Tonight I have an assessment/test/exam – whatever you choose to call it – for the first time in a long time. However, this test has nothing to do with my job or studying, and everything to do with my new hobby.
I cannot tell you how many times I have told myself, “get a hold of yourself woman, this is your hobby and it’s not meant to be bloody stressful”, just today. And, everyone who knows me knows very well that I do not handle any sort of test very well. Honestly, if it was up to me, I would do away with the things altogether. But alas, sometimes they are unavoidable. Meh.
I took up roller derby approx. 10 weeks ago as a way to de-stress, exercise and take the edge off my anxiety, and when we were told we would be assessed after 10 weeks I shrugged it off thinking, “that’s ages and ages away”, but today is the day and, to be honest, I am way more nervous than I thought I would be.
Hobby or no hobby, when you love something and there is a chance to ‘level up’, there will always be the desire to do your best. Additionally, I have had the pleasure of skating and forming friendships with an amazing crowd of people so obviously there is the desire to level up and stay with them.
However, I have told myself again and again (and again) that this is my hobby and I need to just take it one step at a time and I will level up when I am ready and able. But that doesn’t always take the weight of ‘test stress’ off your shoulders, so there is a need for me to reduce it some more by doing the following things:
- Remind myself that 10 weeks ago I could hardly stand in my skates, never mind do a crossover!
- Take a deep breath when I feel overwhelmed or feel my anxiety creeping up like a not-so-silent ninja.
- Do my best, and nothing less.
- Give myself a break. (I can be so freaking hard on myself)
- Don’t rush, both on the day and in general. If I am not meant to pass today, then it’s not meant to be.
- Remember to breathe.
- Treat it like as another learning experience.
- Don’t get distracted.
- Focus on me.
- Put the whole thing in perspective – it’s my hobby!
- Remember that it’s not the end of the world.
I don’t think I will ever be rid of ‘test stress’, and really try to make sure I am as calm as possible in order to do my very best – even though it doesn’t always go to plan. I am hoping, however, that tonight I am more successful at staying focused and grounded on the fact I have come so far in the last 10 weeks, than focused on passing or failing.
Do you suffer form ‘test stress’? If so, how do you combat its ‘symptoms’? Let me know in the comments below.
Update (13 April 2017)
Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to do my test last week or this week due to being man down with the flu. However, in 10 weeks time I will have another opportunity to level up and apply everything I have said above!
I am super nervous though about tonight, as it is my first time back on skates in three weeks, I feel my Bambi legs coming on already!