Things have gone wrong. We can’t change them. We can’t alter what’s happened already and we don’t know when we can find a space or time that will feel like things are supposed to feel. So for now we have to survive – we have to manage to keep going in difficult circumstances.

There have been times lately, when managing has felt like a struggle. Difficult has felt almost like too much.

Not for the first time in the last year or so I’ve had to start over with myself. Pause, take a day, breathe a lot and really reflect. Then try to figure out what my next steps are. Reboot myself and get going again.

If you’ve been finishing a PhD at this time I can only imagine the angst and overwhelm that must be in the background (and foreground) as you come to your viva. Like me, you might need to reboot yourself to keep going.

Starting over doesn’t mean a blank slate or doing something wholly new. It doesn’t mean you ignore what’s happened or happening. Rebooting means taking the best of what’s come before, and channeling it for what you need now. Take the things that have worked, that could still work, and build on them.

  • So what’s at the core of your talent? How can you use that now things are different?
  • What methods have helped you make progress throughout your PhD? How can you use them now to help you prepare for and succeed in your viva?
  • What’s helped you to feel confident before? How can you use that to build your confidence now for the viva?

Rebooting isn’t always easy, and it’s rarely ever perfect, but it might be very helpful in the coming year.

Keep going.