For many students writing a dissertation, they doubt their ability to conceptualize and carry out the writing of their research. This a very common experience. But there are ways to instill confidence in yourself.
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 required for prior degrees such as the bachelors and masters degrees. One of the most helpful concepts you need is a strong belief in yourself, in your abilities, and in your knowledge of the dissertation process. You have all the talent to carry out all requirements necessary to successfully complete your manuscript. If you persevere, sooner or later you will finish your dissertation.
How can you build your belief in yourself? There are a number of things you can do such as:
1. Associate with other competent dissertation students, who are supportive and encouraging. Many times I have seen one conversation with an influential person deflate and depress a good student. Be cautious of naysayers – avoid them.
2. Dialogue with them about their research, talk about their ways of becoming effective in the dissertation process. Just remember that your dissertation is unique.
3. Locate completed dissertations similar to your own and review them.
4. Constantly read journal articles and books related to your topic. Be selective with your reading. Learn to scan and only focus on the parts of the material that connects with your dissertation.
5. Build a library of articles and books related to your topic, participants, and method. This is a comforting feeling just knowing that you have a wealth of resources to use in your dissertation as needed.
6. Immerse yourself in reading about the dissertation process, especially the requirements at your university.
7. As you get more comfortable with the knowledge of what is expected of you in order to write the dissertation, you will start to believe that you can do it. Your belief in yourself will increase over time when you make these behaviors a part of your daily life.
Writing a dissertation is not so much about talent. It’s more about work ethic and persistence. I have been privileged to guide and mentor hundreds of doctoral students through their dissertation process.

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