My most recent catch-up with my supervisors didn’t go as they usually do. For the first time in my candidature, I felt quite disappointed with myself.
My PhD writing is currently not up to par with what I’ve usually produced. It is usually at this point that the doomsday thoughts start creeping in – and with that I mean slowly snowballing into thinking that I will fail.
I promised myself this year that I would start speaking to myself the way I do with my friends and loved ones. What would I say to a loved one, or what would a dear friend tell me? Here goes....
“Sit with it for a while and then send it on its way. It’s a big research project, surely you were bound to encounter some obstacles and pressure points along the way – this is one of them. Also, the beginning of 2022 has not been the easiest on a lot of people, and although you’ve achieved so much in the past two years, allow yourself some kindness. How are you feeling? Disappointed? Tired? Exhausted? Embarrassed? Stressed? Burning out? Okay. Sit with it for a while. Rest. Breathe. And then let’s start planning for the next milestone, the next chapter to write, and how we’re going to improve from the last one. Eyes on the prize but remember why you’re here. Enjoy this time you have to pour into your very own research project."
Writing is its own reward.Henry Miller
PS Here’s a podcast episode with Brené Brown that talks about some ways we can move through the emotional exhaustion.