Monday, 2 July 2018

I failed

I couldn’t remember the last time I woke up with so much confidence.
I knew only one person who had passed it the first time.
Those who had passed recently had done it more than once.
I was determined to take and pass it the first time. I think I was fixated on passing it the first time.
I followed most of my usual routine and I was very sure it would work. The only time it had not worked was when I was emotionally stressed but this time I was emotionally neutral.

As I drove to the testing center, I mentally composed my success SMS.
Usually I don’t review my answers once I am done with an examination, but I wanted to ensure I got way higher than 300 and that I had reviewed each and every question more than once.
As I raised up my hand to notify the test administrator of my completion, I hurriedly completed the survey so that the congratulatory message can appear. I was thinking of the appropriate time to update my LinkedIn profile when my score appeared - 297

To this day, I am super grateful that I failed that examination. It was an eye-opening experience that taught me humility and the importance of surrounding yourself with the right support system.

I toyed with the idea of rewriting the examination. I thought about picking up another goal to achieve but this was the final examination before I would become certified. It was no longer about passing the exam. It was about achieving a set goal but then the thought of failing again scared me. It paralyzed me. I initially gave myself different excuses for not paying for the examination then one day, I decided to give it all my all. I paid for the examination. I still remember whose card I used and where I was at that moment. I bought the highly recommended reference books on amazon and my friends brought them to Nigeria. I studied the dictionary, bought an online quiz and I reached out to colleagues who had passed to guide me. One of them even gave me one of his notes. I took some time off work and stayed at my parents’ home.

Then the scored appeared – 299! I was petrified. I cried!!! It was painful. In case you did not know, pass mark is 300.  I planned to write the following month, but I wasn’t psychologically ready. I had moved into a new role in a different department and the certification was no longer as important as it was in my previous department. However, the final paper was applicable in every department and the certification was part of my goal.

I gradually started reading again, posted my dilemma on the examination online networking site. Someone reached out to me, shared some resources and relevant tips. I also evaluated my use of technology, I sometimes get distracted by work related task (beauty of agile working) or social media during studying period, I guess the iPad I got as a gift came in handy as I moved all my study materials there.  Just like the previous module, I decided to take my examination few hours before going on vacation but this time around, I sincerely asked Allaah for help. When I opened my eyes, I saw the highest mark in my CPIM journey.

Till next time, remember “Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” – J.K. Rowling

Post was edited by Lerato Ndlovu of


  1. Inspirational!!!!!! Lesson learnt, keep fighting ��. Failure is not always the end of the road, just a hurdle to a glorious end. I enjoyed this piece ��

  2. Nice!perseverance is key.Strong support system is also very important.

  3. love it Billy,thank you for sharing,

  4. I am super proud of you Asake-Okin. We all love you Sis and we are always super proud at your strength of standing up after the fall(failure)

  5. You know I'm super proud of you and forever loves you. Wonderful article and an eye opener. We will keep trying until....

  6. Wow...exactly what I need right now. I honestly believe we learn more when we fail. So happy you picked yourself back up multiple times to achieve the goal. Its high time I picked myself back up too. Thank you for this inspiration.

  7. This is really inspiring.... Thanks for sharing!