As one of my dissertation clients looked toward the summer, he would say,
“I have to really work this summer.” He would also say, “If I don’t accomplish
a lot this summer, I might as well quit.” I could hear tension and guilt in
When I asked him if he wanted to write, he answered, “I have to.”
Sometimes it helps to remember that we made a choice to get a doctorate, and
each day we write, we’re exercising our right to choose.
When I asked my client to say, “I want to write– I choose to write,” he complied,
though not enthusiastically.
“Humor me,” I said, as I asked him to try it again. This time, though, I asked if
he would look in a mirror and watch himself as he spoke those words and listen
carefully to what he was saying.
To his surprise, he reported that he was noticing a lessening of his tension.
As odd as it sounds, changing what you say about your dissertation can change
Check out what happens when you say, “I choose to write this dissertation.”
Try it a few times each day, and keep it up for a week or so.
Most of my dissertation clients report that this experiment helps them feel more
in control of their writing.
Changing our language has a powerful effect because it removes us from the role
of victim, reminding us that we do have a choice and that we are strong enough
to stand up to this work.
Until next time,
NancyNancy Whichard, PhD, PCC Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach nancy@ nancywhichard.com www.nancywhichard.com