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Stressing Out After the IBLCE Exam: 5 Reasons to Stop and Just Relax

I’ve been there; I know the after-exam stress. I passed, and you probably will too. But stress begets stress, and that’s no good for anyone. So I offer these 5 reasons why you should stop stressing out after the IBLCE Exam.

Realize you don’t know if there’s reason to stress

You’ve undergone other tests in your life. Maybe a driver’s test, a college entrance exam, an oral exam for your doctoral thesis, a mammogram, or any number of other tests or exams. It’s a sure thing that when you had the test, you were stressing out. But most times, you had a good outcome. And even if you didn’t, stressing out before you got the results would not have helped.

I don’t know if you passed. But you don’t know that you failed! Unfortunately, getting your exam results is a process that takes far longer than we like, but one we can’t change. In the meantime, though, stressing out about it isn’t useful to you. And, it certainly isn’t good for those around you.

Accept you can’t do anything more now

Perhaps you’ve had this experience: You find yourself driving faster than the speed limit. About that same time, you saw the police car at the side of the road. You immediately stomped on the brake and got that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. The officer may or may not have caught you speeding. You glance nervously in your rear-view mirror. But there’s nothing you can do about it now.

My father, who inspired the Felix Biancuzzo Scholarship, had a great way to soothe me when I was stressing out after any exam. After hearing me out, he’d ask “Did you give it your best shot?” Of course, I always did, to which he’d reply: “Well, then there is nothing more you can do.” Wise man.

Look for reassurance instead of stressing out

Since 2004, I have helped thousands of people to pass the IBLCE Exam with my Lactation Exam Review. I’d have to dig hard to find the exact number, but I’d guess that fewer than 20 people who completed the course have actually failed the exam over more than 14 years. That’s less than 2% of the attendees. So if you took my course, please EXHALE right now!

Yet many have called within hours of taking the IBLCE Exam, feeling sure that they had failed! Most often, it’s the overachievers, and those who are their own worst critics. But post-test anxiety doesn’t do any good.

Are you one of those people? Rest assured. If you took my course and followed my advice on how to prepare for the exam, there’s a very, very small chance that you failed. Really.

Know who you are. (Hint: You’re not your exam score)

Ultimately, your exam score reflects only an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny part of your abilities. It reflects how you perform on a very select bunch of questions on one particular day. You are not your exam score. You are a passionate, compassionate, hard-working, knowledgeable human being dedicated to helping mothers and babies to breastfeed. You are much, much more than your exam score.Keep in mind that you can always try again. And stressing out about it now doesn’t help what you will do later.

If you fail the exam, the world will not come to an end. Yes, a failure could cause you to feel painfully disappointed and uncomfortable. Such an outcome would raise a host of questions about whether to test again, how to test again, who can help, and more. But you always have the opportunity to pick yourself up and try again.

Have you experienced post-exam stress? What coping strategies have helped you?

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