Worrying can lead to stress. What do we accomplish when we worry? Focus your mind on actions rather than on worrying! Action brings less stress. ~Catherine Pulsifer

I just passed the US Citizenship Exam!

In my preparation, I asked people some of the questions on the test and found out most people didn’t know the answers.

Here’s a question, try it out. And no cheating and looking it up. How many amendments are there to the constitution? The answer will be at the end of this post.

This was a very stressful time for me. I had a lot riding on this test. We all have faced a similar situation, where we have a lot riding on something: a big presentation, meeting our significant others family and friends.

How did I get through it? How do you get through it? Well, the bottom line is you have to know what you really want. I wanted to pass the test and become a US citizen. So how did I approach the test to make it more manageable and less stress inducing so that I could move forward, and ultimately pass. Here are three easy tips:

A. You have to be prepared and have a plan of action. I had to make time to study. What did that mean and what would it look like for me? I listened to the 100 questions and answers to the “citizenship test” on a CD’s provided by the immigration that I downloaded to my iPod. This worked for me because I travel a lot. In order to really study, I couldn’t just listen to the CD from start to finish and memorize the answers. I’d always be going over the same questions in the same order. So I put the CD on shuffle, that way I wouldn’t be covering the same questions over and over again, or become accustomed to the order.

What would being prepared look like for you? If you are putting together a presentation for a client, maybe making another phone call to the client to be sure you know the clients wants and needs. Or, practicing your presentation in front of the mirror, or in front of a group of friends, to work out the kinks.

B. On the day of the test, presentation or meeting the future in-laws, you have to relax. When your brain is in a relaxed state you can better recall the answers or the information you need to convey. When you are relaxed, you present yourself in a better way. Being relaxed also allows you to be generous with yourself rather than judge yourself. You know the thoughts that creep in when you’re in a frenzied state of mind. Why didn’t I study more? What if I didn’t prepare enough for this client? What if they don’t like me? Too often our default position is what if I fail. Re-presence yourself with what you want then relax.

C. Reward yourself. You worked hard and passed the test, landed the client, your in-laws love you. Give yourself credit for a job well done. After I passed the US Citizenship exam I took myself out to dinner. And, when it is all over and I am a naturalized citizen, I will invite all my friends for a true American party; hot dogs, hamburgers, apple pie, corn, lemonade and country music. You name it we will have it.

Stress management, lets face it we can’t avoid stress entirely, is really about being flexible and adaptable when chaotic situations or people place excessive demands on us. When do we feel most stressed? When we’re not prepared, when we’re out of our comfort zone. By knowing what you want, being prepared, relaxing when you have done all you can do to meet the challenge, and rewarding yourself when you have meet it head on, you will be better equip to deal with stressful situations.

Now for the answer to the question from my exam. How many amendments are there to the Constitution? There are 27. Extra credit: The first 10 amendments are known as the Bill of Rights.

Don’t let your past define your future. Break free and live BOLDLY in your life and business with my free workbook. ➡️