November 16, 2015 § 1 Comment
I love those moments where you come across a song, picture or video, or even have a conversation, that resonates so perfectly with the way you feel in that moment that you suddenly feel connected to the universe again. You’re no longer spiraling off into the abyss within your brain. You’re back and you’re normal.
I’ve spent a big chunk of today beating myself up. I’m used to it because its something I do before absolutely every exam I have. You’d think I’ve gotten better with time – and I have – just not better enough for it to be completely gone. Its immature and irrational and the only time I feel like I split into two versions of myself: I’m completely aware of how ridiculous it is and can do nothing about it. In the 24 hours before an exam, I bombard my conscious with all the thoughts of what I should have done differently, what I should have focused on, how there is no salvaging my chances with the little time I have left, how I’ll never learn to distinguish what is important from what isn’t important – the list could go on forever. As the hours pass by, the feelings and thoughts grow stronger. I feel like I’m getting nowhere and the material feels to grow exponentially before me.
I can fight these thoughts as much as I want, but it honestly only seems to make them come back stronger and smarter. I’ve tried many different techniques in the past, especially during exam period, to overcome this mindset. And this mindset is nothing new:
- March 11, 2013: Motivation. Biophysics Midterm: Check!
- December 26, 2013: How do you calm the monsters? Physiology: Check!
- January 4, 2014: Never, ever give up! Foundation of Character
- May 24, 2015: Alan Watts. Maybe
What I find the most powerful now is sitting down to analyze it head on. Where do these thoughts come from? Why do I think that I am having these thoughts and feelings? Am I feeling afraid? If so, why and where does this fear come from? When I do this, I usually find that I’ve dug my way to my “fear of failure” level. Hello again, old friend.
This is my favorite part, because it has an antidote that never, ever fails. Its antidote appeals to a quality of mine that makes up my core being: my desire to evolve and better myself.
In a way, the fear of failure stems from this. Not in a constructive way, but as a sort of superficial, insecure extension of it: I want to improve and failure means I’ve failed at improving (hence the fear of failure).
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this – you haven’t.”
“Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”
― Thomas A. Edison
The antidote? Failure is good. It will make me better, it will make me stronger, it will make me smarter. In the end, that is what I want. I know I’m not perfect and there is no point getting by on this version of myself if there are improvements that can be made. I will give it everything I have until the very end, but I will be ok with whatever the outcome.
The video that reconnected me tonight:
Ok, enough self-analysis 😉 Back to pharmacology I go! These drugs aren’t going to memorize themselves.
Side note: I love music and I can’t study without it. I know there are studies saying it makes you less efficient and less able to memorize, but I need it. 8tracks is my go-to for discovering new songs. Here are some of the songs I’ve just discovered and have had on repeat during this 3-day cram session. And when I say, “on repeat”, I really mean it. I downloaded the Strange Entity remix last night and have listened to it 54 times since then! While writing this blog, I’ve had Antoine Malye’s Paris on repeat. Always nice to have somewhere to escape to…