Skills and upskilling


Should one be afraid to do something that you may not quite be as skilled in as you once were ? This is a question I asked myself repeatedly last week and this is my very honest and open and frank reflection of this process that is not unique in a sense.

Doing eye surgery is a skill set that I have been privileged to learn though  a process of years of working in a government eye department, doing a diploma in Ophthalmology and then spending time on the mercy ship with a passionate and amazing teacher of the scleral tunnel technique. The process of learning almost always involves a curve that is quite steep and during that upward slant of the curve one is bound to make mistakes.

Now when one is learning to bake a cake and it flops – and I am useless at baking, it is not really the end of the world (and don’t get me wrong I am in awe of such skill) when one makes a mistake in eye surgery generally it ranges from the patient not seeing very well post-op to not seeing at all depending on how the mistake is dealt with. This is where the dilemma for me starts, does one “risk” upskilling and making mistakes in order to help people down the line or does one simply not take that risk. Which is the better choice?

I grappled with this and mainly because I am a grappler. It perplexes me that I am so hard on myself and yet time and time again I find myself in this place of reflection.

I have come to the conclusion that there is a degree of “living” with failure on the up slant of the curve in order to “be” better and perform better and also then in turn to get better results going forward. I really do think that this applies to many other aspects of life.

Just me being philosophical? OR are there others out there who grapple as I do?zithulele1

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