The Paperweight

A small white paperweight, with a black etched design of a leaf

It was a gift from my daughter on Father’s Day a year or two ago. I love my paperweight. It feels like I’ve always had it.

Whenever I feel nervous before a webinar – which is every time I deliver a webinar – picking this little paperweight up is the action that helps me feel confident.

I’ve been a researcher-developer for nearly fifteen years. I’ve helped candidates get ready for their vivas for thirteen of them. I’ve delivered over 400 viva help sessions to almost 8000 PGRs, and been writing this daily blog for over six years.

Yet when I come to deliver a webinar this little paperweight is the thing that helps me feel confident. A small, solid reminder of why I do what I do. A little kickstart for my confidence.

You can’t have my paperweight, but you can find ways to be confident.

Think about what could help you. Is it reflecting on your PhD journey? Is it a routine that helps to centre you? Or perhaps even a small object or image that reminds you of who you are, what you can do and why you’re doing what you’re doing?

You can’t have my paperweight. You can find your own path to confidence.