Thursday, May 31, 2012

Phd anxiety: Perhaps your anxiety is of a form specific to magicians...

Seth Godin's blog has a provocation: "Perhaps your anxiety is specific to magicians" He found the quote in a strangely-translated instruction manual for an obscure but beautiful trick. But, as he notes, it has wide applicability. Perhaps your/my anxiety is specific to phd students and a fear of being judged and found wanting. perhaps its a similar one to magicians, the tricks arent new enough, the performance not exciting enough...these are the stressors of performing or of anyone who has to stand up and stand out and stand for something. Perhaps it is due to the fact that you're trying to control things that you can't possibly control. I cant controll what others will make of my work, I can only make it smooth enough...rough enough...logical enough. Anxiety may be a sign that you care deeply about your work. Now that you've been reminded that you care, the anxiety gets reframed. Its a positive motivation now, not something to be fearful of; not something immobilizing. Write because you have something to say :)

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