Overcoming Failure and Motivation Tips for Aspiring CIAs


Motivation TipsLynnel is our new CIA exam blogger from the Philippines. She writes every Friday.

Hello everyone! I want to share with you on how I overcome failure and how I regained my motivation.

Listed down below are my tips on overcoming failure and regaining motivation:

(Disclaimer: These tips are my opinion and advice from mentors which may or may not work. Links provided at the bottom are for references and do not intend to promote websites)

1. Relax

Relaxation is the very important part of this tip. After spending time on studying for CIA exams, passed or failed, you have to treat yourself. You can spend time with your family and friends, watch movies, play with your kids or you can treat yourself for a spa. Take a break on focus on your career and spend time with your loved ones because they’re one of your drivers on achieving your goal.

2. Summarize Positive and Negative Thoughts

On a sheet of paper, draw or list down your positive thoughts, half part of the paper, on why you want to become a Certified Internal Auditor. It can be a picture of your family, new house, new job, new car, traveling to different countries and a lot of savings.

On the other half of the paper, draw or list down your negative thoughts. For example, the company that rejected you because you lack certifications and experience, or the person who always criticizes you that you cannot be the person that you dream to be.

These positive and negative thoughts are your drivers in passing the CIA exam. I recommend that you place it in front of your CIA books and always read and visualize it before studying.

I want to acknowledge Sir Bong Soliven, my mentor, for this tip.

3. Meditate

Meditation is a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content” – Wikipedia

Meditation is one way of relaxation. I recommend that you listen to guided meditation on Youtube on programming success before studying. This helped me a lot when I was struggling on regaining motivation. My favorite meditation is Minute meditation: Your Ideal Life by Jason Stephenson.

4. Record Your Ideal Life

I came across on Youtube by Bob Proctor on changing paradigms and understanding the law of attraction.

Paradigms are a multitude of habits that guide every move you make. They affect the way you eat, the way you walk, even the way you talk. They govern your communication, your work habits, your successes and your failures.” — Proctor Gallagher Institute.

Check out the link if you’d like to explore further.

I tried to do what it says, change bad habits into good habits. For example: bad habit is checking social media while studying; and good habit is scheduling time for review and staying away from social media.

As part of changing paradigm by Bob Proctor, you must state your ideal life by recording it on a voice recorder or writing it on paper as if you are on your successful stage of life. For example, I am happy that I am a CIA and have the opportunity to travel the world. You have to play the record or read it aloud at least three times a day once in the morning, afternoon and evening. It is a continuous process until you reach your successful stage in your life. Also note that you must do it with feelings.

5. Read Success Stories

Every person needs inspiration. You can be more inspired in achieving your certification by reading success stories of CIA exam passers. You can also ask for the success story of your colleague who just recently passed the exam and ask for advice and tips.

6. Believe in Yourself

Every person controls two aspects in life, what you think and what you do.”

Whatever happens, whatever you want to achieve, believe that it would be happen.


Note from Stephanie

Hi Lynnel I like all your suggestions. I especially find #2 and #4 interesting — they are new ideas to me, and better yet, they are actionable.

For success stories, I have a readers’ success story page here for those who want to implement #5 right away 🙂

About the Author Lynnel

Lynnel is a recent graduate, with a BSBA Major in Internal Auditing in the Philippines. Lynnel passed Part 1 and 2 on the same day, and Part 3 on her first attempt.

  • Morongoenyne Nyakane says:

    Hi Lynnel

    Thanks for your inputs, you really inspired me, now i am confident that this is achievable. May God continue to give you wisdon for part 3. I just want to know what kind of materials you were using,Gliem or CIA, I failed Part 1 and i am so depressed but anyway i want to re take my exams in March and this time i want take both PART 1 and PART 2. Please help.

  • Lynnel says:

    Hello Morongoenyne Nyakane, thank you for your encouraging words. Anyway, I’m using Gleim materials solely and I also read Practice Advisories , Three Lines of Defense and also ISO 31000. Practice Advisories is a must to read in order to pass both parts, but three lines of defense and ISO 31000 is recommended. I hope it helps, you can do it. 😊

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