How is your exam confidence? We are heading into exam season again and for many people this can be a time of anxiety and worry. If you, or your friends and family have exams coming up boosting your inner confidence can make the whole experience easier, smoother and calmer.
I’ve worked with lots of people using Marisa Peer’s Rapid Transformational Therapy to help them overcome anxiety, low confidence and low self-esteem.
Here are some hints and tips based on things I’ve learned along the way which you can use to boost your confidence, improve your self esteem and lower your anxiety as you go into your exams. If you need more help, there is a link to a confidence boosting audio at the end of this article. Here goes:
1) Prepare Well.
This is an obvious one and I’m sure every teacher, parent, tutor and coach will have been drumming this message for months or even years so let’s get this one out of the way! Sweat More, Bleed Less as they say in the Army. Everyone has their own ideas of what you should be doing and how you should be doing it. Now is the time for you to tune into yourself, listen to your mind and body and prepare a revision schedule which suits you. Maybe you concentrate best in the morning, maybe the evening, maybe in short bursts, maybe for longer periods. Whatever it is, create a schedule which is designed for you and then stick to it. Have a planner or diary, write out what you will do and when and then record what you actually do and watch out for any self-sabotaging activities. If you find yourself slipping that could be self-doubt trying to derail, you. If it happens re-focus and re-make your promises to yourself.
2) Brief Your “Team”
Your family and friends will all want you to do well. Talk to them about what you need to help you get the results you want. Peace and quiet? Alone time? Time to socialize and relax? Share your plans with them so they can support you. Share this article with them so they can understand the importance of your exam confidence too.
3) Eat and Drink Well
Drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated. It will help your focus and stamina. Try to eat healthily with plenty of nutrients. A sugar fueled diet will starve your brain of the nourishment it needs. Can you build some exercise into your study schedule? Even a short walk in the fresh air will help clear your mind and keep you healthy.
4) Visualise Your Success
Your mind operates according to 3 key rules:
It moves you toward the familiar and away from the unfamiliar
It responds to the words you say and the pictures you create
It does what it thinks you really want and expect
Create a really clear picture in your mind of what it will be like to receive your top grades. Imagine the feeling of pride, imagine hearing everyone around you congratulating you. Visualise the grades on a certificate, picture the celebration. World class athletes use visualization a lot to prepare themselves for competition. Your mind will do what you want it to so make sure it has no doubt about what you want to achieve. Expect it. Make it a familiar feeling by imagining it every day.
5) Harness Your Anxiety
Lots of people feel anxious at exam time with butterflies in the pit of their stomach, anxious thoughts, sweaty palms and lots of other very physical feelings. These feelings are associated with anxiety, but they are the same physical feelings people have when they are excited. Adrenaline is your friend. It is sharpening your senses, diverting your energy and resources to the job you must do, increasing your focus. Know that you can use this to your advantage. Thank your body for preparing itself to help you succeed, for making you sharp and focused. Tell yourself you are excited to do your exams every day and after just a few days that will become the truth. Use the confidence boosting audio below to reinforce those beliefs so you can be calm, confident, sharp and focused.
6) Silence the Critics
Some people will be your best cheerleaders. Other will feel a need to push you by criticizing and judging. Now is the time to develop selective hearing. Criticism can only affect you if you let it in so, from now on, only listen to those who are genuinely helping and supporting you and let any nay-sayers keep their criticism to themselves.
7) Silence Your Own Inner Critic
The person whose opinion and words affect us most is yourself. Become your own cheerleader and create a habit of using positive words and phrases every day to cheer yourself on. Your own negative thoughts can sabotage your exam confidence and your best intentions but by praising yourself, telling yourself how prepared you are, how well you are doing, you will build your confidence and self-esteem. Meditation is great to stop any inner negative chattering, or, for more help try this confidence boosting audio:
If you are heading into exams or have friends or family who are feeling the stress of exams please share the link to the free audio and also add your hints and tips for thriving through exams in the comments below.
Finally GOOD LUCK to everyone during the exam season. I truly hope you achieve everything you want.