Well it’s official, law school is over for me. I have graduated and will begin what some believe to be the most dreaded step of the process toward becoming an attorney: studying for and taking the Bar Exam.
My last semester of law school definitely proved to be more hellish than expected. Long story short, my school went through some extreme administrative turmoil that ultimately affected the future of the school as a whole. And to make matters worse, the federal financial aid that many law students depend on (for books, rent, food, gas etc.) was never disbursed to almost all of the students at the school as a result of that turmoil. So let’s just say that my mental, emotional and financial toughness was definitely put to the test… but enough of that, let’s get into the real meat of this post.
As if law school isn’t mentally strenuous enough, the anticipation of the Bar Exam creates a completely different level of stress for me. For those who may not know the particulars, the Bar Exam is basically a 12-hour, 2 day exam that covers about 14 subjects. Thousands of test takers gather in convention centers across the nation to take a test that must be passed in order to officially practice law. It is one of the hardest exams in the country with the lowest pass rate. Simply put, it’s intense y’all.
That kind of stress means that mental toughness is VITAL. If this rough semester has taught me anything, it has taught me the importance of incorporating affirmations into my daily routine—not only to build my mental toughness, but to strengthen my self-worth and to constantly remind myself of my present greatness and accomplishments and to manifest the future greatness that I am capable of.
If you think about it, positive and negative self-talk is what sustains a part of our mental health. Before I made the conscious effort to actively monitor what I was telling myself, the amount of degrading self-talk had reached an insanely toxic level. Now, when I feel a negative thought creeping up, I try to make sure that I combat it with an affirmation that negates that self-sabotaging thought.
Affirmations are basically specific declarations that we tell ourselves to help overcome destructive, self-sabotaging, and negative thoughts.
Here are a few affirmations that I say to myself (and sometimes out loud) throughout day:
- I am more than enough
- I am a first time bar-passer
- I am capable
- I am driven
- I am prepared
… here are a few more for good measure, courtesy of the formidable Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:
- I can do this
- I am experienced enough to do this
- I am knowledgeable enough to do this
- I am mature enough to do this
- I am brave enough to do this
Constantly saying these affirmations to myself, results in me acting in a way that will make it a reality. For example, when I tell myself “I am a first time bar passer,” I know that means that I need to do certain things to make sure that I will be a first time bar passer—so that I can fulfill what I have just claimed. On a lighter note, when I tell myself “I am a bad/boss bit*h” (excuse my french) it reminds me to hold my head a little higher and to put a little more confidence in my posture, my decisions, my actions and my words.
Simply put, I tell myself what I am, which results in my doing and acting in that way in order to fulfill what I have just told myself.
Now this doesn’t mean that the destructive, self-sabotaging thoughts won’t ever happen again, but it’s definitely a great start toward actively combating them… not to mention a good way to speak more positivity onto the present situation. I like to think that every day, I get a little better at rebutting that degrading thought and replacing it with an affirmation, until the day comes that I fully embody that affirmation.
What are some of the affirmations that you use throughout the day? Please share them below!