Life Update: Failing and Starting over
Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be- John Wooden
I used to hate failing. The thought of it scared me so much that it crippled my ability to go for things I wanted. I failed a couple of times this past few months, and I didn’t die 😅
Let me tell you a bit about one of them;
I’m a Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate student of the University of Lagos and a Bioinformatics enthusiast. I’m currently in the final phase of my MSc program, and this requires quite a lot of work, ranging from course work to research proposal and dissertation writing. A few months ago, I decided to enroll in a bioinformatics training/fellowship program (HackBio) because I wanted to learn and develop specific bioinformatics skills. Despite my enthusiasm and motivation, it took me longer than expected to complete the program, and as a result, I did not receive a certificate. This hurt A LOT.
It took me all the strength I had to pay for another training again and commit to seeing it through. Guess who completed the training? Not me. I failed yet again. I hid in shame and justified my failure with legitimate issues I had going on at the time, but one thing I struggled with was going back to honestly review why I failed, making some changes, and trying again.
Starting requires motivation, Finishing requires perseverance, and Starting over requires courage- Adedoyin ‘soye
The thing about failing is that it bruises your ego and makes you feel less confident in your abilities, but it also helps you see your mistakes/shortcomings clearly to help you avoid them in the future.
After struggling and beating myself up, I decided to pause and understand why I failed, excuses aside. I realized I was involved in too many things that weren’t helping me grow as an individual. It was pretty difficult for me to say NO to helping people, so I took on tasks without weighing their effect and ended up getting overwhelmed more often than not.
Focusing is about saying No- Steve Jobs
Learning to say No is HARD, especially for someone that has lived most of her life as a “people pleaser,” but I’m learning. I am gradually learning that to stay sane and make the best use of my time; I have to weigh my priorities and learn not to burden myself. This has helped me manage my time better and increased my productivity.
I took the bold step of applying for another training with H3ABioNet, and I got in. I’m fully committed to this and my masters’ program. Failing to complete the two previous fellowships has helped me see the problem I had with prioritizing tasks. Now I can say that I’m much better than I used to be a few months back.
I hope you enjoyed reading my mini life update as a budding Bioinformatician. I intend to be more consistent with writing here, so be on the lookout for my next post, which will be out by next month. Adios! (I’m learning Spanish now, just for fun).