It’s not something that I would normally describe myself as. I do want to memorialize this moment in time. It was before my dissertation defense and I WAS feeling confident. And yes I took off my blazer because I was hot and put it back on before I defended my dissertation via zoom. Lol

I practiced my presentation many times. Did yoga for 45 minutes before the defense and felt present throughout the majority of the process. This may not seem like a big deal, but it’s huge for me. I used to dissociate a lot when in front of people or just around other people so I couldn’t be my authentic self or really experience anything to the fullest. I used to feel half dead. I was physically there, but not present. And what’s most painful is that more than likely you would never know the difference.

But this moment was mine. I owned it. It’s entirely possible to move through and past anxiety. I remember feeling joyful when presenting way back in third grade, losing that for many years of my life, and finally getting a taste of it back during my dissertation defense. It’s so helpful when you are actually able to enjoy your success and I’m glad I’m getting back to myself. Becoming more awake and alive again. I think so much more writing and authenticity is in my future 🙂

I used to experience extreme anxiety. I never thought I would come so far or teach. I know it’s possible to manage anxiety and still be able to do things you want to do. I guess the main points of advice I would have for someone struggling with anxiety is that

  • You can’t give up. Allow yourself to shake. To cry. To fail. But you can’t avoid what gives you anxiety.
  • Get to know your anxiety and panic symptoms well. Know what dysfunctional thoughts pop up for you so you can challenge them.
  • Find people besides a therapist to support you who truly understand what anxiety is.
  • Make sure to work on your self esteem by building up other areas of your life that you feel more confident in. Don’t put all your attention and focus into what gives you anxiety.
  • Figure out what gives your life meaning and peace. Seek that … unwaveringly.

I just felt compelled to write this at 2 am. Lol. And remember… I have been working on this for the majority of my life. It takes time and everyone is different. I still have really bad days but they are much less often now. I say yes to things that I know I can succeed at AND I say yes to things I know will challenge me but that I’ll have time to prepare. Yes my hands have shook while presenting. Yes I have cried after from being overwhelmed with gratitude that I was able to do it… but I have always gotten through. Struggles over time can lessen in frequency and intensity. It is so possible with continued effort.

Much love


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7 thoughts on “Confident

  1. Thanks so much for this post! It’s so honest and I can really tell in your writing that you’re getting back to feeling more yourself.

    I’m very happy for you that you successfully defended the dissertation and that you’re able to enjoy that success!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 Yes, I’ve found that getting back to myself allows me to express myself more fully… and hopefully that will mean more/better writing lol. Creative writing has always been my passion and I hope to get back to that too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations!!! I have the same issues with dissociating and even the thought of having to defend my dissertation (thankfully I don’t have to) fills me with dread, but you did it! I hope you are proud of yourself as you should be 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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