When working on any long-term and meaningful goal, such as completing the dissertation, it’s expectable that you’ll experience moments (or days or weeks) of uncertainty, loss of focus, or overwhelm. This doesn’t mean anything is wrong. Actually, in fact, it means that you’re on the right track.

The act of creation, by design, is punctuated by stops and starts- times where you are leaping forward- and times where you pull back or falter. You can’t create anything new without going through this creative process.

The trick, of course, is to recognize that you are in this process, and to quell your anxiety or tension when it arises. It involves being vigilant about ways you can move ahead, even when what’s next might not have been what you originally planned.

You must believe that you have the tools, knowledge and skills to complete this project- that you can, and will finish. You might not be able to do this without frustration, stress, or having to stretch past your comfort zone. This is ok. Achieving anything of importance requires us to evolve.

You will never reach your goals without changing yourself. Your personal reality and self concept must take a new form in order to create space for your bigger goals.

If you ever feel overwhelmed by the process, start by asking yourself, “How can I solve this problem?” rather than, “What if I never solve this problem? Just a few different words can make a huge difference.