I have come to realize that one of the only ways to grow is to get a little vulnerable, acknowledge what has happened, and hit reset on your dreams. No I don’t mean wipe them away entirely, I mean a reset. This could come in a number of forms, but generally for me it comes with asking myself a few questions;
- Is my dream really what I want, and in line with who I want to be?
- Is this action getting me closer to my desired dream?
- Should I look into another way to get myself there?
- Will this make me happier in the long term?
and most importantly…
- Should I simply Start Over?
Despite my final question using the word “simply”, starting over is, in my experience one of the hardest things to do. Think about it, you poured time and effort into something, shared your enthusiasm with others, and loved when they said how excited they were for you. After countless small fixes, committing things to memory, whatever it is you had to do, when you have to start over, it usually means you didn’t get the result you were seeking.
My most recent reset conundrum has come from a test called the CFA Level 1, for the Chartered Financial Analyst Designation. Getting into the financial world is a dream I am actively working towards, and the CFA is a major stepping stone to get there. The test is quite the beast, an all day affair that only 43% of the writers pass, requiring a recommended 300 hours of study time. When I pulled the trigger by hitting the “submit registration” button and paid over a grand to write this test, it felt like my world opened up. I told everyone how excited I was, I logged 375 study hours, and pushed myself. I was ready to reap the rewards of passing, and chronicled my experience to friends and family. There was nowhere to hide, I was doing this.
Then, I wrote it. It came and went, and I sat waiting for results for the month. When they came and I saw the dreaded “we regret to inform you”, numbness took over my body. I lied to people and said I hadn’t gotten my results yet. Bringing yourself to the point of admitting you have to start over is exhausting and I just couldn’t do it. The worst part of all? I was SO CLOSE to passing. How could I tell people?
One of the hardest things about starting over is being afraid of the judgement received from others. Often, when we don’t reach our goals the first time around, we fear people will think we have failed, or see us as less. I assure you that the act of starting over is one of the bravest things you can do.
Before I accepted that I’d have to start over I took some time to “mourn the loss”. I let myself be disappointed, I let myself overanalyze (albeit I should have put a cap on this) and I let myself be just plain angry about it all, mascara running down my face, the whole 9 yards. I definitely took took long in this stage, and that is something I will work on moving forward.
After accepting my fate, I assessed the above previously mentioned questions, and determined YES I 100% had to start over. I have to suck it up, put on the big girl heels and write the damn test again. So here we are. I am trying to amp myself up before I hit submit to register, but I am ready to give it another go.
The key way I got to this place was by thinking of all of the other times I have started over in my life. School, artwork, business, job hunt, I have always come out with the right situation for me. Moral of this is that dang universe is always listening and knows what is best.
So I am going to start over, learn from my previous mistakes and kick the crap out of the CFA level 1 this June to the best of my ability. If I keep doing the same thing over and over, I won’t get anywhere, but by taking stock of some of my less intelligent choices (like just studying when I was “feeling it” vs actually carving out some time) this can be a real game changer. So let’s wipe the slate clean folks, learn from our mistakes and start over.
Maybe you think I am lame. Maybe you don’t think I am smart enough to pass. Maybe you think I should cut my losses, but I am not ready yet.
As mentioned in previous musings posts, I have overcome adversity and at this point I really don’t give a damn what you think. My head is out of the sand now, I am awake and I am determined.
Moral of the story, we all have to start over. It honestly can suck. Sometimes it guts us, torments us, and makes us feel like less of a person. In the end, those who start over instead of giving up are some of the strongest people in the world, and become some of the most successful. So have a glass of wine, put on your pump up music, and start handling it. I may not be a finance professional yet but I sure as shit am closer than I was yesterday. When have you had to start over? Was it worth the pain? (I bet it was)