The Science of Failing

A couple of days ago marked a milestone for me, my greatest achievement (to date), and it came through my adversities and failures.

Preface
I’ve been through the worst of it, a least that is what it feels like. 
For some reason, writing that statement seems to have me fooled. And that’s because, like the rest of the world, I don’t know what life has left in store for me. 
I’m not from a background of privilege. I’m a double minority — I’m black and a female.
I’ve been greeted by racism. Hung out with prejudice. Hugged by discrimination and even kissed by intersectionality. 
That’s just some of what I have had to endure. But for me, it’s internal emotions and self-belief that matters most. The truth is, worst of it is being haunted by the fear of failure which has kept me back for so long. That thinking is now in the past.

If I can inspire you to champion every day, by doing what scares you, facing failure (which is okay) and seeing all situations as an opportunity to learn grow, then the purpose of my hypothesis has been fulfilled.

The following is my opinions on failing and is not backed by scientific data.

Hello, Failure!
Through sweat, blood, toil, and multiple failures later…
I’m now a doctor of philosophy (PhD) as Medical Sciences graduate from UCL — my greatest success to date has been the course of changing my mindset to accept failure. 
I don’t believe having a PhD now entitles me to impart my knowledge in this article. It is because I’ve lived through my lack of successes in my life’s journey and in pursuit my dreams, I share this brief article to motivate you. I’ve been driven by my failures. Empowered people. Empower others! It is my hope you will be able to do the same.

My Hypothesis
Failure deepens the learning process.
Therefore, a positive mindset, well-being and broad perspective in one’s own self-evaluation are needed to thrive in the experiment called life.

Dr Anne-Marie’s (MBE) — Video post by DigitalWomenUK

My Experiment Called Life
Writing this article has been something I have wanted to do for a few days now…and I failed to meet the deadline I set for myself. I acknowledge, I’m a work in progress. It was doing the graphics myself for this article that took me so long! So even now, I’m taking steps to improve my planning for future posts & articles.

The process for academic success requires planning, as is necessary for both the startup and corporate worlds. That said, not all plans created lead to success (and that’s okay).

From every one of my trials & challenges in scientific research, problems or issues in my personal life, I have seen self-evaluated them, or through constructive criticism or in some cases brutal honesty allowed me the opportunity to learn about myself and grow going forward in life.

It is easy to become discouraged, feel defeated and dejected. It’s not just me that feels this way. If you failed today, there is nothing you can do to change it! So think positive for the days that are to follow. In the future you will have the opportuntiy to postivity implement changes you learnt from your failings.

Abadesi’s quote — females check out her book for more info on navigating the tech world.

Taking a much-needed break from the academic setting, I embarked on coding with Code First Girls (with the amazing Amina my coding bestie @a_adewusi) as a new chapter of my life, of which the Artful Mind project was born (www.artful.me.uk). Coding was an opportunity I took, with both hands and running feet and has shaped my personal development for the better, as a result of feeling like a failure and going through mental emotions. It was a thrilling and stimulating learning process I cherish, which brought moments of sheer joy as well as frustration too, all worth the outcome and experience. I have a growing passion for coding, & exploring the world of tech and all it has to offer. Thanks to all amazing ladies from the tech world for sharing their stories and imparting wisdom (Abadesi & Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE quoted, two of the many female tech trailblazer and pioneers).

My Analysis &Conclusion
Failure is an option in life. Intentional. Or accidental. It’s good for the soul! However, it is also the perspective and self-analysis you take after that, that matters most. 
Failure is not something you forget, it sucks at first. Learn from it, and with every exposed to it, makes the next time a little easier to deal with. 
I can honestly say that the processes of failing got me to where I am today. Where I am today, is not in a position of power, but in a mindset to conquer mental wealth. My advice is to accept and embrace failure, as a vital part of the learning process. I have learnt to accept the things I can’t control and learn to manage the things I can, and that it is okay to fail. I’ll merely change tactic next time or improve going forward.

Take Home 
Here are some motivational thoughts to keep you positive and striving for mental wealth…. while remembering that failure is okay. Analysis what you could have done better, if you get the opportunity to do better for that particular instance or event, then do better. 
 1. Embrace failure. Planning & perseverance is vital. If it doesn’t go to plan, the worst that can then happen is a mistake, and error or lack of success. Having done all you can, you can account for things that are out of your control, that makes dealing and coping with failure easier.
2. We are often defined by the limitations we put on ourselves. Aim high, and at the very least you fail. Learn from it. Do better.
 3. Do not be afraid to ask for help — think of it this way the worst someone can tell you is no they don’t want to help you. which in this case keep moving

The Future
I’m all about health, healing & happiness, and removing the stigma around mental health and creating an open conversation in a self-environment to rehabilitate wellness and wholeness that ultimately power creativity.
Artful Mind project created at Code First Girls from the web development end of course assessment. The Artful Mind project is centered around mental empowerment, wellbeing to nurture creativity in women and children. The project is going through planning and refining to understand that it will entail.

Artful Mind Project — currently planning & rebranding — watch this space!

As I explore this new chapter of my life, I would like to thank the teachers and facilitators at Code First Girls for their patience and care whilst I learnt and for helping me work through my failures and coding errors: Kanisha(@RoseKanisha), Ruxi(@ruxi_ang), Abi (@abii_mohamed), Buki (@Bukikekere),Tara (@tara_ojo), Andra (@AndraSGeorgescu) and Microsoft’s Amy(@AmyKateNicho) & Holly(herhelloworld),George(you know who you are) to, those that I may have forgotten, thank-you. And a shout out James Frewin (@jamesfrewin1) for his friendship, advice and support.
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The start of 2019 has fuelled my ambition to help others. Your stories on failure will be part of an open conversation to encourage others. 
I’d love to hear them, please share them with me at mysupport@artful.me.uk — I have just joined Twitter, follow me or DM me there @julz_jay, I’d like to continue a conversation with you.

Thanks for reading — Dr Julia Jones.x