Nervous and confident aren’t polar opposites.
If you feel nervous about something – like, say, your viva – then you’re recognising it’s important. Nervous isn’t the same as being anxious or being worried, although it might not be comfortable. Nervous is a recognition of something in your future, not something inherently bad or to be feared. “This thing matters to me.”
Being confident about something – like, say, your viva – is believing with good reason that you have talent or knowledge to be able to deal with a future situation. “I can do this.”
Being confident about your success in the viva helps to put nervous feelings in perspective. Confidence helps to balance the discomfort of nervousness.
You could go around and around trying to figure out what triggers your nervousness, wondering what you could do to stop feeling nervous – or you could take steps to build your confidence for the viva. Reflect on your talent. Summarise your progress over years of work. Really think about all that you’ve done and know.
Feeling nervous before your viva isn’t bad, but being confident is very good!