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PhD Self-Care Project: Why Do I Want a PhD?

I have spent the first half of my candidature trying to survive the work that I was doing, instead of enjoying it. The goal now is to stop dreading the work and start enjoying it, including the countless drafts to be re-written, the jitters at each conference presentation to be delivered, the frequent bouts of insecurity that comes with the label of being a PhD student, and so on. I am committed to incorporating and practicing self-care in my life as a PhD student. I feel that one of the first steps I need to do is remind myself of the reason I wanted to earn this degree in the first place, and as a mature age student!

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am at the halfway mark of my candidature, and I am realizing that the rumors that a PhD is quite hard are true. I guess the halfway mark is a critical point in my journey, and I am fearing there will be more challenging times ahead.

This week, to ensure that I have enough emotional resilience and mental toughness to overcome the formidable periods, I am taking time to reflect and remember the reasons I wanted enroll in a doctoral program. I am hoping that this will help me to focus my thoughts and energy on clear priorities, as well as realise the things that really matter, allowing me to forge forward past obstacles and hard times.

In essence, this week I am committing to identifying my personal PhD vision and mission. Outlining my why is crucial in helping me to figure out the steps I need to succeed at the end of this program and appreciate the journey I will have to take to get to it. As part of this type of goal-setting activity, I will try and reflect on my strengths, my values, and my passion and hopefully this will all feed into answering my why question!

‘Purpose fuels passion.’


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