When Things Go Wrong
During the course of a long research project it is inevitable that some things will go wrong – an experiment will fail, a field trip will yield no results, a paper will be rejected or an ethics form will require revisions.
Life outside university will also continue with the usual mix of good things and disappointments.
How you set yourself up for these disappointments and how you react to them can have a major bearing on your wellbeing and your ability to keep going and produce good research.
If you accept from the outset that not everything will go as you hope and accept disappointments as a normal part of life and the process of research, then you will be more able to recover quickly, learn from what has happened and move on.
If, on the other hand, you aim for perfection in everything that you do and see any set back as evidence that you aren’t good enough to do this or that your research will never work, then it will be much more difficult to pick yourself back up and work positively.
The expectations you have of yourself and of life play a significant role in your ability to respond to adversity.
In this section we will break down some of the things that may not go as you hope and look at how you can prepare yourself for this, how the process of responding to adversity works and how you can take control of this to become a better researcher with stronger wellbeing.