Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bar Prep -Think Positive, Get Results

Some may remember from Saturday Night Live the lovable character Stuart Smalley -  “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!”  Students studying for the bar will do well to heed Stuart’s affirmation.  As a part of my bar review class, I begin each session by handing out a 3 x 5 index card and asking students to write an affirmation, prayer, statement, or to draw a picture that will help them form a positive mental attitude.  In writing these, I remind students to phrase them in a positive voice.  For example, rather than writing, “I am not stupid” write, “I am competent.”  The mind tends to hear and remember the last word spoken.  The affirmation should be short - preferably one sentence long.  At the end of each class, we take a minute to have one volunteer share one affirmation for the group and then read aloud all the affirmations compiled up to that point.  I was hesitant to do this for fear of being crtiticized as being too "touchy/feely" but decided to take the risk.  I am glad I did.  Many students report that although initially skeptical, they find this exercise helpful in maintaining calm.  Because the affirmations are personal, they are powerful. (Bonnie Stepleton)

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