I once worked with a 17 year old who told me how she hasn’t slept or eaten due to the stress around sitting her exams – she told me she took a break to walk the dog and ended up being sick by the side of the road, from stress…she gave permission for me to share this;
“Today my immune system just shut down and I came home early, walked the dogs and ended up throwing up on the side of the street… I do really need to just step back, I haven’t slept in 3 weeks, as half of what I’m doing are finals. But tonight I’m going to just try to find a better head-space and prepare myself for a better tomorrow”
I felt so incredibly sad for this girl, it’s as thought she believed that she was worth nothing unless she was successful in her exams and that everything depended on them and she had huge pressures from parents and from school teachers who were constantly pushing her abilities. Parents and teachers push from a caring place but they miss out something very important – your well-being.
It’s a skill some people take years to learn, a belief that goes against the grain of many but in actual fact, your self worth isn’t defined by exam success, sport success or popularity – how you choose to live your life defines you.
A balance between work and play, between healthy food and naughty food are a few examples that mean we get to enjoy life instead of suffer it.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely to have already sat your exams and if you’re worried about your results then consider these:
- Exams aren’t the only things to dictate success or the only way to fulfilling your dream – if this was the case then Richard Branson wouldn’t have his empire because he dropped out of school at 15 years of age – as did Quentin Tarantino for that matter!!
- You’re exams wouldn’t be worth the paper they’re written on to future employers if you didn’t have experience, skills in other areas and a healthy attitude – these things matter and often influence life paths so don’t discount them.
- You may know you could have done better, you may be thinking that you did your best but it isn’t good enough – life is a journey and not an event which means this isn’t the end. You’ve come this far – keep going!!
- Don’t box yourself in and make who you are be about your results – there’s clearly more to you then those – think about these and get a more clear perspective.
- Worrying doesn’t change things – being sad and disappointed are part of exams for some people but it’s what you do next – worrying keeps you stuck, you need to shift the energy and make a plan.
What ever you choose to do – don’t be on your own, ditch the shame and speak to someone.