Share Your Failures, Share Your Successes (Oh & I’m a Trainer!)

February 8, 2017

When you struggle or don’t succeed, do you share your failures or keep them to yourself? Here’s why we should all be a little more honest whether we succeed or not.


Hey guys, guess what? I’m a personal trainer! Two weeks ago I took my NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Certified Personal Trainer exam and when I (thankfully!) passed, I called MM to tell him the good news. And that was it. I had no one else to call and celebrate with. Why? Because I didn’t tell a single other person I was taking the exam–because I was scared I was going to fail.

Now I didn’t think anyone would judge me if I failed, but even so, I didn’t want to talk about the exam with anyone because my confidence around it was so damn low. And you know what? I didn’t want to post on here (or anywhere) that I was taking the exam because how crappy would I feel if I failed? Would I really want to share with the world that I failed an exam?

I have my own self to blame for how I felt about test prep because I put off studying until the very last minute. When you sign up for the NASM guided study you have 6 months from that date to take the exam. I thought I had more time and suddenly my 6 months was nearly up and while I had been doing my readings, I wasn’t doing much beyond that. I’d heard the exam was challenging and people spent weeks/months buckling down to learn the info.

With just about two weeks until my exam date would expire, I realized I was in trouble and started to get more focused. I read all the chapters and did all the online studies and basically failed every practice exam, knocking my confidence lower and lower. I even spent a good chunk of time figuring out what my options would be if/when I failed (how much is a re-take, when can you take it again, etc).

Then just about three days prior to the exam, the information was finally starting to click. I totally changed my outlook from “I’m definitely going to fail” to “I CAN DO THIS.” I was feeling so incredibly negative about the test and my knowledge that it made it extra hard to learn some of the concepts. When I changed my self-talk to positivity, I started to understand more and get better scores on the practice tests (ok, I was still failing, but I was getting much closer to passing).

Those final three days I crammed like crazy, spending hours each day studying, and finally was feeling pretty good about my knowledge. At this point, I knew I could pass the test, and if I didn’t, with a few more weeks of study I’d definitely be able to (but really hoped it wouldn’t come that because after researching, I learned that a re-test would cost $599. Talk about pressure!).

Ok I’ve gone off-topic. I’m going to write a whole post about my study and test experience, but this post is about something totally different. This post is about why you should share important experiences with your friends and family (& online community), whether you think you will be a success or you will hit a road bump.

Here’s why you should share your failures as well as your successes:

  • Your friends and family love and support you, but if they don’t know what you’re up against, how will they know you need their support?
  • If you open up about your struggles, it’s likely someone else has been through it. I know some friends, colleagues, and I’m sure readers have taken the NASM exam, I bet I could have gotten some really good study and test-taking tips.
  • We should all be a little more vulnerable and not be afraid to share those feelings and potential failures because people around us are also struggling and it would probably be collectively nice for us to know we aren’t alone in these feelings.
  • If you do succeed, but no one knew you were up against something challenging, how will you celebrate with anyone?? I called a few people later in the day and casually mentioned that I took and passed my NASM exam. It was pretty anti-climactic because no one knew that I had been freaking out about it for a few days. If they knew the stress and worry I was going through, it would have been far more exciting when I told people I passed!

So all of this is to say, I hope that I am strong and confident enough to share with you what I am struggling with as I’m sure you guys can lend advice and support. In exchange, I hope that you all feel comfortable sharing your struggles, so when we do hit walls, we can support each other, and when we succeed, we can celebrate together.

Ya with me on this? Cool. Oh, and if you need a personal trainer, hit me up. My cramming paid off and I actually know what I’m talking about.

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