Emotions and Research, how to deal with them?

Research is hard and it burns you out.  Statistics reveal that a large number of scholars, pursuing PhD, quit half way itself. The reasons can be many, but the majority leaves because of frustration with their thesis and research challenges.

There is something that you must know before you step into a doctoral program. Some key things to remember all the time are:

  • Tragedies, challenges, depressions are all unavoidable part of the journey and each one who does PhD, faces the same.
  • Research means taking risk in some capacity. The failure of a project does not mean the personal failure of the researcher. You must keep this in mind from the very beginning of your doctoral journey.
  • All those people who appear to you as succeeding, are working very hard despite their failures. In fact, they fail as often as anyone else and their successful projects are the outcome of many wrong approaches getting rejected and learnings they imbibe from their repeated setbacks.
  • Throughout your journey, you will accumulate quite a few failures in your kitty. Keep them there, as they may be required and used as lucrative ideas, later in time because it is from the lesson of the failure only that we extract out success, most often.
  • The time duration for research is always much longer than you expect or decide in the beginning, and that is with everyone.
  • This is crucial to research, that it has to be made a part of everyday life as most of the breakthroughs occur at the most unexpected of places. Keep thinking of your research in the background, at all times and you would see ideas popping up from time to time. Successful people are more persistent than intelligent.
  • Fluctuations in progress rate are common to see. During one phase you may see a lot of progress and then suddenly, there may come a sluggish phase, where your output rate may drop significantly. This may be hard to come up with, but do not surrender.
  • You will feel completely stuck at some place and may not be able to write at all. Facing writer’s block is common and there are lot of causes behind it. Try to find the solution that works best for you.
  • Stay in the company of people who motivate you and keep you encouraged to work hard and not give up, despite the stress and challenges.

Following these tips would help you to deal with emotional challenges that crop in a PhD programme, in a much better way.

Category : Conducting Research
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