Fear of Bar Exam Failure

I was afraid of failing the bar exam both of the times that I took it. I was most afraid of failing the California bar exam. Not so much because of the content of the test itself, but of the consequences of failure.

My wife and two children and I had just relocated from another state. We were burning through savings and imposing on the hospitality of relatives. We had some other pretty heavy things going on in our lives. If I failed, what would I do for money? How would I get a job? What would happen to all of our dreams and goals?

Of course, it all turned out okay, but it would have been nice to have some peace of mind prior to the day on which the exam results were released. I have discovered the technique for doing so: define your fears, and define the consequences of those fears.

This technique comes from the Stoics, via Tim Ferriss, who wrote The 4-Hour Workweek.

The basic technique is: define the worst case scenarios, list all of the things you could do to minimize the worst case scenarios from happening, and then define how you will recover if any of these scenarios come to pass. It is devilishly simple, but to be effective, the definitions must be thorough and precise. Thus, this technique involves real, intense effort.

Rather than try and explain further, watch the video below and, if you want a more detailed explanation, go to Ferriss' blog posts On the Shortness of Life: An Introduction to Seneca and Stoicism 101: A Practical Guide for Entrepreneurs.

For more strategies on beating bar exam fear and anxiety, check out my Bar Exam Mind Strategy Guide.


Anonymous said...

I found this via Great stuff. Ferriss appears to be a genius.

Thank you so much!

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