How Failing Helped Me Succeed
Yes, failing helped me succeed.
Specifically, failing the Security+ exam helped me succeed in helping thousands of others pass this exam.
Years ago, I failed the Security+ exam the first time I took it.
Two hundred and some dollars down the drain. This was back when the exam was in the SY0-101 version so it was a few moons ago when the exam was cheaper. Today, it’s $302 (unless you use the free voucher code to get 10% off).
Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.
– C. S. Lewis
It was a humbling experience. I didn’t fail because the material was beyond my grasp. I had been working in IT for several years, and regularly taught Microsoft MCSE certification courses around the country. Many of these courses included advanced security topics.
No, I failed it because I took the exam for granted. I believed the people that told me the exam was easy. (Of course, anything is easy when you know it – just make sure you know it before you believe it’s easy.)
It’s not a mistake I wanted to repeat.
Within about a month, I retook the exam and passed it.
The exam didn’t change. Instead, I changed my approach on the exam.
Since then I’ve taught dozens of Security+ classes and written over 35 books on many IT topics including Security+.
I’ve never forgotten that sinking feeling I had when the screen said I didn’t pass. It didn’t display You Failed! in big bold red letters, but that’s what it felt like.
One of my core goals today has been to help people take and pass certification exams the first time they take them. I try to do this by making complex information easy to understand.
I’ve even heard from other people that failed it the first time like I did. But they didn’t give up. Later, they found the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide and passed.
This book is an update to the successful SY0-201 and SY0-301 study guides and I hear from readers almost daily letting me know that they’ve passed the Security+ exam using this book and/or some of the other resources I’ve created.
You can pass this exam too and I’d love to hear from you when you do.
Of course the bigger message is that by persevering through failures, it often leads us to bigger successes. The only real failure is quitting.
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.
— George Bernard Shaw