On the first day of the first Destination Success (2016), which happens to be the birthday of Salesforce, I passed the Administrator exam. It was my second attempt.
My first attempt at passing the Advanced Administrator exam was near the end of DST16. I failed, but I didn’t feel bad about it. There was a lot of new information and many areas that I didn’t use in my professional org. I knew that I would take what I’d just learned back to Chattanooga and work until I understood everything.
I stumbled into my second attempt during Dreamforce 2016. I was walking from one session to another and passed through the Salesforce University room where exams were about to start. I registered and got in the exam line. I felt so good during the exam. Just before I submitted it, I thought I had a really good chance of passing. I failed, but I didn’t feel bad because I knew I’d improved from the first time.
One year later, on the first day of the second Destination Success (2017), I failed the Advanced Administrator exam for the THIRD time. I don’t think I can articulate the emotions that seemed to swallow me up. I was prepared. I knew the material. The entire 90 minutes was torture. The words seemed to move on the page. I questioned the answers that I knew were right often changing them.
I am a crier. It is a game to my husband and son to see at what point in a sitcom, or drama, that I cry. I wear my heart on my sleeve and can’t always hide my emotions. I tell you this because when I failed, I didn’t cry. I didn’t have words. I was overwhelmed with the realization that I was the roadblock. I sat in the hotel room wearing the weight of failure. The idea of getting my head in the game to start class in a few hours seemed impossible.
My husband encouraged me saying, “It isn’t a fail, it is just a not pass yet!” My sweet Luke texted to see if I’d passed and then responded to my sad emoji face with, “You will get it!” I decided to fake it til I make it, so onto day one of DST17 I marched. At dinner that night, a coworker who was also attending DST17 told me about a book he was reading on grit. As I listened to him explain the theory behind the book, I felt empowered. My failed attempts didn’t mean I was dumb, or unqualified. My success may not come easy, but each time I failed, I grew stronger. I learned more. I kept moving forward. The bigger the struggle, the bigger the win.
I was on the Platform App Builder track. On Thursday evening, after the last day of class, I passed the Platform App Builder exam on my FIRST try. Before I clicked to submit the exam, I took a deep breath and sat in the moment. I knew that, pass or fail, I wouldn’t feel like I did on Monday. I knew that I had put everything I had into the exam. When I saw “PASS” on the screen it was as if it wasn’t for me. I couldn’t process the idea that I’d passed the exam. ON MY FIRST TRY?!? What? I felt like the newest SF MVP. Honestly, I was as excited about passing the exam as I was getting the certification.
I’d decided that I wasn’t going to end on a bad note and therefore wouldn’t take the Advanced Admin exam on Friday morning. I told myself that I would do it back home within 4 weeks. My husband wanted me to try again. He said that he knew I would pass, but I wasn’t on board until he pointed out that the more I read the exam, the more familiar I would be with the way the questions were asked.
I walked into the exam room with zero expectation. I wasn’t there to pass, I was there to exercise my brain with tricky questions. I was calm. Not once did I feel stressed about a question, or an answer. I methodically moved through the questions answering them with ease. You see, on Monday, I went down to the last minute wrestling with every possibility, but this time I finished with 40 minutes left. On the last day of the second Destination Success, I passed the Advanced Administrator exam.
Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she wonderful? It has been one week since I passed and I still feel like Wonder Woman. I feel…well, triple certified 🙂 Formulas and validation rules are still tricky for me. Fortunately, with #AskForce and my awesome consultants at Better Partners (what’s up SF Wizard!), I continue to fit the pieces together and always deliver. I am not scared to not understand. I will not be ashamed and I will not accept just knowing enough to get by. I will continue melting my brain until I am a formula-writing, validation-making monster.
We seem to be built to hide our faults. To show only our best and look like we have it together. Well, no more, people. I say we share our challenges and embrace our grit. It would be easy for me to never mention this blog. It would feel safe. The idea of putting this out there for the world to read makes me feel vulnerable, but here I go with my good, my bad, and my quirky.
I will not listen to the voice that says, “If it isn’t easy-you aren’t good enough,” choosing instead to listen to the voice that says, “You can do anything you decide to do!”
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