It is October. The trees are changing color (although it is a little early for that in California), we are decorating for Halloween (at least we are at my house – wow my kids are going all out this year and have even made their own handmade pumpkin scarecrow), and the sunsets start to shift to that magical fall light. Fall is also my favorite time of year because I love all things that are made with pumpkin or squash. Do you love fall as much as I do?
However, I remember a number of years ago (we will just leave the exact number to your imagination) waiting for my own bar results. Wow, I was terribly nervous. I was first counting the weeks until I found out, then the days and then the hours. I left work early on results day and went to a movie just to pass the time. I sat nervously holding my new kitten watching the clock tick down to 6:00pm when they would post the results. I remember standing in front of my computer hitting refresh continually until I was able to login and see the results through tear filled eyes. It was intense.
Years later I was standing in an airport baggage claim on a Friday evening and saw a number of people huddled around cell phones. They started screaming and hugging. Then I looked at the clock. Ah, 6:00pm on bar results day.
If you are waiting for bar results, I get it, it is a weird and stressful time. If you got results already (looking at you North Carolina and Florida), congratulations to those that passed.
However, if you didn’t get good news, this email and month of content is for you.
I know you must be completely disappointed to learn that you did not pass the bar exam, and it is understandable to feel frustrated and discouraged by this result. Now is a good time to wallow, watch some bad TV, eat ice cream, whatever is your wallowing indulgence of choice (as long as it doesn’t cause any lasting damage!).
But when you are done sitting with the disappointment, it is time to regroup and rebound. It is time to dust yourself off and find your growth mindset. Remember, with the growth mindset (thank you Carol Dweck) you can look at challenges and failures not as judgments or unchangeable traits, but as opportunities to grow and improve. By analyzing what went wrong, you can tweak your preparation and create a new plan for success.
Will it be easy? Absolutely not. Will it be fun? Well, probably not. But, will you be glad you did it when you get your passing results in the future? You bet.
Remember, plenty of smart people have failed the bar exam. In fact, some attorneys that you know have failed the exam (even if you don’t know it!). But you know what is strange? Most people never ask you the date when you passed the bar exam. In fact, unless you went to law school with me, I don’t think you would know when I even sat for it (I mean, I guess you can look it up on the internet if you are really curious). The reality is that although this failure feels really, really, big, in the future this will just be a speed bump. A blip in your story.
Our content this month is going to support you as you move forward with your preparation. We are going to talk about rebounding from failure, coming up with the best study plan for you and even some mental hygiene exercises to get you in the right headspace. This is not an easy time, I get that. But you can get through it and come out as a successful bar taker on the other side.
I also thought it might be fun to share a little bit about what I am reading this month. Something light, something not-so-light and something helpful.
- Being Mortal: Being Mortal Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End
- Better than Before: Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life
- Daisy Jones and the Six: Daisy Jones & The Six
I know, quite the set of books right? Thanks for reading!