Confidence isn’t like flicking a switch. Confidence has to be fine-tuned by practice and experience. Confidence in your own ability can be dented by the importance of a big event (like the viva) and the nervousness that can come with it.
While I don’t recommend trying to “hack” your confidence or fake it, if you feel you need something to boost your confidence you could start with some of the following questions:
- What have you done well during your PhD?
- What skills or talents can you see improvement in?
- How did you find your biggest results?
- When have you been at your most confident as a researcher?
- What music helps you to feel happy?
- What could you wear to the viva to help you show your best self?
- Who could give you positive feedback to help boost your confidence?
No tricks, no hacks, just questions. The answers might help you find a little more confidence for the viva.