Face What Isn’t Working

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Principle #30 is Face What Isn’t Working in Jack Canfield’s book “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be”.

It reminds me of something I learned a long time ago. Successful people develop the following three habits.

  • Figure out what works and keep doing it
  • Figure out what doesn’t work and stop
  • Try new things

Still, I’m aware that it’s sometimes difficult to face what isn’t working.

Yellow Alerts Tell You What isn’t Working

One of the first steps in facing what isn’t working is to pay attention to the alerts around you. These are all the subtle (and not so subtle) signals that tell you that something isn’t right.

Some people ignore the alerts though. As an example, the gcgapremium site sends an automated email about ten days after people sign up for a  Security+ package. It opens with:

Are you getting close to taking your CompTIA certification exam?” and provides users with access to a free discount code to get 10 percent off their test voucher.

Here’s a response I received from someone recently.

> Failed it twice actually, the wording and stuff is BS. But third times
> the charm, next week.

Two fails sounds like serious yellow alerts.  However, blaming “the wording and stuff” sounds like he’s not recognizing the fails as yellow alerts. Instead, he seems to blaming someone or something else outside of himself.

I was curious so I peeked at his scores. Here’s what I found.

  • He took the Extras test bank once scoring 37%
  • He took the performance-based questions on ports once scoring 67%
  • He took Set 10 of the performance-based questions twice scoring 7% and 54%

Interestingly, he took these quizzes all on one day about a week before he emailed me, and didn’t take them again since.

Based on this, I’m predicting fail number three. It’s like someone asking me “If I fail all of your practice tests, will I still be able to pass the live exam?

Admittedly, the site doesn’t record all quiz scores, so he may have been studying other quizzes. However, I stress the following formula for success.

1) Consistently score greater than 90% on the following quizzes:

  • The Extras test bank
  • Set 10 of the performance-based questions
  • The Test Your Readiness quiz that is a random set of questions from all the multiple choice questions.

2) Don’t memorize the questions and answers. Instead seek to understand why the correct answers are correct and why the incorrect answers are incorrect. This way you can accurately interpret the questions and identify the correct answer on the live exam.

Most people follow both steps and pass the exam. As an example, here’s a snippet of a recent email I received:

Thanks Darril, just wanted to pass on that I took your advice, took the online gcgapremium exams until I consistently scored in the 90s, and went from a 692 to an 811! All the best! Thanks,.

Unfortunately, some people ignore both steps in the formula and fail. Others ignore the second step in the formula and sometimes fail and sometimes pass.

How to Fail the Security+ Exam

If you want to fail the Security+ exam, there are some things you can do to help ensure success. That is, if successfully failing the Security+ exam is what you really want.

Check out this post.

Failing to Face What isn’t Working

Why would someone choose not to face what isn’t working? Jack puts his finger on it perfectly in the section “What Does Denial Look Like?” You don’t have to be a drug addict or an alcoholic to be in denial. Anyone can get caught up in it.

Why do people choose denial?

Using denial is often easier than it is to face what isn’t working. Here are a few denial phrases Jack lists in this chapter:

  • He’s just venting his frustrations
  • It has nothing to with me
  • It’s none of my business
  • I don’t want to rock the boat
  • Credit card debt like this is normal
  • I’ll get fired if I say anything
  • I need these to help me relax
  • I’m sure he is going to pay it back

For me, many of these are familiar ways of avoiding confrontation. It allows people to postpone facing what isn’t working. However, the clear message is that postponing the confrontation doesn’t remove the problem. It just allows it to grow.

Face what isn't working

I’ve noted that people who repeatedly fail the Security+ exam often use denial phrases that blame things outside of themselves. The problem is CompTIA, the questions, the test center, solar flares, El Nino, La Nina, the gravity pull of Jupiter on Jupo, or something else.

Anything else besides themselves.

As long as they can deny that the problem is within themselves, they don’t have to change anything that they’re doing. They can go from failure to failure without examining themselves or their own abilities.

“Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.”

– George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones

Face What Isn’t Working Summary

Is there something in your life that isn’t working? Is it time for you to face what isn’t working? Give it some thought and if you recognize something, take the time to identify one simple step you take to improve the outcome. And then do it.

About This Post

I’ve been learning from Jack Canfield (of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame) since 2008. I credit much of my success (including authoring or co-authoring more than 40 books) to applying principles in my life that he teaches. I’m currently going through his book “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be,” covering one principle a week.

Here’s a link to other musing’s on Jack Canfield’s Success Principles.

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