I’ve been thinking a lot lately, a dangerous concept I know, about one particular, glaring weakness of mine. And it’s becoming increasingly obvious just how much of a detriment it is to my productivity levels to have this problem.
This week, I started an experiment I’ve been putting off for a while now. I’m the sort of person who likes to know things. I like being an expert, being able to do things on my own. I like understanding what it is I’m going to do before I do it. I have pages and pages of typed notes and laboratory protocols, outlining experiments I haven’t started yet. I prefer to read and re-read papers or text books before I even set foot in a laboratory.
I’m beginning to realise that this attention to detail, while a very good thing, could probably be easier if I, you know, talked to people.
I mentioned before that I’m a Chemist by training. I can take a screwdriver to a FTIR Spectrometer and do multivariate statistical analysis in my sleep now, but give me a coral and a PAM flourometer and I feel lost.
Now, most reasonable people, when faced with this situation, would probably go and ask for help right? Not me; no my damn pride is laid on too thick and it’s hard to break through it sometimes.
So I thought I’d give you a beginner’s guide to Science-ing for stubborn people:
- Suck it up and ask someone who knows more than you for help.
- Rinse and repeat.
I’m about halfway through this hugely important experiment (which I’ll tell you about in a separate post later I promise) and I have to say, I would absolutely not have been able to get everything sorted out by myself. It’s just not feasible at all. Even though right now I feel so far out of my comfort zone that I’m floundering, I know I’ve had the help of people who know exactly what they’re doing and who are much, much smarter than I am.
I think there’s a very big difference between knowing and believing something. I think I’ve known that asking for help is okay and no one’s going to think I’m an idiot (no matter how much I feel like one). But I’m really just starting to believe it.
It’s kind of nice.