Earning a doctorate is a giant undertaking and should not be taken lightly. Most students understand that it will require a great effort, especially when compared to the standard effort that is required for prior degree programs. The most helpful thing in completing a dissertation is to believe in yourself and the ability you have to carry out all of the 14th requirements necessary to successfully complete a manuscript.

How much have you accomplished so far?          Think about your past. How many courses have you had? How many papers have you written? The answer to both these questions is: many, many. If you can put your ego aside and remember that the feedback you’re getting from your chairperson and committee members is only about the manuscript. It is not criticism of you as a person. I have told many clients that the two basic characteristics of successful doctoral students who complete their dissertations are a steady work ethic and persistence. One way to build your self-confidence in your own abilities to complete a dissertation is to become aware of the many reasons you are attempting to earn the doctorate. How many times do you have to write a dissertation? Only once. When you complete your dissertation and graduate with your doctorate, everyone wins. You have attained the goal that you wanted. Your chairperson and committee members have supervised another student all the way to graduation. The university now has another alumnus, you. And you will always refer to your doctoral studies at that university. Over the years you will be sort of an advertising person for the school because you earned your doctorate there.

You have the ability       So when you think about your ability to complete your dissertation and graduate, keep in mind all the accomplishments you’ve already had in your educational career. This dissertation is just the last large step in academia. In some ways you can look at the dissertation as five term papers that are all interconnected, all in alignment with one another, with a big sounding name, DISSERTATION. As I mentioned earlier, you’ve written many academic papers. Remember your past successes and it will make it easier for you to overcome any barriers, any doubts you may have. When you do this it will make it easier for you to believe in yourself and your ability.