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AMANDA BLACKMAN’S DARK PLACE

Photo credit: Taelar Pollman · The Sentry

Feelings of failing

Last week, I took the practice LSAT for the very first time. The resource I’m using to study projected me to get a 152 on this first go. (LSAT crash course: scores range from 120 to 180 with the average being a 150.) So when I took it and got a 149, I mentally shut myself down for the rest of the day, and as of Monday, I’m still dealing. 

In my brain, I completely failed the entire test and am studying in vain for a future that will never be. I’ll never get into a good law school, and maybe I’ll never be a lawyer at all.  

Yet nobody has told me any of this. My husband told me that I’m in good standing if this is where I’m starting. My mom told me that there’s nothing wrong with where I am now (and then in the most mom move ever, told me how she’s proud of me no matter what). My study resource eventold me that I’m well on track to reach my final goal score when I take the actual LSAT in the fall.  

So why don’t I feel that? Why do I feel doomed? 

This has been a problem for me my entire life. As soon as I start a new hobby or activity or literally anything, I expect myself to be a natural right out of the gate. Then, when that’s clearly unlikely and downright impossible, and I do it but not perfectly, it takes everything inside of me to not throw my arms in the air and yell, “I GIVE UP, UNIVERSE!!” 

Take my recent pie making hobby for example. I made my first pie completely from scratch in December. I have yet to make a crust that rolls out as perfectly as they do in the Tasty videos. I wanted to give up before even finishing my first pie, not because I didn’t enjoy it or didn’t like how the pie itself came out; it’s because the crust wasn’t exactly perfect. And yet, I’m about to go home and bake another pie. 

Even though my current LSAT score feels like a crumbly pie crust that signals my imminent defeat, I know I can’t believe that. If I believe I can’t do it, then I’ll never even get close to my goals. So instead of throwing my arms in the air, I’ll go home, bake another pie and study while it’s in the oven. 

 

 

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