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Posts Tagged ‘reframing’

Mental toughness as the way to finish a dissertation is all well and good, but what if you’re just not feeling particularly tough?

Is “powering through” your work not realistic for you right now, given how even the phrase “power through” makes you snarl?

What would help you lean into your work?

What can you change?  Is there any way to change the way you think about the work?

How can you look at your dissertation in a different way?

A friend told me about a TV show on the National Geographic channel called “The Dog Whisperer.”  She doesn’t own a dog, but she was excited by the possibilities of having more control in her life if she assumed the attitude of the dog whisperer.

Today by chance I happened onto “The Dog Whisperer” on TV.

In the episode I saw, Cesar, who is the dog whisperer,  was visiting the dressing room of an actress in  the play Wicked to solve the problem of the actress’s overly excitable dog.  Cesar said the dog barked because of the anxiety and excitement in the room, and the solution was for both the actress and the make-up person to calm down.

Every time the dog sensed anxiety, he would race about, barking and even nipping at people. Cesar said that the dog went into a frenzy in order to control the situation, and when the actress controlled the situation by lowering the excitement and anxiety in the room, she could then control the dog.

At that point, all it took from her was an assertive “Psst” from her and a snap of the finger.

What a technique! Where can we apply this?

Do you feel that your dissertation has brought too much drama into your life?  Do  you want a way to better control your feelings and to avoid emotional landmines that disrupt or halt your writing?

What if you reframed or changed the way you look at your dissertation?  Here’s my suggestion  —think of your dissertation as a sometimes nearly unmanageable puppy.

Like a puppy, your dissertation needs you to nurse it along and nurture it.

But on those days when the diss seems more like a swirling, yapping Yorkshire terrier, it needs you to be assertive.  That’s when it is time to utter a loud, hissing “Psst” at the chatter and clutter in your brain.  Then snap your fingers and give your computer screen that look.  I know mental toughness when I see it, and that sounds like mental toughness to me.

You may need to practice that a bit.

If you look at your diss as if it were a dog that needs attention and training, you can also recognize that it’s your control that will transform your diss.

Rather than seeing your dissertation as a massive piece of granite—unyielding and hard and impossible—see it as a puppy needing to be attended to, controlled, and also liked.

Name it—maybe you could call it Owen, which is the name of the yapping dog I saw in “The Dog Whisperer.”

And it’s fun to say “Pssst” and point like the dog whisperer does.

A wise person said to me that the way forward toward her goal is for her is to recognize what she can change.   She says that recognizing that she can change how she thinks about her dissertation helps her. That shift in her way of thinking about her diss and in her way of seeing it can kickstart her desire to work.

Where do you have control?  What can you change?

Let me know how seeing your dissertation in a different way helps you.

All good wishes,

Nancy

P.S.  Another way to learn to control your feelings about your diss is to take the Dissertation Boot Camp (www.nancywhichard.com)

Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach
nancy@nancywhichard.com
www.nancywhichard.com

 

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If you put your energy around what you want, that’s what you’ll get.

One client told me that she had been ambivalent about all of the questions her dad had about her dissertation.  But she decided to make a positive out of the parental interest.  She saw that her dissertation could be a bridge in her relationship with her father, a relationship that had in the past suffered from a lack of communication.

She decided to talk about her dissertation whenever he expressed an interest.  It worked for her.

Could you seek the positive and honor what is good about the relationships in your life?
What would best serve your goals?

If you want to keep a special person in your life, if you want to keep friends in your life, if you want the support of your parents, it’s time to talk with all of them about the demands you’re facing and to tell them how their support can help you.

If they don’t understand, then you’ve done all you can.  But who knows—you might be pleasantly surprised.

Reclaim your power.  Focus on moving your writing forward.

What is working for you?  I’d love to hear from you!

Here’s one thing that will work for you– get my Smart Tips e-newsletter.  Just for signing up, you get a bonus.  Go to my website (www.nwcoaching.com) and sign up.

Until next time,

Nancy
Your Dissertation Coach
www.nwcoaching.com
nancy @ nancywhichard.com

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