Viva confidence can come from reflecting on the years you’ve invested into your research and thesis. The journey has to show progress, personal growth and development and times that you’ve succeeded in your goals.
Looking back could also show you times when things didn’t work out, or when you faced setbacks. Particularly given the last few years you might remember the impact of the pandemic, both personally and professionally.
When you reflect it’s good to consider both the high points and the low. Use specific questions to unpick how a situation had an impact and what it’s lead to now.
- A High Point: What happened? How did you come to succeed/develop/grow? Why has that contributed to your confidence now?
- A Low Point: Why was this a difficult moment? How did you get through this? What have you done to learn from this time?
Highs and lows, peaks and valleys, whatever we call them, every journey of growth and progress has them. No plan goes unchallenged, there are always obstacles to overcome. But if you’re looking back on your PhD and getting ready for your viva, remember that you have overcome your challenges. You have done enough.
Don’t dig too deep into anything painful, but also remember that you have made it through your low points of your PhD. Keep going now and you will succeed at your viva.