UPSC civil services exam is one of the toughest exams to crack. It requires months of dedicated efforts to prepare the multitude of subjects. Moreover, the entire examination cycle takes, at least, 15 months from the date of the release of the notification by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to the release of the final merit list. During this long journey sustaining your motivation is the secret ingredient to ensure success
Among other challenges like covering syllabus, revisions etc sustaining motivation during the entire preparation is a major faced by all aspirants. During the last decade of UPSC coaching experience, we have noticed that after initial few months of rigorous preparation aspirants high spirits start to fizzle out. They start losing their rhythm of preparation. Many aspirants’ minds start being clouded with self-doubt. Some of the common thoughts which lead to self-doubt and loss motivation among aspirants are as following:
When will I become financially independent? I have no backup plan. What if I fail in this attempt? All my friends are settled now in some way or the other. When will my student phase end? What will become of my life, of my dreams? Etc.
These days the trend is to read the success story of UPSC toppers, for motivation. As these stories of common people overcoming insurmountable odds and achieving double-digit ranks provide a boost of motivation. Such success stories push you to work harder and fired up the will to achieve the same or better results. But this external motivation only helps you if have a strong will and inner motivation. One cannot solely depend on such success stories as a source of motivation. You need to analyse yourself and see whether are dependent upon the external or internal source of motivation. If you depend upon external sources then it is better to seek professional mentors’ guidance from coaching. they can give you advice suited to individual problems and motivate you along the arduous journey to success.
The humongous syllabus prescribed by UPSC is one of the major contributors towards loss of confidence and motivation. Aspirants do not plan their timetable well and often fail to cover the whole syllabus.
Their inability to cover the syllabus on time causes fear and panic. This, in turn, leads to loss of motivation. To regain the lost confidence and achieve a good rank one needs to cover the whole syllabus by dividing it into small manageable chunks. Further, subdivide the targets paper wise and subject wise. One should set daily subject wise targets based on strengths and weaknesses.
Prepare for this exam keeping your focus on daily targets. List the things you want to do today and finish those things. This will help in completing syllabus on time and sustaining the motivation for a longer time.
Another reason for the loss of motivation is that after months of preparation aspirants start doubting their learned knowledge. They fear whether they will be able to solve the questions or not. This is where regular evaluation becomes important. Coaching institutes play a very important part as a source of an external motivator. Allocate sufficient time for testing through practice and mock tests on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Assess your performance after the test and pay heed to the input given by your mentors. This will act as a feedback mechanism for your preparation and help in rectifying your mistakes. The slow and steady progress made in the regular tests will act as a motivator for you.
3.Do not over analyse past mistakes
Another reason for the loss of motivation is that aspirants tend to brood upon their past mistakes and failed attempts. Continuous over analysis of past failures and brooding upon the future prospects leads to depression and anxiety. So, aspirants are advised to remove all pressures from the head. For eg. thoughts of making parents happy. What they should be doing instead is investing thoughts in the present. Plan your day in advance, set achievable daily targets and revise your syllabus. Whenever you feel anxious talk to your mentors or family or do any other stress buster activity you enjoy.
See More : Common Issues Faced by IAS Aspirants
4. Find purpose
Often aspirants start losing their sense of purpose and start feeling aimless. To overcome this you need to cultivate a strong sense of purpose: both long term and short. This will help you stay motivated to achieve your goals and fulfill your life’s purpose.
Whenever you feel like giving up, question yourself- why did I start it in the first place? Everybody has a different reason. But whatever may be the reason it is of utmost importance to keep reminding yourself why you chose to become an IAS. This will serve as your longtime goal. Then divide it into smaller goals. Every day finds a purpose and works towards fulfilling it. If you are preparing for the Main exam, then your purpose will be to make notes, attempt mock tests etc.
5. Minimize daydreaming
Many aspirants are habitual daydreamers. While it is okay to daydream a little if it acts as a motivator for you but too much of everything is injurious. Dreaming about achieving goals rather than building a reliable path that leads to it is not going to change things. To succeed in the exam, you need to have an executable plan and preparation strategy. This will act as a constant motivator for the aspirants.
6. Stay healthy
Last but not least it is important to remember that both sound mind and sound body go hand in hand. You need to prepare your body and mind for the exam on a constant basis. Since a strong mind lies only in a strong body. It is advisable to spare at least min on a daily basis for light exercise and meditation. To maintain good health take a balanced diet. This will keep you healthy. And in turn, will help you in maintaining motivation for the exam.
We would like to conclude by saying that the recruitment process is designed to test your endurance and discipline along with the knowledge. Thus, to stay on course for over a period of two years motivation is necessary. We hope the above-mentioned tips will help you sustain motivation during the IAS exam preparation.
See More : UPSC Preparation
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