We all know, the journey to become a CA is one of the most challenging education pathways in the country. This journey not only tests your subject matter expertise but also your inner strength. If you had appeared for the November 2018 exams (Finals/Intermediate), your results have probably been declared by now.
Congratulations, to those who have cleared! But for those of you who did not clear, this could be a critical time; even more critical for those who have appeared for the exam more than once.
Unfortunately, if you are in the latter situation, plenty of thoughts, questions, and doubts must be running in your mind at the moment. Questions like - What went wrong? Should I attempt again or leave it? What if I study and don't clear again? What if I am not destined to clear? What will everyone think if I quit? and so on.
It is natural to feel this way especially after giving the best you could in your November attempt. There are many other factors which might add to these negative thoughts - the pressure of meeting the expectations of your parents, criticism from relatives, pressure to start earning and also examples and stories of students who made it. I resonate with these thoughts as I too have faced this during my CA preparation days.
At this juncture, one of these two possibilities can happen - either a student gives into the negative thoughts completely and decides not to attempt or somehow musters the courage to try it again but with a half-hearted, doubtful mindset. Both of the scenarios are not good.
The purpose of this article is to break this negative self-doubt thought patterns running in your mind and to give you strong reasons and guidelines on how to pick yourselves up and get going towards your dream of becoming a CA.
No matter who you are, how your academic record has been, how bad your previous attempt was or what your friends and relatives think about you, with these ideas you can begin afresh with an optimistic approach.
Here are 4 key ideas I want you to consider and internalize before going ahead:
1. An opportunity to cultivate the one defining trait of highly successful individuals
The ability to bounce back and attack even harder is called resilience.
Resilience is an important trait of gritty people. A recent longitudinal research in psychology has proven that grit is one of the few personal traits that distinguishes the exceptionally successful people from the rest and it can be cultivated over time.
Try to look at the situation as an opportunity to join the elite club of truly gritty people. As easy as it may sound, it is very tough to act this way. Especially, knowing that even after putting everything I have at stake again for next 3 months, the result may still not be in my favour.
You must be wondering - how do I make up my mind to prepare with full intensity again?
Start looking at the CA exams, not only as a journey, but also as a training ground to cultivate resilience. If you are someone who in spite of failing 4 times is mustering the courage to fight back harder the 5th time, that itself is a very big win in the test of life. You have already laid the foundation of your long-term success. This ability to bounce back will become a part of your psyche as you go ahead in life and differentiate you from the rest of the folks in the long run and give you an edge in bigger battles that lie ahead. It is a solid leaning opportunity that non-CA students probably never get this early in their lives.
Do you really want to miss it??
2. The easiest & effective way to bring back natural optimism
Okay, so I have made up my mind, but I still doubt my capabilities, I keep thinking of the worst outcomes. How do I overcome that?
The first thing you should know is that you cannot fight thoughts with thoughts. When you try to push away a negative thought with a positive one, it will only create more thoughts which will hinder your ability to focus.
The only time-tested answer to breaking negative thoughts and creating positivity is engaging yourself in some kind of a meditative practice. In our culture, there are plenty of yogic meditative practices that have been designed thousands of years ago to get this job done. Leaving apart the religious and spiritual baggage these methods generally carry, these methods can be of great use to stabilize the mind no matter what is happening around you.
A simple breath based meditative yogic technique if done the right way and consistently can help you become optimistic and hopeful. Not only that, some of these techniques can also help you become more energetic and make it easier to stay focused for long durations.
3. Get back to the board and find your weakness
Once you generate a little steadiness in thoughts, it is time to now start looking at what went wrong the last time. Well, you might say I did everything I could. Yes, you could be right. It might look on the surface that you left no stone unturned.
But there is always something more you could have done; some little detail that you might have missed to grab the last time you prepared. One way to find it out is to get certified copies of all your papers as soon as possible. Though you may not see why someone has cut marks but you will definitely know which questions did you lose marks in and which ones were 100% correct.
Once you identify the weak links, attack them in the first month of the preparation. This strategy is a must if you want to make your May 2019 attempt most effective. So, if you haven't ordered certified copies yet, now is the time.
4. Do not spend too much time in hesitation and delay your actions
One key thing that you must internalize is that 'now' is not the time to be hesitant & to doubt yourself.
Students lose a lot of time in hesitation and then they have to hurry at the end. It is time to act & start studying with full intensity, the way you studied just 1 week before exams.
Questions like - Will I make it or not? Am I destined to make it or not? There is no real way to find it out till you write the next attempt with your best preparation. In all this uncertainty, one thing is certain - that is the law of conservation of energy that governs life on this planet.
Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can just change forms. You have invested a tremendous amount of your energy (read potential energy) in this pursuit. It will 100% come back to you(read kinetic energy).Even if it is not in form of clearing CA, it will for sure be in some other form.That's the law!
So, stop hesitating, forget about the outcome, invest yourself so much into the preparation, so that there is not an iota of your mind's bandwidth available to worry about the outcome. Your effort will 100% come back to you as a reward (with plenty of interest too:))
On a final note, though the above pointers are very effective and are enough to get you up and running, it becomes much easier, if there is someone who can guide you through this uncertain and complex period not just to bounce back but also to ensure that you put in 100% intense effort over the next 3 months.
As a co-founder and lead mentor at Antarlakshya, I have been a friend and a guide for numerous successful CA students across India and have helped them find the motivation, develop the right mindset & put in a very powerful and effective effort. We do this through the 'Focus Enhancement for CA students' program which is a one-to-one mentoring program exclusively designed to meet the specific needs of a CA aspirant, that can help you overcome negativity, doubt, stress and put in a winning study effort every single day in the next 90 days.
To know more about the program Click here
The author can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org