Failure has only renewed my focus.

I want to share with you how a simple conversation can lead to a lot of self-reflection and excitement at a very unexpected time.

It’s 10PM on Saturday night. For the last hour or so, I’ve been chatting with Ariel Sanchez @arielsanchezmor after having commented on a Tweet of his. His Tweet shares a blog post about his experience with the VMware vExpert program. I felt that it was incredibly refreshing to read an account of someone’s journey through the program and wanted to let him know. Afterward, Ariel reached out to chat about why he didn’t see me listed as a vExpert and to question whether I had applied.

Thankfully, I was able to tell Ariel that I had applied to the vExpert program this year. I had never previously felt like I was quite “there” yet. His simple response to this opened my eyes a bit as to why I’ve been feeling down the last few days.

“The worst thing that can happen is that you get told no.” – A. Sanchez (Official quote!)

That’s not a new sentiment to me. I’ve even said it to others when talking about the vExpert application much earlier in the year! Somehow, Ariel made me realize that if the powers that be feel like I’m really not there yet, I’ll just have to reapply next year. To soften the blow even more: I realized that even if I AM accepted to the program, I’ll STILL have to reapply next year.

This was important for me to come to terms with! Failure just means that I have to get back to work and keep working. It means that I have to focus more on some of my shortcomings. Failure is only really failure when you give up! That said, let’s talk about why I’ve been down.

After finally attending the required training course and passing the Foundations Exam, I failed my VCP6-DCV exam by only a handful of points earlier this week. I felt embarrassed to have failed. I felt ashamed of myself. I’ll be honest, it’s difficult to write about it. It felt like a slap in the face since I’ve been using the product for a handful of years now. Admittedly, it covered some pieces that I’ve never had to use. But that’s just an excuse!

Before taking the exam, I spoke to several people about it. Most of those people told me that they took it more than once. The #vBrownBag videos I watched to refresh my knowledge all mentioned how much more difficult the exam was than it had been for previous releases. I anticipated the failure, but I’ve still let it eat at me for the last few days.

I have to say that my chat with Ariel has been an incredibly awesome, focused conversation about my personal goals and some of the exciting things I hope to accomplish as a member of the Boston VMUG. The conversation led me to realize that my failure is just a quick stop in my journey to success. He also unknowingly helped me map my goals for the next several months. Thanks so much, Ariel, for taking the time to reach out to me tonight!

There’s some awesome things to come in the future and I can’t wait to get to work on them. I managed to get my vExpert application in before the deadline last night. It’s time to focus on those tricky areas of that VCP exam.There’s nothing quite like product documentation to end a Saturday night, right!?

Reach out to Ariel on Twitter: @arielsanchezmor and make sure to check out his blog, too!

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