Changing to Positive Thinking for USMLE Board Preparations

It is so easy to slip into making negative statements when preparing for boards. As our earlier article discussed, this type of thinking and Positive Thinkingtalking can actually result in poorer self-esteem and reduce performance. Affirmations, and generally turning negative thinking into positive thoughts, can become self-fulfilling prophecies and motivate you to greater heights. Here are some examples of negative things we think and say to and about ourselves during board preparation, as well as some suggestions for turning those thoughts around to work for you instead of against you.

Examples of Negative Self-Talk

Examples of Positive Self-Talk

Studying is driving me crazy. I am going to be so prepared for clerkships.
I will never be able to study all of this material. I know I can do this by looking at this one subject, one lesson at a time.
I am sick of studying! I can never learn too much for my patients.
This is torture! Studying for boards will help me reach so many goals I have worked for.
Everyone seems to have their act together except me. I have a great study plan for boards. I will get there and be successful.
I am completely overwhelmed. I will get everything done by taking it one step at a time.
I know I am going to fail this thing. I will prepare thoroughly and do well on this exam.
I do terrible on standardized exams. Board exams are like any exam that I can prepare for.
I know I will freak out during the exam. I will be able to stay calm and relaxed through thorough preparation and practice.


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