By Brandon Berry, Ph.D. Candidate in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology
In graduate school, a main goal should be to understand the balance and interdependence between criticism and confidence. Pursuing a graduate degree develops the ability to think critically about a problem that has never been solved. This level of problem solving requires rigorous criticism, but also confidence. Confidence allows us to use our best skills to creatively answer questions and make progress where no other has. Dealing poorly with either criticism or confidence, however, will cause counterproductive self-doubt. Understanding that criticism and confidence should exist in equal balance will decrease self-doubt. These two concepts may seem opposed, but criticism and confidence can exist together to support each other and to drive progress.