Eight Ways to Work Through Challenges

Workshop during Neuroscience 2017

Negative reviews, long hours, misunderstandings. At some point, work or school will feel difficult. Whether it’s a momentary frustration or a bigger obstacle, the right mindset and support system can help you move forward.

Use this advice to help you get back on track.


“I read once that every result is a temporary truth. I try to remember this when I face setbacks. If my results are negative, there is still some truth in what I find that advances the field in some small way, even if it may not be immediately apparent.”

–Sruit Rayaprolu, University of Florida


“I always remind myself of the big picture. Progress is infrequently linear, so even one step back is all right if the big picture is seven steps forward.”

–Emily Johnson, Baldwin Wallace University


 “Setbacks are opportunities for learning. We're all in it for the knowledge.”

–Dorothy Dobbins, Wake Forest School of Medicine


“Having a strong support system is critical for moving forward in your studies and career. Having people I can go to during difficult times has made it easier for me to stay motivated and tackle oncoming hurdles.”

–Lisa Fang, Memorial University


“Try to keep things in perspective and realize you're not the only one in the same situation. I reenergize by remembering why I entered the field in the first place.”

–Lori Isaacson, Miami University


“Press on towards the goal. The short-term is not the point, the long-term is.”

–Christine Cloak, University of Maryland, Baltimore


“I participate in community outreach to remind myself what I love about my work. I enjoy seeing the reactions of students when I tell them about my research. That makes me feel better about the setbacks.”

–Czaina Evangelista, Concordia University


“I stay resilient and motivated when I encounter setbacks by reminding myself that by adding to the number of times we fail, we now know one more way of how not to do something.”

–Victor Henriquez, NIH


“I remind myself of the people who came before me who persevered and reached their goals. Remember that the setback doesn't last forever.”

–Keila Miles, University of Cincinnati

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