In our second episode of our Her Story series, we sat down with Ekene Akabike and were so encouraged by her take on setbacks. Ekene has been a long-time close friend of mine (Sharon). We’ve known each other since the third grade! I was so proud of her when she started pursuing her dream to become a doctor. She’s now in her third year of med school and is going strong.
With big goals often come unexpected happenings that can many times discourage us from accomplishing what we had first set off to do. Ekene shares about a very current setback of hers in her med school journey and how she was able to push through in spite of the challenges.
We hope Ekene’s story will give you hope and encourage you in whatever season you may be facing. Each of us has faced our share of setbacks and unexpected failures, but it’s all a part of the process in making us stronger than ever. Check out the link below for Ekene’s full video!
1. How has your academic journey shaped your life?
It has shown me that you can plan all you want, but unexpected things will pop up. It becomes a constant reminder that no matter how long you spend learning something, there’s always something new. I feel it’s helped me remain open-minded and flexible to deal with life’s unexpected opportunities.
2. What were some of the setbacks you experienced along the way?
My most current setback occurred about three months ago and just recently resolved. I failed a test at the end of MS2 and had to retake it. It was unexpected and came at a very inconvenient time. I had to study for two tests simultaneously, but only had time for one.
3. How did you cope with doubts/moments of vulnerability?
Meditation as well as coping mechanisms, which for me means having a strong support system to talk to and lean on. I also encourage people to do hobbies/things that bring you joy and remind you that you are a person who has other interests outside of that area where there was setbacks.
4. What is your take on failure?
Failure is daunting because it seems permanent, so I prefer to use the term ‘setbacks’ instead because it’s a reminder that this moment of time of not achieving what we worked for is temporary. And because it’s temporary, it can be a moment of reflection. For instance, is this what you truly want to do? If so, what do you need to do to achieve your goal(s)? This also causes me to reflect on me as a person and that this setback does not have to define you. You define you.
5. How do you pick yourself back up after a setback?
- Give yourself time.
- Acceptance in the fact that the situation of your feelings in this moment isn’t always going to feel good, but that’s okay. It’ll get better.
6. How have you seen yourself grow in the past few seasons?
I’ve been more accepting that things don’t go as planned. This can help me be more open-minded to opportunities that weren’t in my original plan. My introspection has also grown and allowed me to be in tune with my emotions. If you can label the emotion, you can see why you feel that way and figure out what to do to resolve those feelings.
7. How does your faith impact your daily outlook?
Faith keeps me hopeful. It allows me to have the courage to exit out of my comfort zone and do the things that help me grow into the person I hope to become.