There is no doubt that my confidence in my abilities has decreased. I still feel that my subject and thesis are important, but I have doubted my ability to actually complete the thesis to a reasonable standard. I am aware that this is a stage that many PhD students progress through, but this is the first time that I have ever doubted myself to such a degree.
I sit down to write, I can visualise the page in front of me, I can see what I want to write, I start to write and it all becomes foggy. The words slip away from me and I lose the structure, the flow and my voice.
I have tried to combat this by planning, lots of planning, but it just becomes apparent that I feel very confident about certain sections of my literature, even some sub sections, but some critical parts I have no confidence in my ability to discuss the issues. When I write a plan in order to help with this some sections are strong, read well and I feel are up to the standard required. The rest is blurred, I plan how to write them and re plan, change the structure, change the order, copy and paste. Nothing feels right and it all becomes nonsense.
I am aware that is all in my head. I am indecisive, I need to make a decision and stick with it. I need to be confident in my abilities, my work and my opinions in order to make this work.
I am currently at the BSA conference in Birmingham. Tomorrow I will be giving a presentation on some work I have collaborating on. I will be discussing methodology, Web scraping and graphical representations of data. I am very excited to be doing this, there is nothing I like more than discussing my work and my findings. Furthermore, the presentation tomorrow will go some way to rebuilding my confidence.