Hello my fellow bloggers, I have a confession to make. I would have to classify this as one of the longest running bouts of procrastination I have ever been involved in. Since 2000 I began to study for a certification exam that would be a great value add for my day job. I took the prerequisite class to sit for my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam but due to my lack of interest for the exam, I have yet to buckle down and study so I can take the exam. My approval to sit for this exam over the years from the PMP organization has expired many times and I always re-submit and receive approval again. Each approval is 12 months in length.

Fast forward, in May of 2015 I took a boot camp course to the tune of $1,900 over 3 days, 10 hours each day going over intense material. For some people this would have lit a fire under their ass to study for the exam and get it out of the way. Yeah, well this is where Tina the procrastinator has come into play. NOPE! – Not I, no fire lit under my ass! Every time I cracked open the book, the study applications on my phone and tablet, I would all of a sudden become overwhelmed with that sleepy feeling and immediately need to take a nap. The material is beyond boring and very hard to study something and answer the questions the way the book dictates when you have been doing the job for over 20 years and know that the book answers don’t work like that is real life. Yes, I should have taken the test 15 years ago.

On 8/24/2015, it hit me that I had best get my ass in gear and get this pain over with. Several days prior to 8/24 a recruiter had ran across my profile and reached out to me via Linkedin to apply for a position they were hiring for. We set a date to speak and she screened me for the position and informed me of next steps. Everything was set to go and just needed to hear the feedback from the hiring manager. I sent over my industry standard email “Hey it’s was great speaking with you, looking forward to hearing more about the company”. HA!, the joke was on me. Her reply was “….Hi Tina, Thank you for taking the time to share your background and experience with me last week. Unfortunately, at this time our … Director is only considering candidates with a PMP certification for the …… role in South Florida. If you are open to it I would love to keep in touch for future roles here at … once you have completed your certification. Thanks again for taking the time and I hope you have a great week.”

Now if that type of reply is not a reality check to get yourself together, I don’t know what is. For 15 years now I have been allowing my fear of failure of this exam to hold me back from receiving that freaking piece of paper that directly impacts my future success. It has never stopped me from getting employment before but it was clear that as time goes on, it WILL stop me from being as successful in the industry as I could be. My belief is that certifications are not worth the paper they are printed on and bear no proof that the person actually understands and can execute the material tested on without prior experience. The industry has won this round, they don’t give two shits about my belief and my resistance to comply. I must conform and take this 4 hour, 200 question exam or forever miss out on future opportunities that may catapult my career further than I could ever imagine.

The PMP exam changes every couple of years with more material to remember and tougher pass/fail scores. Well just my luck, the PMP exam is scheduled to change again on January 11, 2016 and I’m sure guaranteed to get harder. There is no turning back at this point, I got this, I should be smart enough to pass this exam. After all, I have 2 degrees, I have regurgitated information in the past to get them, don’t that count for something?…lol.

Taking all of this in, I have reacted as a true project manager would. I put a plan of action in place with tasks, a study schedule and achievable goals. Follow me over the next few weeks as I work toward the final execution of the plan and sit for the exam on September 28, 2015. I will periodically post updates of my studies, continue to encourage me as I will continue to encourage you to stop letting your fear of failure hold you back from your future success. What’s the worst that can happen? I fail, you fail, so what? We keep failing until we succeed, we can’t fail forever and from each failure we learn how to have a better success story. Once you succeed, you just had a Phoenix Experience! What fear of failure is holding you back from your success?

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