On September 8th I posted a blog about the Fear of Failure and how you should not let your fear of failure keep you from your future success. Many of us are afraid of failing, at least some time.

I shared how I had procrastinated for 15 years, avoiding sitting for the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam. Although not having the certification never stopped me in the past from being employed, I came to the conclusion that I should finally study and sit for the exam. What’s the worst that could happen?

I began studying late August and decided to schedule the exam for September 28th. If I didn’t schedule the exam I would have still continued to procrastinate. So the date was set and I had told the world one of my dirty secrets so now I had to push forward. Others had chimed in on my posting and stated various situations that they had been procrastinating on. Over the course of several weeks every waking moment that I was not at work, I was in the books. Desperately trying to stay awake, drinking red bull because the study material was drier than the Sahara desert. How is this possible? I swear the Project Management Professional organization came together with those that created the exam questions and study material and thought ‘we must put together the driest material for someone to study, it should be 200 questions in length with only 4 hours to complete, ensure it has a 60% failure rate, and lastly make sure the questions are as ambiguous as humanly possible.’

On September 28th at 8am I sat for the exam; four long grueling hours. At about two and a half hours into the exam I started spacing out mentally because the questions seemed like they were asking the same thing over and over again. Being post-menopausal I would from time to time breakout into a hot flash but since you can’t bring anything into the exam room there was nothing to fan with and I became desperate to cool off. Time was ticking and if I got up to leave for a bathroom break that would leave less time to finish the exam. I looked around in my cube in a panic and ripped off the laminated label computer # attached to the CPU and begin to aggressively fan to cool off as the drips of sweat from my brow began to drip on my scratch paper. I’m screaming in my head, ‘ITS FUCKING HOT IN HERE, TURN UP THE AIR!’ If you have ever had a hot flash than you can relate.

Three and a half hours later I was finished and reviewing the questions I marked that I was unsure about. I was so tired and irritated about that exam that as I was reviewing I realized ‘hell if I didn’t know it the first time I damn sure don’t know the answer now, so to hell with this shit’…and with that I hit the button to end the exam.

Of course within minutes, I learned my fate. What’s the worst that can happen I asked earlier? A big fat FAIL displayed on the screen. Oh well, it was a relief that is was over and at least I got my life back, I don’t have to come home and study every waking moment again intensely all day every day and from sun up to sun down on the weekends. I called my teacher where I had previously taken the boot camp class to prepare for the exam and he told me relax, re-schedule for November and continue to study. So I am no longer afraid to fail. I failed and the world didn’t stop.

My message to you…if your fear of failure is holding you back from your goals than you have never tried. Many people have failed before they became successful but they would have never been successful had they not failed first.

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