It was Maria Sharapova’s autobiography ‘Unstoppable: My Life So Far’ that pushed Indian Police Service Officer Ankita Sharma to pen a heartfelt note to all UPSC aspirants preparing for the Civil Service Examination (CSE).
On 17 May 2021, Ankita put out the following letter on her twitter feed.
To all those Innocent minds, who have decided to fight, but somehow, fear failure.
To all the #UPSC aspirants, who have decided to appear for the exam, who are the future craftsman of the nation.
Bcz you DM me, so A small message to you all before your exams.
Best wishes!! pic.twitter.com/rIgjm3ssN4
— Ankita Sharma IPS (@ankidurg) May 17, 2021
“Life is not easy for any one of us. In reading the autobiography, this was a thought that kept coming back to me,” Ankita tells The Better India.
Having gone through her own share of struggles during the time she was preparing for CSE, she says that the note she penned was one that stemmed from personal experience.
“My intention of writing the letter was to try and inspire other aspirants. Sometimes all one needs is that one line of inspiration to keep going,” she says, adding that while triumph and failure are part of life, one understands it only after having achieved success and not while going through hardships.
“Even through the failures in my life, I tried to stay focussed on my end goal and always had the conviction of achieving it,” she adds. She urges aspirants to stay grounded and find solace in friends and family during difficult times.
Ankita shares some tips for aspirants preparing for CSE:
“Do not doubt your capabilities. It is imperative that you have utmost confidence in yourself and in your dreams. This will also help in how others view you.”
2. Do not let your background be an impediment
“Don’t have self-limiting beliefs. For example, it does not matter whether you come from a small town or a college that is not very well-known. To get into the administrative services, you need to believe in yourself and work towards that goal. Stay inspired and never get discouraged by your background.”
3. Make your best language your strength
“You do not need to have an English medium education to be a success. Ensure that whatever your strongest language is, you excel in it. If it is Hindi, work towards perfecting it. Stay proud of your roots.”
4. Become like a horse with blinders
“Your focus should be solely on the examination and its preparation,” says Ankita. She adds that she was very sure of what she wanted and knew that working to achieve it was the only way forward. While she had her share of distractions along the way, she became like a horse with blinders when it came to preparing for the exams.
In conclusion, IPS Ankita notes, “The youth today should not feel discouraged by witnessing the condition of the nation we live in. It is their responsibility to take the baton and work to better it.”
The exponential rise in COVID-19 infections in 2021 has been far more devastating for children than the first wave, particularly for those from underprivileged communities. To address this urgent crisis, The Better India has launched ‘To India’s Children’ — a campaign as part of which we are working with various NGOs across India to help children fight the impact of COVID-19.
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(Edited by Divya Sethu)