Anyone feels like they are doing everything wrong?

11-Feb-19, 11:39
edited about 23 seconds later
Avatar for PaperOrPerish
posted about 1 year ago
Just wanna know if anyone feels the same way as I do. I have been in academia for a few years now and feel like I have been making mistakes all the time. I have made mistakes (tiny or big) for every project that I have involved in. I feel so bad about myself and can’t stop blaming myself, wondering myself if I should still stay in academia. I regret choosing this path now but it seems so difficult to turn around. My self confidence is so low now I am convinced I will not succeed wherever I go. Anyone with me? Or should I really leave academia?
11-Feb-19, 12:10
by monkia
Avatar for monkia
posted about 1 year ago
a short answer: Never give up as long as you breathe and you love something, no matter the adversity and odds you should persist. I am nearly in the same situation, however, I think what do you mention it could be quite normal as you may be still improving your routine and creative skills. The routine skills likely making your self more aware of the fundamentals of your research discipline, of course, you cannot know everything just in few years, it is a life long process and there are people who would try to undermine your confidence. I do believe that every human can achieve his/her as long as they input efforts to learn from their mistakes and improve and I think this the most important thing, try not to repeat the mistakes that you have already learned it is a mistake.

If you really did not find a niche in academia because you don't want it as life long career, however, I see there is a potential in you and that's why you have asked this question and it is a good sign that you know there are some problems in you, this is an important initial step. Then I do recommend you to have a self-reflection with your self and see what is the weakness and strength points, you can make a review for yourself each weak review your mistakes and contemplate, how I can improve and don't repeat those mistakes again, maybe you need to stress on the creative skills likely the critical and deep thinking before taking actions and do something it might be wrong, but of course we are human and even if we are perfect, we can still commit mistakes in research.

So, to sum up, you can improve and you have to deeply believe in that and the most important feature you must learn is persistence which important to learn and not give up from a niche you want it.
11-Feb-19, 19:42
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 year ago
Mistakes are part of daily life.
How many years have you been in academia and are you getting results commensurate with that number of years experience?
11-Feb-19, 20:03
edited about 21 seconds later
Avatar for orchid11
posted about 1 year ago
PaperOrPerish, I totally understand how you feel. I just did a grave stupid mistake yesterday at the last procedure of my experiment. It was disastrous especially when many parties are involved in the experiment. I felt really really terrible and didn't manage to sleep. Thoughts just started bubbling through my brain whether I'm suitable to study a PhD, why I am not curious nor independent enough etc. When I went to office, everyone knows what happened so I felt really ashamed of myself. Luckily my supervisor salvaged the situation and we can proceed on with the experiment some days later. He also told me to relax because people make mistakes all the time, and he did too many times. So I do believe that things will turn out fine at the end as long as you learn from the mistakes and don't do it again. People even your supervisors can make mistakes, what we need to learn is how to salvage the situation and never give up. Goodluck!!
13-Feb-19, 12:05
Avatar for PaperOrPerish
posted about 1 year ago
Thank you guys for your support!

monkia, thank you for reminding me to persevere for what I love. I have forgotten that for a while already given what has happened in the past few years. I have been setting up routines to avoid making mistakes again but it does not work 100% of the time. Deep down I still love doing research, but wonder if I am still good enough for it. Thank you for giving me the confidence again.

pm133, I have been in academia for 3 years by now and have nothing to show people. I have taken a really ambitious project for my thesis and been struggling to make it work. I only have one 3rd author paper but I guess people do not really care for that.

orchid11, that must be terrifying! Seems like you have a very nice supervisor though. I think part of the reason why I am so beaten down is that my supervisor takes my mistakes seriously and criticizes me a lot of times, while he always seems like a saint who never makes mistakes. I now even developed phobic responses to him. But I will not give up, at least for now. Thank you!!


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