Be bold, be decisive

September 1, 2020

One of the best things about doing a PhD is the freedom you get to decide your own direction. Of course, this can also cause a bit of stress if you don't know what to do. Sometimes, there are just too many options and it isn't at all obvious which is best, and choosing one path comes at the cost of all the (potentially better) others.

It's especially difficult when you're under stress, because it can feel like the consequences of a wrong choice are much more severe. This can lead to a kind of paralysis by analysis; spending so much time trying to decide action that you end up doing nothing (but expending energy and increasing your stress in the process).

In the absence of any clear signal that one path is better than the other, the only way to find out is by taking action. Maybe you'll get it wrong, but at least then you can eliminate that option and change course.

So be bold, be proactive, make decisions and keep moving forward. No great work was ever done without taking some risks.

See also:


Time to think

Time for action

If you found this post useful, click below to share!

For more detailed guidance and support...

The PhD Academy

Weekly calls with James

You don't have to do it all alone! Get the All Access Pass for weekly group calls and Q&A sessions with James

Online courses

Build your skills and confidence with our detailed video courses. Go at your own pace and get advice and support when you need it

Writing groups

Meet other students online for company and accountability

Support community

Post questions, share resources and connect with other members

Get the book!
PhD: an uncommon guide to research, writing & PhD life

order now on amazon