Pass or FailCome bar results day, how will you take the news? Will you be victoriously screaming, “I passed, I passed!” or, will you be crippled by the devastating news that you failed. Well, it doesn’t have to be quite so dramatic, if you can visualize each scenario in advance and plan for whichever takes place. That’s how I came up with my Plan A and Plan B for bar results day.

I was inspired by the blog post from Bar Exam Mind: Fear of Bar Exam Failure where I learned about Tim Ferriss’ technique for defining your worst case scenario by listing all the things you could possibly do to keep it from happening and then define how you will recover if the worst case scenario actually comes true. In my case, having already written the bar exam, I certainly couldn’t do anything to change my results now, but I could use this method to face my own fears of what if….

Hence, my Plan A and Plan B, where Plan A is for if I pass – a detailed listing of all the to-do’s that I need to accomplish in order to get ready for opening my solo law practice, and Plan B is for if I don’t pass – another detailed listing of all the things I need to set in motion to re-take the exam: register and pay the state bar exam fees, reserve the hotel room, book my flight to California, set up my study plan, etc.

After going through this exercise, I suddenly felt much better, reminding myself that I had studied hard, didn’t run out of time on anything, and had a good chance of passing. But if not, then I will just move on to do it again. I now feel much more confident that no matter which way it goes, I will know exactly what to do from the moment I log on to the state bar website to get my results. It’s as simple as taking Plan A or Plan B. I’m sure I will still shriek with joy if I pass and maybe shed a tear if I don’t – but only for a moment.

Image courtesy of by Stuart Miles

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