Quick Tip #16: Don’t let fear hold you back.

This is the last in the quick tip series for this season, not including the “lost tips” which may be posted out of order later.

This month, I have been studying for a certification test in a field I know little to nothing about. The work contract I signed stipulated a need for this certification, though they felt confident I would be more than capable of passing the tests involved in receiving the certification, and so contracted me prior to the test. Test taking terrifies me. The little piece of paper allows for no mistakes and is judged by an impartial machine.

I likely have ADHD but never got diagnosed as a child due to some controversy over early ADHD medication side effects. I have, therefore, never been prescribed medication for it. In college, tests were the bane of my existence. I could do the class related projects well enough, but the actual tests all indicated that I was not retaining the information as expected. At the time, I didn’t know what the problem was. After seeing my grades decline with every passing year, I began to fear that I was “turning dumb” for some unknown reason, and having been a top quality student prior to college added to my confusion. I wasn’t a drinker or “partaker” and always seemed capable of grasping the in-class concepts well enough, but the tests told a different story.Eventually I began to fear the very concept of tests, which didn’t help the situation.

Now 10 years later I’m studying for a new test, and though I should not be, I am terrified yet again. I’m reading through the material a loud, making flashcards, and even recording the notes on MP3 to listen to on the drive down to the testing facility. None of that makes me any less terrified.
At the time of my writing this, I have not yet taken the test. I hope to have a positive outcome to report prior to this posting, but right now I am illogically terrified of even taking the test, let alone finding out the outcome (pass/fail). It’s irrational, I know. If I take a step back and look at it logically it reminds me of people’s fear of bees or other insects. Simply being reminded of the fear inducing subject is enough for their mood to change drastically. I suppose that this is my irrational fear: written Scan-tron tests.

I took the certification test and passed. Weirdly enough, I felt no relief from passing the test – having found out that in order to retain this certification the testing process is scheduled at recurring intervals. I wanted to have a neatly wrapped up post for Grasping @ Creativity, a post that oozed hope for people in a similar situation, but right now all that seems unrealistic.

The only real moral for this story is “don’t do nothing.” Don’t let fear hold you in a perpetual state of inaction. Things may get harder, they may get easier, but for creativity’s sake they must never get stagnant.

Good luck!


At the end of October I’ll be starting a new series on in home builds and projects that I’ve been doing since the move at the beginning of September. They’ll likely be bit shorter than usual, but I’ve been told that shorter is better for blog posts. I hope you all enjoy them.

About Jon Decker

Jon is on a Grand Adventure... life.
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