Anxiety and negativity crop up around the viva. There are lots of unhelpful associations. If you have negative thoughts then it’s important to take a step back:
- Make a list, get it all out in the open, what are you really thinking about here?
- Next, for each thing on the list, is there something you can actually do? (for example, you can ask friends to help you unpick possible objections to your work, but you can’t find everything you’ve never thought about before!)
- Finally, make a list of concrete steps to take to reduce the impact of things you can do something about.
There’s no sense in worrying about things you can’t alter. And there’s no sense in only worrying about things that you can work on.
Be clear about which is which, and then you’ll see what you can do.