There will likely times during your PhD when you lose all hope. Times where you want to give it all up, or where you question why you even started in the first place. Times where you can’t possible see how you can dig yourself out of the hole in which you’ve found yourself.
It happens to us all. Just when things start going well and we get used to feeling in control, something comes along (whether internal or external) to ruin all the fun. Suddenly, what were once sunny blue skies are not dark and stormy.
It’s at these times that we’re most vulnerable, and where we’re least able to objectively evaluate our own performance. We convince ourselves that all hope is lost.
But in spite of how dark the outlook, things will improve. Buddhists talk a lot about impermanence; the idea that nothing lasts. Just as the good times always falter, so do the bad times.
When you’re low, remind yourself that it’s not permanent. It’s part of the natural emotional ebb and flow of life, wherein the challenge isn’t how stable you can be, but how well you can look after yourself when you fall.
So go easy on yourself, be kind to yourself, and that sky will be clear and sunny in no time.
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