This ‘n’ that.

Remember when I did that post on stress and how to handle it? Well, let’s just say I got a crash course on it yesterday before my driving exam. I’m still feeling a bit shell shocked after the whole ordeal to be honest.

I know all you seasoned college/university students are like “Hello, welcome to the story of my life”. But before you judge me too harshly let me just say that 90% of all people don’t pass the exam the first time around. And the examinators are the most feared thing since the Wicked Witch of the West (you should hear some of the horror stories people told about them) Add a few nights of insomnia to the mix and you’ve got yourself a positively terrified person – me.

What most people painted the examinators to be

Come to think of it I couldn’t rationalize what I was really scared of. The worst thing that could happen is I fail and get yelled at. Ok, no, come to think of it the worst thing that could happen was I run somebody over 😛 (But obviously I wasn’t going to let THAT happen). But I was so stressed and anxious I was literally unable to do anything productive. All I could do was try to cram the material, remind myself of all the things I had learned so far and replay worst case scenarios in my brain.

Then I decided to stop worrying so much about something I had no control over. I decided to let whatever was going to happen happen and leave the rest up to fate. I was going to kill myself sooner stressing about it then I was going to cause any major road hazards – so I might as well just try to relax. And amazingly it worked. I had a drink, curled up in bed with a good book and fell asleep.

The next morning I had the jitters and was not hungry at all, but I fueled up with some “brain food” (i.e oatmeal of course) and set off to face whatever lay before me.

To make a long story short I passed the theory exam. I didn’t pass the practical exam because the instructor felt I “lacked confidence” in my driving. The truth was that my stress actually paralyzed my brain so I couldn’t think straight, and the lady prefered faster drivers. But as a whole I would call my experience a positive one because :

  1. I passed the theory exam perfectly. No mistakes were made there 🙂
  2. I realized that a) the examinators weren’t evil sorcerers that would turn me into a frog the first mistake I made – contrary to popular opinion they were human and quite friendly (at least the ones I met)
  3. I learned that stress is the best way to ruin your chances at anything
  4. I did at least 90% of the tasks correctly.
  5. I now know areas I need to improve in, so I can pass the next time around.
Unfortunately I was not destined to be part of the elite 10% that pass the exam the first time around. But I’m ok with that. At first I was disappointed and kept beating myself up over not being perfect and then I realized – it’s ok. Just because I failed doesn’t make me a failure. I’m only a failure if I don’t get up and try again.
I think the same can be said about everything in life – be it business ventures, romantic relationships, healthy living commitments and other personal goals. Just because you fail doesn’t make you an absolute wreck. It means you need to tweek a few things, maybe change the direction you’re heading a bit, or try something else. But giving up is not the solution – because failing isn’t really failing if you learn something new from it.
Another cool thing I discovered is the way I deal with “failure” is totally different now then it used to be. If I ever fell short of my expectations of anything in the past I would immediately find some way to “take it out” on myself (usually through restricting or exercise). The same negative thoughts came today, and to be honest it was hard for me to deal with them. But I decided that I was going to prove myself stronger than my emotions today – and I totally succeeded at doing that. There were a few rough moments, but overall I’m feeling pretty ok..
Moving on…
Another thing I didn’t do so great in this week was my snack challenge. Admittedly I haven’t had a whole lot of time to plan out my snacks, so I’d often end up reverting back to the same-old same-old routine. But here are some of the things I’ve been enjoying lately:

A chocolate oat bran parfait

A raw cookie dough ball (made with almonds, oats, cinnamon and honey) - I'm almost sick of these I've been eating so many

Loving this combo recently

Lots and lots of these (it's called seasonal eating 😦 )

So tell me, what are your secrets to coping with disappointments or failure?
What’s the yummiest snack you had recently?
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2 comments

  1. Well, I’ve sort of been in the same boat as you have in regards to driving. It absolutely terrifies me! For me though its actually embarrasing because I don’t have my license even though I’m alot older than most people who take the test (I’m 21, the minimum age to test is 16) and most people here pass. I did try to take the driving part once but I got so nervous that I missed a turn and pretty much had to stop in the middle of the test.

    I have beat myself up about it, but I really like your approach. I know I just need to take a deep breath and relax. It’s so inspiring to hear your positive attitude about it!

    On a lighter note, that parfait looks really good!

  2. Well done on passing your theory exam with flying colours! It’s great that you are able to see failing the practical part as a positive thing and note what you have learned from this situation. Like you say, it’s not the end of the world and you can always do it again. 🙂

    Like you, I always look on the bright side of every situation. I always think, “it could be so much worse.”

    Yummiest snack I’ve had recently? I really don’t know! I have a lot of delicious snacks 😉

    xxx


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