Mindset: Change “I Have To” to “I Want To” Take the Firefighter Promotional Exam

Taking your firefighter promotional exam may seem like a chore even though you signed up for it. So if you want the firefighter promotion process to be a positive one, reframe it from I have to do this, to I want to do this and see what happens. 

  1. The Process Becomes Less of a Chore

Studying for the firefighter promotion exam and going through the process of promoting is going to be very challenging. However, saying I have to study or promote immediately gives you a sense of negativity surrounding that process making it even more challenging for yourself. This is because it now associates whatever you are doing with a chore, something you must do or else. The more you say you have to study for your firefighter promotional exam or you have to practice for your oral interview, the more of a chore it becomes because you are telling yourself it is a chore. If you keep saying you have to study, soon preparing for your firefighter promotional exam will be the last thing you want to do because you have created this negative connotation. The words we use, even just with ourselves, are incredibly powerful. So switching that “have to”, to a “want to” changes that negative connotation into a positive one making studying less of a chore and more of an opportunity. 

  1. Help You Figure Out Why You Are Even Doing It

Changing the narrative from I have to study to I want to or get to study can be very hard if you are unsure why you are promoting in the first place. You are going through the firefighter promotion process for a reason. You signed up for one reason or another, no one forced you. If you aren’t sure why you signed up to begin with, this is a great opportunity to figure out the reason why you want to promote. You might feel like you have to do it because of societal pressure to climb the corporate ladder or because you need a bigger paycheck, but you are still choosing to do it. Take this as an opportunity to do some self-reflection and find the motive behind promoting, it will help make the switch from have to, to want to that much easier because if you don’t know why you are doing something you probably don't want to do it in the first place.

  1. Makes You Appreciate the Opportunity More

Saying “I want to go through the firefighter promotion process” gives the sense of an actual desire to do it, not just an obligation to do it. You are doing this because you have the free will to do so, there is no obligation. When it comes to taking your firefighter promotional exam, you should want to do that. So say that, I get the opportunity to take this test and promote in the fire service. When it comes time to study, change the narrative. You are in control of the connotation of the promotion process. It is challenging to promote, but a challenge you get the opportunity to participate in, not one you are being forced to endure. So try saying, “I get to go study for my firefighter promotional exam”, next time you have to cancel plans instead of getting annoyed by this chore that keeps interrupting your life and see if you appreciate this opportunity a little bit more. 

  1. Reduce Stress

Once you make the switch from I have to, to I want to you will likely see a reduction in your stress levels. You will no longer be stressing about this thing you are being forced to do, but looking forward to this thing you get to do. The change from negative self-talk to positive is so powerful and something only you can control. By getting rid of the negative surrounding your firefighter promotional exam, you are also decreasing the stress surrounding it. It of course won’t go away completely but it will help decrease that stress load. 

The Takeaway

Studying for your firefighter promotional exam can be a chore, the promotion process can be a chore, but it doesn't have to be that way. Turn the narrative around and look at it, and say, this is something I get to do. This is something I chose to do. This is something I want to do. Once you do that you may be surprised how much better the whole process becomes. Something you are excited about doing, not dreading.