Accepting (and forgiving) yourself.
Closed-book assessments don’t sit well with me.
Last Monday, I took the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam, after spending two weeks of learning (memorizing?) information about AWS that I’m not sure I’ll remember in 2 months.
I also spent another week taking practice exams, barely making the passing mark on most of them. Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly feeling confident going into the real thing.
It was a stressful 100 minutes, compounded by the fact that I couldn’t think out loud like I usually do with online exams during COVID, since a proctor had access to my webcam and microphone.
Poor guy, probably got an earful of my incessant under-the-breath swearing.
An hour later, a ping from my inbox: Congratulations, you are now AWS certified! ✨
I should be happy at this point, but instead, I was disappointed in myself.
Why? The on-boarding document from my company suggested it should take one week for interns to be AWS certified.
What’s the point of feeling good about my accomplishment, if I should have completed it in less time?
I failed to meet my running target last Friday.
5 sub-9:30 miles is the target, one that I’ve consistently met for the past three months.
First two miles went well, sub 9 minutes for each.
The heavy breathing started towards midway mile 3. That’s weird, I thought, doesn’t usually happen this early. I continued pushing on.
All good though. Strava says 9:20 for mile 3.
My lungs were burning throughout mile 4. My legs were numb and I thought I was going to faint by the end of the mile.
10:05 for mile 4. I had missed the target by a margin. I was so dejected, I walked back to the house without finishing the last mile.
What’s the point of finishing the run? I couldn’t even stick to a consistent target.
I started writing this article on Saturday, still perplexed as to why I didn’t meet my target the day before. Finished the day with less than 100 words on the screen.
I continued on Sunday, a much more productive day of writing. I even found out a reason why my conditioning was so poor on Friday. The wonders of a simple search on Google.
What changed on Sunday?
I accepted what happened with my run, and I forgave myself for it.
Regardless of how much I beat myself up over my run on Friday, it won’t change the fact that I didn’t finish 5 miles.
The best thing I can do is pat myself on the back for going on the run, and try my best to meet the target next time.
Similarly, regardless of how disappointed I feel about the exam, it won’t change the fact that I spent two weeks more than I “should have”.
The best thing I can do is celebrate my accomplishment and use what I learned to my advantage.
Thanks for reading! More of a “note to self” kind of story this time round, slightly different than the first article.
Nevertheless, if I’ve helped someone achieve a positive outlook on a negative event by writing this, great! If not, life is good anyways 👍
I was also inspired by Sophie A., who wrote an article about the importance of self-forgiveness. Check out her article here!
Have a great week!