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Office Hours with Dr. Lacy

I help doctoral students learn and apply qualitative research so that they can finish their dissertation, graduate, and become DOCTOR!
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Sep 18, 2019

Today's episode I'm going to be talking about how bad do you want it. So I speak with a lot of folks, whether it's about um, finishing their dissertation or it's about they want to start a business cause then I'm starting my own business or any number of goals. Um, and, you know, it comes to a point where they say like, you know, I've been doing this, this, this, this and this and I've been putting all this work and time into it and I'm not seeing any results. And so, they may start or you may start to question yourself and say, is this even worth it? Maybe it's not for me. And ultimately what it comes down to is you answering a question. Do you want it bad enough?

There are so many people. Um, I've watched their careers in different arenas and it took them so long to get started. Like one of them or like just get the recognition that they deserve, I guess. Um, one of my like favorites is Jennifer Lopez, right? Alright, Let's see. First you see her on like In Living Color as Fly Girl. And I would say like her big break came as um, as Selena when she was, she was cast in place in Selena in the, um, in the movie. And she sung the songs or I don't, I don't know if they will let her sing. I can't remember. Anyway, but she did and that movie was huge. Right. And then from there she continued, she was in Anaconda. I feel like these movies were right around the same time and I think as Money Train. And then she just started going in her acting career and then she started to record music.

And while folks were like, okay, we see you as an actress, we don't necessarily see you as a singer. Like it's cute that you're doing these like little pop songs and you know, like can listen to it and the car. Love Don't Cost a Thing. Um, I'm blanking on other songs right now, but to get what I'm saying. And people like Jamie Fox and other people kept like making fun of her and saying she can't sing. Right. But she was still, I mean, she was still getting recognition for acting. She was getting recognition for her fashion. Um, we all remember the infamous Versace green dress. Um, but yeah, she was getting recognition in that way, but you would see in like interviews and stuff that she was like, you know, it really hurts my feelings that people would talk about me and I can't sing and I've been singing since blah, blah, blah.

And she's been making all of this traction doing all these different things. But I still feel like folks didn't see her as his like huge superstar that she actually was right. Because while she wasn't getting like all of the , I mean, even Mariah I carry right throwing shade of, I don't know her, um, like all these folks, but like her career has lasted for 20 plus years and not only lasted, we're not talking about like she's barely hanging in there. Susan has been making money, money. I mean movie after movie roles have gotten more, um, complex. Even she, I mean she still does a little romantic comedies and stuff, but she also does more like, like for real acting roles. I mean she stays in a movie. Um, and she stayed recording and can sell. I mean she just wrapped up her us leg of her tour for her 50th birthday.

I mean she's 50, she looks 20, um, right and sold out all over. Alright. Whatever she does is successful. And um, I think about her often cause I feel like you just may seem like a tangent now, but I think about Jennifer Lopez often when I get stuck in my own head and I'm like, oh, this isn't happening fast enough, it doesn't matter all this work that I'm doing, it is not making a difference. And I just think about like she's been out here grinding for years and years and` years and success is not going to always look like the way we think it's supposed to look like. Right. And you have to ask yourself, are you, are you, do you want things to look a certain way because, because you want other people to think something. You want other people's admiration. Are you doing it for your ego?

Right? Um, people been talking about like vanity metrics. Are you doing it for the likes of the followers? Right? Are you doing it for those things or are you doing it because it's just something like as a goal you actually want to achieve. You want the result that you're after and it comes to a place of which one do you want most more? Um, being honest with yourself about that. And then, two, really accepting what it looks like to really have the thing that you're working towards. Like really looking at other people who are doing the things that you want to do, who have accomplished the thing that you are going after. Like what did that look like when they accomplished it? Now? What their life looks like now, but what did it look like when they finished? So, um, for most of you listening, we are talking about finishing your dissertation and I want you to even think about your chair or someone you admire in the field, right?

You may see them on Twitter or you may have a conversation with them or you may see them at conferences or what that and it just looks so, I mean, it looks like they livin' their life, right? They get it. And every time you look up they're getting this award or not award and, or they're announcing this or they're publishing this and that and they have this book coming out. It may look like that now, but I mean, scroll back on your timeline, scroll, scroll, Scroll to the time that they defended and if that, if they were still posting when they were as a doctoral student, if there's anything that you can find, or even if you can talk with them about when they finished their dissertation, when they graduated, ask them who that person was. What did that person look like? What thoughts or feelings of frustration did that person have?

Right? How much were they publishing then? How do they feel about their abilities? Then what are people saying about them then? Because you keep trying to compare yourself to someone who is two, three, 10 20 years ahead of you. You're comparing yourself now to that person who they've worked up to be instead of preparing yourself to who they were at the same moment that you are. And I can sit here and say, no, you shouldn't compare yourself to any one else. And, that's what we do as humans. And so if we're going to do that, I just wanted you to get the message of don't do it to who they are now or who they pretend or present to be on social media. Look at who they were at the same level that you are. Okay. Um, so that was complete. I just didn't want it to share that cause I, that wasn't even in my notes without j lo, but I do every time I look at her career, I've been watching her youtube channel and I'm just like, that's so amazing.

And to finally get to a place where you don't even care that folks can't see it. When you have outlasted them, you have outwork them, you have have outperformed them, you make way more money and it's not about that. I just, I think that's very interesting though. Like most of the people who talked about her are not even, they're not even, no one even knows what they are anymore. But for my own story, um, I have two. One is when, um, which is episode 19, which, so I won't go into much detail about it in this episode, but I definitely say check out episode 19 where I talked about my first semester and failing my first semester and going to talk with one of the professors there and how he, I felt like at the time completely just, I dunno, crushed my whole world, pretty much told me, you don't need to belong there and he didn't understand.

Um, and how I was ready to quit. How I was ready to go, like find another job and think like this, this phd program was not for me. I'd definitely want you to listen to that episode to hear what I've learned from this situation and how I had to, I asked myself, do I want it bad enough and how I had to get over myself and continue to go after completing the goal of getting my phd. The second situation that I think a lot about is, um, when I was getting into even like realizing that I could have my own business, right. This was years and years ago of I saw this other woman online and she had, she was doing so many things and she was documenting her process of like quitting her job and traveling the country and what would it be like to live out of a suitcase?

Right? She wasn't even thinking about starting a business, but then that morphed into a business because other women started to ask her like, how did you do it? Um, and at one point she had offered free videos. Like, I mean, not videos free calls she said that she was gonna give 10 free calls to women. Um, and that she wanted to talk to them. That it would be completely free and just to help and not to sell them anything, which sounded it was a lie, but that's not the point. Anyway. So I, I, I signed up cause I was like, I'm going to do it. I'm going to be brave. I'm going to take a step and I'm going to sign up for this call. No, I don't know what I'm supposed to talk about. But I mean, she's been talking about helping other women.

So of course she would have all the answers right. And I'm just going to take this step of calling her. And so we got on a call and she was like, well, what can I help you with? And I dunno, I was stuck. I was like, I don't know. I don't know. I don't even know what I'm supposed to ask. I don't even know what it means to start your own business. I just see other people doing it and I just want that. Um, and she was like, well, I'm looking at your website and you know, you don't post you, you're not, there's no, this maybe you posted. Um, like three things at the time I was doing youtube videos about random things. I can't even remember. I can't tell you. Um, and she was just like, I don't even, there's nothing I can even do to help you.

You're not, I dunno, I just remember leaving the phone call feeling dejected. Is that a word? Feeling like how dare she I've been working really hard. She doesn't know how much it took me to even get on a phone call with her. She doesn't even understand how much it took me and how scared and how much thought it had to even make those youtube videos. She didn't even give me any um, props or like Kudos for even showing up. She just, I just was pissed and I remember thinking like, I'm going to prove her wrong. She told me I wasn't going to be successful. I can even tell you she actually said that or not. But this was so long ago that I don't remember. But I just remember having this attitude of like, I'm going to prove her wrong because she doesn't know what she's talking about.

I'm going to get it together. And I was all motivated and I wrote out all of these plans about how that's going to have this awesome business and how, you know, wisdom would be like, how, how can you know what to do now but you didn't know what to do before the phone call? But you know, motivation is a whole different thing when you like when you're determined as a whole different thing. But I was, and I wrote all this thing, these things out and I did some stuff. And a whole year went by and I was still in the same place that I was when I first scheduled that call and it came back around that she was offering the calls again and I had to sit down and be real myself. How bad do you want this business? You say you want so bad and maybe you can relate to that.

Maybe you're sitting there with your dissertation, maybe you started your own business and , you're just like, I'm in a place, I'm stuck. I don't even know. I'm overwhelmed. I, I, I don't know what to do. And you, you're thinking that you should quit or give up or you know, throw in the towel. And that's what I want to talk about today of like what happens when you're at this point and how to get out of this point, especially when you're, you know, especially like thinking about dissertations and stuff like that. Cause you've come too far to only come this far. I know you've seen that across the internet and I don't even know who originally said that. You know, Internet quotes goes, it's hard to find the original source, but either way. Um, so the first thing I would say in terms of what you have to become aware of, because in order to solve a problem, you have to know what the problem or problems are.

And so I want to talk about that. So the first thing is becoming aware of your ego and checking your ego. Um, I use this quote, I say this quote a lot from Eric Thomas to hip hop preacher himself is that you owe you an explanation. I'll say that again. You owe you an explanation. So like me going back. So that story about the business coach or even about that professor, I kept saying like, they didn't do this. They sent me up. I'm like, you know, they didn't do this. It wasn't supportive. They should have did x, y, z. Instead I should have been like, what did I not do? How did I not show up? What did I not say? I had to answer to myself. Because you can't control other people. You can only control yourself. And so you have to look at you and say, what did you not do that caused this result that you're at right now?

So you're feeling stuck and overwhelmed. What did you not do? And not in a "woe is me" or a shame spiral. It's more about being real with yourself and being honest and saying, man, I could have showed up. I didn't show up in right. Like I said, I was going into, um, those times that I schedule it. Um, I didn't post on Instagram. Like I said I was going to do for my business. I didn't read those articles that I got, um, from so-and. So I blew off my accountability partner and I didn't write, I didn't show up to my coaching call that I signed up. Like what did you not do? Like being a really real about that. Right? And checking your ego. Um, the second thing that like that would help you become more aware of your problem is really thinking about what results have you been producing.

I honestly believe like you probably like you've put, been putting in time and you've been putting in energy and you've been doing all of the things in your life. But my results are not showing up, I believe because I did it like you know my story, I talked about it in last week's episode about how I was spending all of these hours and hours. Like I did that for my dissertation and I did that for my business. And both of those things came to a point where I had to be like, okay, we cannot keep putting in all of these hours without having anything to show for it. So let's be really clear about what was results are we trying to produce. Right? So it's not just a matter of I'm going to show up to this writing group and I'm just gonna write, I'm gonna work on my dissertation. But like exactly what is it that you're going to work on?

Like are you going to work on your - Like you're going to have a completed problem statement or you're going to have a completed outline for chapter two. Are you going to write an edit your chapter, the re like are you going to really think about which methodology is going to be best? Like how by the end of that time that you're working, what will you tangibly have by the end of that time? That's how you need to be focusing your to do lists and how you need to be thinking about structuring your time. Because it's not enough to sit there and say I'm working on it cause you'll be doing all of these things. Oh let me write this. Oh let me read this. Oh let me go check this email. Oh let me go check this post. That's you spinning your wheels without actually doing anything.

So switching your mindset from a to do list who are results lists, like what will you half do, you know, etc. And then the third challenge, which is probably part of the problem, is doing it alone. We as humans are not meant to be alone, but you probably think it's better if you do things alone. You probably think like, nobody's here to help me anyway. Right? Going back to my stories, like no one's gonna help me. Um, or you don't have something that you believe in that's bigger than yourself. You have to believe in something bigger because that's going to come to a point where you get really clear on what you want to do, what you need to do, and you start getting some results. But then you start looking at who you are right now or where you are right now in way where you're trying to go or who you're trying to become. And you're going to be like, man, I don't, I don't know if this is going to work.

I don't know. And then you're going to have to believe in something that says, I don't think I can do it, but with the faith of whatever, whomever, I'm going to get there. You have to believe. And that's something, something for Scott, whatever is helping you to get to that point. So being aware of your ego, getting results, focused and finding something bigger and giving yourself something to believe in is really going to help you understand really where you are, the problems you're having and the challenges. But I want to take it, um, a step further and really talk about like what it means to, um, figure out if you want to bet enough and how to get there. So, you know, um, if you've been around any length of time I have the get it done framework is three steps, three areas where you focus on that I use with my clients that I use on myself, not just with writing dissertation but like all areas of life.

Um, that I say I asked myself whenever I'm out of alignment or, um, uh, I'm stuck on something. What are these, what is three areas looking like and am I, is there something I'm not paying attention to? So the first one being mindset. Remember I talked about your ego and like getting really putting that in check you you ha like yes, that's important. The first step is getting real about what did you not do? What is the explanation you owe yourself? But then the tangible thing that I do every day is I need a mechanism to become aware of my thoughts because I believe that your thoughts control your, your emotions control your actions, what you actually, what you do every day. And those behaviors and actions that you take everyday create the results in your life. So before when I said how do you get results focused, when you figure out this is where I want to go, then you have to come back, takes a few steps back and be like, who do I have to be in a, who do I, how do I have to think in order to get those results in my life?

Where does my mindset have to be? So every day to get there because just can seem like, well that's a big thing you said tangible. So everyday what I do is I do a brain dump. I just write for like five minutes. I just write down all the thoughts that are coming to my mind, comes to my mind. And I used to then call the model, which was by Brooke Castillo from the life coach school. If you're a client, you should be using your daily pages to help you through this process. But I pick a thought and I look at that thought and I said, when I see this thought or I say this thought to myself, how does that make me feel? And this feeling when I feel this way, what do I do as a result of feeling this way? Then those are my actions.

And so the actions that I take, what is that given me in my life? So, um, an example would be say, I think I can't do this. That's my thought. I can't do this. My emotion that I would feel from saying I can't do this. It's defeated. I feel defeated because I can't do this. And because I felt defeated, I may then do my actions would be like, well, um, I may, uh, not show up to my writing group. I may not read anything because I can't do this. I feel defeated. Right? I may not show up to the writing group and then because I didn't show it to my writing group means I didn't do, I didn't make any progress on my dissertation. That's the result I have. So lack of progress can relay all the way back up to the thought of, I can't do this.

So I, that's, that's really quick and dirty. We could talk more about that. Um, we talk more about that. Um, when I'm with clients and whatnot, we talk a lot about mindset. When you work with me, that is mainly what we're working on is mindset because you can only go as far as your mindset will allow you to, and that may seem like a lot in life. I don't need to do that. Just tell me what I need to do. I could tell you exactly what you need to do, but you want to do it. You know exactly what to do right now, but you're not doing it. And the reason why you're not doing it is because of your mind. You're not managing your mind well enough.

I have given people exact detailed outlines for their dissertations. I had told them like exactly what to do when they sit down. I have walked them through step by step, sitting in a chair, open your laptop, pull out a document, put this sentence there, do this. Like I've given them that and they still can't do it. Why? Because of their mindset. And if you don't have, if you're not having something, a way to work through that, all the doubts and stuff that come in, you won't get to your goals. You won't. So I'll get off of that. So that's the first thing is mindset. The second part of the get it done framework is systems. So what are your systems? Any a clear plan. So what are you trying to do? I didn't trying to finish my dissertation proposal. When are you trying to finish it by?

I don't know. November 30th great. What's going to be your schedule to get you there? When are you going to write or, or, um, do dissertation things? Do you have a clear schedule? I always suggest that my clients have 10 to 15 hours a week. No more than a four hours in one day that you're working and that you do something, you break up things in small chunks because you do not need to be working. If you're doing something more than 10 to 15 hours a week, you are wasting your time. You're most likely procrastinating. You're most likely doing everything else, but what you're supposed to do, you're not focused. Yes. Yeah. You're not doing things for yourself to fill yourself back up. And I'm, I'm willing to bet that some you feel awful. You look awful now like in the weight per se, that you just look probably look real tired cause you feel tired and so get on a really clear schedule that you actually are here too.

And then have a clear routine, a routine that when you sit down to work on your dissertation or Your Business or whatever, that you know you do the same steps. Like when I sit down to work on like this podcast for instance, I know I need my laptop out and my laptop, I put my microphone into my laptop, I have a piece of paper, I write out, this is what the script is going to be in the script has a formula like up a story. I'll tell you where you may get stuck in and I'll tell you what to do and then I have something I want you to do as a result of the episode and I change it up a little bit, but I know that those are steps that I can follow to getting going. What are the steps that you follow no matter what?

When you're sitting down to write or you're sitting down to do whatever your goal is? Yeah. Do you open up your laptop? Open up a document? Because what I tell my clients is open tab, open up a new document, set the timer on the phone for 10 minutes, brain dump everything that you have, no matter if it's related to the dissertation or not. Take a five minute break and then reread what you have and start to edit it into something. Because my thought is that once you start to brain dump, you're already in the mindset of like you're supposed to working on a dissertation. Your thoughts will naturally go towards your dissertation, but for whatever reason, if it doesn't, then that's not gonna happen for that day. And you can put that down and come back so it later. Or are you gonna just wait until your next writing schedule.

But I mean writing date, but that's why it's important to always be on a schedule because your brain knows and has built in time for you to make progress. Even if one of those days or whatever, you're not feeling it or it's not happening. Maybe you have life going on. So systems. So we talked about mindset and systems and then the last part of the get it done framework is community. Again, we're not meant to be alone. So having a way to have some weekly support and accountability is helpful. So if you have a writing group, is it really being honest with yourself? One, is it really supportive and help them keep you accountable or is it more like social hour or does it make you not feel comfortable in some way? Um, and there's another r, are there some things that you can do?

So are there some parameters that you can set? Um, do you all need to be more persistent? Do you need to like hold off talking or put a timer limit on talking? Is there a way that you can build in to share wins with them? They'll be like, yes, I got approved to collect data or yes, I found the right methodology. Like who are your group of people? Yeah. And it's important to be around people who challenge you and is also important for you not to be the smartest one in your circle. Because if you are, if you're the smartest or the most dedicated or the most consistent one, you're in the wrong circle and you need a new circle, you need a new writing group. Um, because again, you can only go as far as your mindset and your mindset is highly influenced by those you spend the most time with.

So whenever it comes to your dissertation and you're with the same writing group, but they're not really to as serious or dedicated about it, didn't you that we'll feed or rub off on you. So how can you find a group that's going to challenge you and support you? A hold you accountable and you feel like my bad, I don't, I don't know. That's I what I have and I'll have access. I got to take what I have and I want to offer you an opportunity to join right away. It's my weekly writing accountability group. Folks. Uh, most folks are working on some form of their dissertation, but other people are using it just so they know that they have dedicated time to do dishes. Uh, planning for the week, meal prep for the week. We, um, we meet twice a week, but I just encourage people to come at least once a week.

So we meet on Sundays from four to 7:00 PM eastern standard time and we meet Wednesdays 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM eastern standard time. Um, it's encouraged that you're there the whole time, but if not, because life happens and that starts to get late. We understand people leave early or come in and out. Um, but it's that time is there for you. We start off each call with something about mindset or a some productivity tip or just sharing like what's going on in that week. We spent a good 15, 20 minutes just catching up with one another, encouraging one another, and then we spend the rest of the rest of the time just talking. I mean, excuse me y'all. Yes. So this live, most of the time after that 15 or 20 minutes I'm working, everyone keeps their camera on so you can see other people working because there's something about the brain and being able to see people, uh, working away or typing that tells you like, oh, I need to get back on it.

And then if someone sees you doing something else, probably send you like a private message. Like, hey girl up, you do it. I'll probably, I'm most likely I'm doing it like, Hey, what you doing? You look like you're like watching TV. What's happening? You need to talk, you need to check in. Cause you know, sometimes people are going through a lot and they just need somebody to talk to. And then we, I like sometimes we'll have conversation if I have time because I'm also doing work and things. And so, um, catch up with people to help them through that and be supportive. And usually I find like a good 15-30 minutes of talking, people can then get start working and you would be surprised what you can get done in an hour or two hours or three hours. Like people are writing whole dissertations up in here.

And so we, the Check-in Sundays and Wednesdays are usually the days where we're like, oh shit, we need to get something done. Sunday is like the beginning of the week where you're like, okay, I'm going to have this plan, I'm going to get done. And then Wednesday night comes and you're like, oh, I haven't done anything. I should. I have assignments. And so those have, we have found, I mean we've been doing this almost a year now and found that those two days work really well, especially while we're in the middle of the semester. So if this sounds like something that you would love to join, you want to be a part of, just the link will be in the show notes or you can come on over to Instagram and DM me at @MarvetteLacy, or you'd go to the website, Marvette lacy.com. Links will be there for you to sign up. We would love to have you. Um, and that's gonna do it for this episode. I didn't intend for it to be this long. The latest ones have been long. You're welcome. But that is how I'm going to wrap up. Um, and so next week, do something to show yourself some love and I will talk to you then. Bye for now.

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