Memory Mindset Passing the California Bar Exam


"If there was one person who really helped it was you. I passed the California Bar exam. Only 39% passed. It was really scary as you know."

- Josephine

If you were to rate your memory on a scale of 1-10, 1 being very poor and 10 being outstanding, what number would you choose?

What I've observed over the years is, in reality a persons memory ability is way better than they give it credit for. There is usually an area or two that doesn't perform as well as a person would like and because of this there is a general sense of a 'poor memory'. Think about it...

Trust is Key

How much do you trust your own memory? What do you tell yourself about how good your memory is? What words do you use to describe it? The beliefs you hold can have a massive impact on how your memory performs. I've seen this time and time again working with clients. This is why creating an unstoppable mindset on how good your memory is now and how great it can be is an essential first part to any memory improvement programme.

Does this mean you will never forget anything, or take longer to recall something than you would like? Of course not! That would be crazy, right? However, with a strong set of beliefs, recognising all the ways in which your memory performs brilliantly, plus rewarding yourself when it does - you can stop beating yourself up when it doesn't and create upward momentum.

The California Bar Exam

I can think of a huge number of examples when the impact of changing a belief had a significant impact in a clients life. One particular example stands out - her name is Jo and she had previously failed the California bar exam (ranking no. 8 in The toughest exams in the world and considered to be the United States’ most difficult bar examination).

She joined one of my first Total Memory Blueprint Programmes. During my 1-1 session with Jo I realised she already had a good handle on memory strategies having worked with a good friend of mine previously - Anthony Metivier (you can listen to a podcast I did with Anthony here). This allowed me to get 'very specific' with some advanced memory strengthening strategies relating to speed and long-term memory. 

One of the key challenges Jo had was 'the belief' that she couldn't recall the detail of what she needed in the right way to pass the exam. Although it was clear from talking to her that her knowledge was vast and very detailed.

We set about crafting beliefs and a sense of certainty in her body that she had everything she needed, all she had to do was access it and condition herself through some daily training. This is what she wrote to me after the exam...

"Just today I was thinking of how you got me through. It still brings tears to my eyes. I am working in my own practice saving my poor clients who have been denied social security benefits and I was asserting in the car at the top of my voice - I have everything I need within in me now. I am up to my neck in briefs."

Apart from the fact of being super pleased for Jo, the biggest lesson for me was the real power that just one belief can have in not just changing how you feel in the moment but transforming the life you have. 

Change your beliefs - Change your life

One of the first things to do when you want to shift a belief that is holding you back is to figure out what it is - simply by becoming aware of a belief can shift the hold it can have on you. 

Try this short activity

  • First think of a situation where your memory doesn't perform how you would like it to - got it? Write it down and/or picture it clearly in your mind
  • Ask yourself, "What do I usually say to myself in this type of situation?"
  • In no more than 60 seconds, say aloud what comes to mind
  • Finally write down the one phrase that stands out and feels the most truthful in terms of what you really think and not what you think you should think :)

e.g. I just can't do this! my brain doesn't work this way. I'm not intelligent enough.

Once you have a belief that you feel isn't supporting you stick your 'logical head on' and play the truth game...

Try this...

  • If this belief was a good friend, how were they trying to look after me? Or protect me? Our beliefs never have the intention of hurting us, however like a good intentioned friend sometimes they are not always in our best interest. Making this connection immediately empowers you with a new perspective
  • What are the times that this old belief/friend turned out to be wrong? Ask this question repeatedly until you have at least 5 situations (this may feel difficult to begin with as your brain has been conditioned to lock up or shut down when this belief has been questioned in the past)
  • What else could this good friend say to you that would give you strength, hope and excitement about your abilities?

e.g. You've done this before and enjoyed it! Your brain always finds a way. Your as intelligent as you need to be.

Of course there are a huge number of ways to shift the meaning your brain has given to past memories and the limitations that may currently show up. Sometimes though the simplest place to start is with a simple question. 

This is one of the reasons I start all my training with creating the right Memory Mindset - beliefs are just one part of that, get it right though and you build a rock solid foundation on which to grow new knowledge and skills.


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