Just a quick post to alert you to a must read blog post by Marissa Bracke: The Real Reason You’re Not Taking Action On Your Goals
As I read it, I thought of struggling to write (the dissertation, a book, a journal article, a grant proposal), struggling with the job search, … well, pretty well all of the things you might be struggling with.
Her main point is that a big reason you might be struggling is that you don’t want this goal. There are 3 ways that might manifest itself:
- You want it by proxy. (IOW, this isn’t your goal it is someone else’s goal for you or something you think you should want.)
- You don’t know what you’d want instead if you dropped this goal. (This section really resonated with some of the discussions about the academic labour market.)
- Inertia or this goal is well past it’s best before date.
There are really good questions for each of these scenarios to help you work out whether this applies to you, and some of the clues to what you do really want. Grab a notebook. Set aside some time. And go read the whole post.
Warning: this may create temporary panic
It is more than a little disconcerting to discover that something you’ve been working towards (or procrastinating working towards) is not really a goal you want. Especially if you have been (not) working towards this goal for several years.
Please continue to breathe.
And read Marissa’s post. She has very good questions.
If this is indeed your problem, and you need help figuring out what to do now, I can help.
Or contact me with your questions.
Edited March 8, 2016.