Most of us want more of something. More money, more free time, more skill, or more influence, for example. On the flip side, though, most of us want few — or no — regrets. So when it comes to our professional life, how can we avoid having regrets?
Two types of regrets
There are two types of regrets: regrets about what we did do and regrets about what we didn’t do (or say or have or pursue). A quote by American actress and comedian Lucille Ball resonates with me: “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than the things I haven’t done.”
I totally agree.
How do we acquire those regrets?
Sometimes, opportunities are staring us smack-dab in the face. In fact, such opportunities may be practically foisted upon us! Yet, we forego pursuing those opportunities. Later, we have regrets.
Other times, yeah, sure, the opportunity was there, but it was not exactly front and center in our line of vision. It’s only later that we realized — uh-oh! I should have … [fill in the blank]. The opportunity seemed irrelevant. We later realize we blew it.
Some opportunities have no value … or do they?
I distinctly remember one opportunity I almost blew. I came within a whisker of not recertifying as an IBCLC because, at the time, I couldn’t see the value in doing so.
You’re laughing, right? I can almost hear you saying, “Oh Marie, you have a dyed-in-the-wool passion for breastfeeding. You’ve got to be kidding!” Nope, not kidding at all! I’m telling you, I was within a whisker of letting my IBCLC lapse.
I was due to renew in 2003. In those days, the IBLCE gave a 1-year grace period. (Long story made short, I had had some illness, and life had taken a different turn.) In March of 2004, I still hadn’t made a move to recertify, and had only until April to do so.
Well, in March of 2004, I had several people request that I offer a Lactation Exam Review. I blew off the first few people who called me. But it soon became apparent to me that their need was real. I realized that if I wanted to provide the course, I’d better get going with my own IBCLC re-certification!
In late March of 2004, I started advertising the course, and writing the content for it. In less than 5 weeks, I presented the course just outside of Detroit, Michigan.
To this day I have no idea how I did all of that in a 5-week period.
Yet, there was something even a little more bizarre. Never would I have imagined that I would launch and maintain my highly successful Lactation Exam Review that has now run 15 years (and counting!) But if I had not recertified as an IBCLC, that course wouldn’t exist today.
Sometimes, you just never can predict what’s ahead.
How can we reduce our regrets?
First, we need to seriously consider those opportunities that hit us smack-dab in the face.
Second, we need to consider opportunities that have seemingly no immediate value. If you’re up for recertification, mark my words, you just never know what doors that IBCLC credential might open up for you, even if you don’t think so at the moment.
I often hear stories from others who didn’t recertify, and later have an unanticipated opportunity to use their IBCLC credential. They end up starting all over again, from the beginning. Ugh. (Lots of time, lots of money.) They tell me how much they regret not renewing when they had the chance.
If you’re like me or Like Lucille Ball, perhaps you’d rather regret the things you’ve done than the things you haven’t done.
We make it easy for you to recertify. Sign up for our Online Lactation Exam Review, or get our all-online 75-CERP bundle pack. (Or fewer CERPs, if you need fewer.) You still have time, but get moving!
What can I do to help you with your recertification?