school has kind of broken that down a little bit out of us and really the mentality for the bar is if you are getting a 65%, that is your new 90% that is your passing. You know in a lot professional careers as a football player of a quarterback throwing 65% in the field they are doing incredible job.

If you are a sales professional and you are selling 65% you are you know god. If you are playing basketball and you are hitting 65% of your shots you are doing an incredible job. So it is the same kind of mindset mentality on the bar exam, 65% is the golden limit. If you are hitting 65 you are doing a good job you are doing well enough to pass. Even if you are not getting a 65 let us say you are getting a 60 or 50 or even downward 40, you are still not doing bad you just need to find what is the problem and how you can solve it, what is stopping you and how you can go about creating the solution and that my friends is the key in getting pass the feeling of being stifled.

Just stop in the present moment recognized one if you are feeling that kind of hangster that negative feeling and you are not sure how to recognize it, say am I stifled in this moment, am I feeling this now that I thought about questions or an essay that I took that I did not pass or did I just take it essay or do some practice questions on an MBE and felt I did not pass, so am I feeling that in this moment okay that is number one recognizing the feeling. Secondly what do I do wrong and how can I fix that, what issues did I miss this essay and how can I go and make sure I get those next time. Maybe I need to go retake that essay and practice swatting those issues.

If it’s an MBE what questions did I miss, let us go look up the rule and let us go retake that question and how will I approach it differently the second time, by stopping and being methodical and realizing okay this is just some kind of emotion that I am feeling right now, it does not reflect reality per say, it is just the emotion I am feeling in the moment, let us sit down, focus, let us see what is the problem, how can  fix it, what is the solution and moving forward. That is going to help you pass that momentary feeling of being stifled and move forward to improve your scores on the bar exam. So anybody can pass this bar exam, you can as well so go ahead and just focus on what the  problem is and how to fix it.

By the way I mentioned if you are getting 65 you are doing great, you are passing. If you are getting a 70 or 75 you are really, really an opporture and if you are getting over….I think it is a 75% score on your essays will put you on the top 10% of all essay takers, it is something crazy like that, I don’t think it is the exact number but it something crazy like that and If you are getting like an 80% on your scores that is nearly impossible. So do not think like getting a 65 everybody is ahead of you or that you are barely passing, you might not be on the 6:14 or whatever. 70, 75 you are really, really in the upper 6:18 so just remember 65 is that bottom line price point.

Okay so in that moment if you are feeling stifled just is okay with it too. Understand that all these emotions that I am going to go through is kind of part of the bar exam process, do not make yourself wrong for it or beat yourself up or get mad at yourself for feeling that. It is okay, it is totally a natural flow. After you look at the emotion and just spin with for a second or minute, or a day or how long you want to, then just focusing on what you need to improve, be okay with that uncertainty.  Also remember to see the big picture 65 is passing and focus on what you can do to improve not make up stories about the negative emotions that you are not able to do it or pass or anything like that because that is not true that is just what you are making up in your mind in that moment.

Emotion number 2 that maybe causing bar exam misery ask yourself in the moment when you are feeling like eggs, am I feeling number 2, scared . Am I feeling scared? Fear is a very common part of the bar exam. There are basically 3 kinds of fear that you are going to deal with on the bar exam:

  •  one is the fear of loss
  • second is the fear of process
  • third is the fear of outcome

One of the main causes of fear of course is the physiological fear of a person, that is not an issue here so cross that one off, you do not have to worry about that one. So the other three fears the fear of loss is about losing something that you like or care about doing or that you want to do. Losing something that you like or care about doing or that you want to do. So in the context of the bar exam, maybe you want to practice as an attorney or maybe you want to start working and pay off your debt or start working and making money or really just move on from the bar exam and go on into the field, so there is that fear of loss that you are not going to be able to do what you want to do, so just pay attention if in a moment where you get that negative kind of feeling in your mind ask yourself oh am I having a fear of loss in this moment.

The second one, fear of the process. Now, there are persons that have that as well, it is the fear of the process of the bar exam. Oh this is going to be a lot of work, this is going challenging, I have to memorized a lot, I am going to be 8:46 miserable, I do not want to put all this work in, I want to go and spend my summer doing what I want, or my winter doing what I want. The fear of the process that you are going to undergo during the bar exam, that is the second kind of fear that might come up so again first step is understanding the fear when it comes up and you can be able to deal with it and which all go through in a moment.

The third fear is the fear of not getting the outcome that you want. So basically for this one for the bar exam is fear that you are not going to pass the bar exam, that is the fear of getting the outcome that you do not want. So how do you deal with these fears when they come up in the moment, well if you notice the questions that run through our heads during each one of these fears, they are all what if statements in the negative.

So what if I do not get to do what I want to do, what if I do not get to practice as an attorney or start working as an attorney, fear of loss, fear of process. What if I do not get to do the activities that I want, what if I cannot memorize all this, I do not want to have to work and go through this challenge, that is the fear of process fear of outcome what if I do not pass the bar exam. If you noticed all the statements that are coming out of my mouth right now are negative statements what if, negative, so how do you deal with these statements, very, very simple just change the statement to a what if positive statement, say the same words what if I do not pass the bar exam, say what if I do pass the bar exam. What if this bar exam process does turn out well?

What if while going through this process I become a better person, it developed my character. What if it is challenges me to become a better person. What if I do get to work as an attorney. What if I do get to start working in the field that I want and start making money? What if I do? Notice that as you ask yourself those questions, you start orienting your mind to an open state a state of possibility, a state of excitement of where you can go as oppose to the negative statements I said earlier where it closes your mind and creates that frustration, that misery that worry, that ache, that inner feeling inside.

The key to dealing with the fears you may have is to orient them toward a positive what if statement okay to what if things go right, what if I do pass the bar exam, what if I grow from this challenge or if I become a better person, what if people are inspired by me passing the bar exam, what if my family is proud of me passing the bar exam, what if my future clients are happy that I passed my bar exam. So orient towards those positive what ifs and in that moment you are going to find that you are able to more easily get pass that miserable feeling and that fear of being scared in that moment.

So number one was being stifled, number was being scared and number three is in the moment am I feeling overwhelmed. The feeling of overwhelm s caused when you have too much to do at once, too much information is coming in at once. Will this happen on your bar exam?

Oh yea most definitely, you are going to have 12 or 13 topics to cover, you are going to have lot of rules to memorized, essays to practice and MBE’s to practice, performance test to practice. There is going to be a lot of information that you are going to have to take in, but guess what despite all that information you have to take in you can only be present and you can only be doing one thing at a time and that is going to be the key in dealing with overwhelm, is just taking all this information and really just chunking it down and realizing at this point in time at this moment in time that there is only one thing I can work on.

I cannot be memorizing rules for and taking contracts essay and doing evidence multiple choice questions all of the same time, instead I can only be doing one of these at a time. So to deal with the overwhelm just pick one activity that you are going to do and focus only on that one activity, okay. I know it is easy to allow overwhelm to bother us to get to us, but really overwhelm is not something that the world does to us, it is not something the bar exam does to us, it is really something that we decide, that we have control of, that we often allow to be done to ourselves.

There really are two kinds of overwhelm, one is us taking on too much again having all these materials that we have to do and then there is the mental component where we think about all the stuff we have to do and we allow a lot of frustration to brew in our mind that upset and cause bitterness and feel oh why do I have to do all this at one time, but in reality that is us allowing the overwhelm to mess with our mind and it is not so much what is going on in reality. As long as you do it in a positive and empowering way, then you can get pass the overwhelm and you will end up doing better in your bar exam, have more energy and be able to focus better.

You do not need to give your power away to the bar exam, you are generating the feeling of overwhelm and you can generate the opposite, the feeling of being focus and focusing on only one task at a time, and by doing this you are going to actually prevent the overwhelm. So let us say you have to do contract essays and contract MBE right, you cannot do them at the same time so what you do is just pick one that you are going to work on at the moment, so let us say it is the MBE and you schedule that for  1 pm okay 1 pm I am going to work only on contracts MBE questions, and what you do at that time is that you take the desk that you are working on and clear it off of all other materials, get the essay books out of there, get the flash cards out of there, get only what you need to do the MBE at that point in time, so that there is no other visual distractions that is pulling your attention this way and that way and focus only on that one task.

Now say on the back of your mind you still know you have to do the contract essays and you know whatever else, so schedule those so say okay well at 3 pm I am going to work on contract essays and you can even write that down at one place and it is schedule. Once it is scheduled in your mind it will create a little sense of relief, a little calmness, a little peace like okay cool now that I got that scheduled I can sit here focus only on the MBE and be not be mentally distracted by the other things that I have to do.  Another key in dealing with the overwhelm remember there is that procedural aspect of it, where you have all the stuff to do, but there is also the mental component that you brew on the frustration of it, cut out from your life other distractions such as people or other responsibilities that you have to do, especially if they are irrelevant to the bar exam.

Do not allow those to come into your mind, into your life and create more overwhelm, more distraction from what it is you are focused on, what it is you are trying to do which is to pass the bar exam okay. So clear the clutter out, focus only on the one task at a time, you can only do one task at a time, focusing on that time be present with it and that should help you deal with the overwhelm.

Let us move on to number 4. The number 4 cause of bar exam misery is in the moment are you feeling alone. Now this can be common on the bar exam a lot of people we kind of forget that even though you are sitting around and seeing dozens if not hundreds of other bar exam takers studying with you, we kind of forget that they are all going through the same thing that we are going through the same thing that we are, they are all going through the anxiety, they are all dealing with the fears and the doubts and that normal stuff that kind of goes on through the mind during the bar exam, it is not just you, everybody is dealing with that.

Now they may not look like they are right, I mean everybody seems calm and cool and collective for the most part and guess what, that is what other people are thinking about you like oh well, they look at you and oh that person looks calm, cool and collected you know I am the only one dealing with the anxiety about it, but in reality everybody is, everybody is trying to learn a lot, everybody is making mistakes and it is really about how you are dealing with it, how you are getting through with those. So that is something that is really important to remember that you are not alone on this bar exam  journey whatsoever, thousands upon thousands of people are going on the same journey with you, they are dealing with the same things you are, so one way to deal with that feeling that may arise in a moment, particular the moment during your bar exam is again just to realize hey I am not alone on this other people are dealing with this as well and just to kind of know that in your mind.

Secondly is to really try to make a more proactive approach of positively engaging with other. It is important if you can to have a good strong support group with you during the bar exam and that can be family, it can be friends, it people you can go to, talk to and really feel connected with and speak with that will provide support for you during the bar exam, people you can vent to or that will encourage you. This is going to help you with that feeling of maybe being alone that you are the only one doing this. So try and create that support group that set up that network for yourself while taking the bar exam and that is going to really help with feeling of being alone.

These are the four causes of bar exam misery a lot of these are based a training program I took with Brandon Richard who talks about the four causes of misery. I hope this podcast has served you. So again just understand that these four feelings that may come up is just a particular feeling in a particular moment, it does not reflect the reality necessarily of the situation. It does not reflect the future outcome that you are going to get or not get; it does not reflect what is really going on. It is just a fear of feeling of overwhelm, feeling of being stifled, a feeling of being alone in the present moment, if once you recognized it is the key is the number 1. To recognize it. 2. Is deal with it in an empowering way in a ways that we talked about today.

So then the quickly review the first one was the feeling of being stifled in a particular moment and the way to deal with that is to write down what is the problem here and how can I focus on solving it, what am I missing, what can I improve upon and again seeing the bigger picture that a 65% is the passing point. Second is the feeling of being scared in a particular moment and then the key to that in that moment is to recognized okay I am fearful that either I am not going to get what I want here or the process is going to suck or I am not going to get the outcome I want and to re-orient the question to what if positive statement, what if I do past, what if I do get what I want, what if things do turn out alright, okay.

Number three: the feeling of being overwhelmed and the key to that is to focus in on one task at a time, eliminating all of the distraction around you and number 4 is the feeling of being alone and to just know and understand that you are not alone everybody is in the same boat as you and that to try and increase the positive engagement that you have with some of your close friends or family that can provide that support for you.

 If you want more tips like these delivered straight to your inbox in a free relaxation MP3 as a guided visualization and relaxation MP3 delivered straight to your inbox, go ahead and sign up for the email list serve I have on my website also subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and you will be automatically notified of brand new episodes that come out. I wish you the best of luck in your bar exam prep and always remember that this name appears on the pass list.

Enjoy and overcome!

“This name appears on the pass list”

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