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Ogurinka  Benjamin
Ogurinka Benjamin

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You're not failing, give yourself time

First of, a very Happy New Year to everyone in the DEV community.

This post was inspired by personal experiences and a learning journey that has shaped me into who I am so far and a talk by Ibukun.

In 2018, I decided to learn to code properly and it was perhaps one of my best decisions that year. It was not easy of course. Starting out thinking about all I needed to learn and how much I needed to cover to get to the required level of expertise to get a stable job and all of that. Initially, I was getting the feeling of "not good enough", "not making enough progress", but then in 2019 I got a revelation that perhaps shaped my mentality and helped me become a better individual.

Think of the butterfly. Biology has taught us that it doesn't start its life as a butterfly with wings and everything, it goes through through a journey, through phases. A process called "metamorphosis".
The metamorphorsis of a butterfly is perhaps one of the most amazing thing nature brings to us. Let's take a step further

Stage One (Egg)

"A butterfly starts life as a very small, round, oval or cylindrical egg."

This is you at the start of your journey, delicate, fragile and tense. At this stage you're not quite sure about what you really know, you're driven by what people have said and what you've read. Here you're inspired by your desire to make something or build something cool. At this stage you're unsure of how much you'll need and how you'll need it.
This stage is critical cause it lays the foundation for whoever you'll grow up to be and how much time you invest in actually getting the hang of things is really crucial. This is where you ask the questions like "I do not know where to start" and where you need the most direction

Stage Two (Larva)

"When the egg finally hatches, most of you would expect for a butterfly to emerge, right? Well, not exactly. "

Yes, not exactly. It's not that simple... Knowing what you want to do doesn't automatically give you wings and strengths. There's still a process. This is the stage where you have chosen to what you want to do and you're beginning to take baby steps and you're starting to explore and get the hang of things a bit more. This where you get to transition from that person who knew nothing at all to that person who knows a thing or two. Here you've taken a few courses and attended a few bootcamps (maybe) and you understand some of the things that previously seemed alien to you and you can talk to people about them. Your success at this stage is going to be largely based on your inspiration and philosophy that brought you this far. This is the part where you practice and build your confidence

Stage Three (Pupa)

"The pupa stage is one of the coolest stages of a butterfly’s life. As soon as a caterpillar is done growing and they have reached their full length/weight, they form themselves into a pupa, also known as a chrysalis".

This is an interesting part of everyone's growth, interesting cause it can be viewed in two different perspective.
First, from the perspective that you've been wasting your time and you're not ever going to be good enough and that what you know isn't perhaps enough to make you stand out in a competitive world. This is a part where people get stuck failing to realise that they have done so much and have learnt so much that their minds don't just want to keep learning and that it wants them to take a bold step and evaluate their options and take a deep dive into a world of endless possibilities.

Second, from the perspective of the person who understands what they want and know that it's time to make that big job application, apply for that internship, put yourself out there and let the world get a chance to see just how amazing you can be.

This is a very crucial stage cause the decisions you make here will prove fabulous or fatal. This is a point where you could easily fail or go on to conquer the world

Final Stage (Adult Butterfly)

"Finally, when the caterpillar has done all of its forming and changing inside the pupa, if you are lucky, you will get to see an adult butterfly emerge."

Well it's simple and straightforward. You have done all your self evaluation and you've made all the hard decisions that have shaped you into an adult, an adult strong enough to make big calls about their life, strong enough to understand their worth (cause well, it's taken a lot to get you here) and you've been shaped into an individual who's now doing amazing things.

It's easy to look at the big guys we admire and wish to be like them and we be like "God when?", but the truth is every one them have had to battle their way up in some way and they've had to endure difficult moments. They've had to make sacrifices and they've all had to come up against times when it felt like they would never get there.
If you ever hope to get to that stage where your confidence is firm you have to draw inspiration from the life cycle of the butterfly. You have to understand that where ever you find yourself at the moment is only a phase and you're bound to grow and move past it only if you make conscious efforts to.
It's easy at any of the first three stages to think you're failing, but I tell you this you're not failing.... You're evolving into a creative who would go on to do great things.
Remember the butterfly doesn't start out with wings... It starts out looking helpless and vulnerable, it goes on to a stage where its slowly starting to understand how the world works, moves to stage where it seems like it's probably done for and then emerges a strong beautiful butterfly that everyone admires.

So think again, you're not failing...

Top comments (5)

laserblue profile image

It is a testament to the shortcomings of traditional education that people do not think of failure as an integral part of learning.
This is a beautiful article for those trapped in the traditional education mindset.However, will it pop up or easily be found by frustrated, struggling students when they need to hear it?

igweprince0 profile image
SkyData 🤖

Thanks Ben, you just made feel a little better about myself.

yusufcodes profile image

Thanks for sharing this, Ogurinka!

ogurinkaben profile image
Ogurinka Benjamin

You're welcome

deborahemeni profile image
Deborah Emeni

Wow this is so encouraging.
Thanks a lot