Dilemma In Work

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    I am a research student. Completed almost an year. I have always thought about research & how I should do good research in something like cancer (which I am working on) & contribute to its cure & so on. But, finally when I have what I want, I have all these negative thoughts. I have been here one year. But I have not done anything towards my career. I have been distracted. I do nit have any motivation. I am so scared. First of all about my colleagues, who I think are far more intelligent than me in this field. They are supportive , but I have this deep fear of being judged. I also fear that people would lose hope on me. I am a bit slow in learning & stuff. But I can do a hell of a job, ones I have gained confidence. But I feel constrained. It has nothing to do with my supervisor or anything. Everything is good, yet there is this mental block. Sometimes people work due to fear of supervisor, or to impress them. But I have no such thoughts, except that I would be judged bad, incompetent & so on.

    Although I did my under graduation in sciences, I had to switch during masters. I regretted this decision. But finally it ended good. I never thought I would end up with cancer research, after my change of field. It like I finally got what I wanted , but I am backing out. I even had thoughts of quitting. Its this nagging feeling that I have. I have no idea if I really am not cut out for this career or these thoughts are just the result of my mental blocks due to fear & other things. I really have no idea what to do.

    please help me.


    To thine own self be true.




    Hi ana.

    I understand what you re going through as a student. Firstly I think you need to build confidence in yourself, because if you dont no one will believe in you. Some people dont learn so fast, but that doesn’t mean they can not be highly effective. I feel its something you can improve on by doing your best and leaving the ones you cant handle. Just relax. I ve come to learn that sometime the people we feel will judge us are equally concerned about themselves. So no need to worry. Hope that helps .


    Hey Ana,
    Thanks for sharing. After reading your post it seems like it is your thoughts are the cause of your mental block.

    I have also been afraid of being judged in the past and since I cannot honestly put myself in your experience..I can only say from my own experience that what helped me is realizing that when I was afraid of judgement by others I was actually judging myself. I was blocking the full expression and potential of myself because I was afraid of what others thought. To be honest dealing with what I thought about myself is a full time job and considering what others might think is so much un-needed work.

    As you said yourself “I can do a hell of a job”. Stick with that.

    Something that has helped me in so many areas in my life, and definitely in situations like you’re having is to just be with the feeling. Watch the thoughts..let them come and experience what it feels like to just be with the thought and feeling instead of adding on top of the experience more thoughts trying to push it away.

    Despite everything I have said though I always feel like you know yourself better than anyone who can write to you or make suggestions so always stick with what you feel in your heart.

    Wish you the best,

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 10 months ago by Cody.

    I tend to procrastinate too. I want to come out all these negativity.


    Ann –
    What I would suggest if you really want to come out of these negative thought patterns about work etc..is to start questioning your thoughts. Question the thoughts that impact your life the most. I think the teacher Byron Katie has some amazing belief worksheets that could be really helpful for you in working through it. The best thing about it is it’s very personal and you do the work yourself.

    I’ve found in my life that although I could just come out and say “it’ll be alright” or “have confidence in yourself” I don’t know that to be ultimately true. What I do know is when you question the validity of your thoughts they will start to break down and you will see the ones that cause you the most pain as ridiculous thoughts and the confidence will come flooding in.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 10 months ago by Cody.


    It’s amazing what the mind can do. You’ve wanted so much to be where you are + now you’re there your mind is playing tricks on you.

    Try to remember that you are not your mind. The part of you that is drawn to your career path sounds like it is coming from your soul. The mind is a tool, but it can be a monster if we don’t learn how to use it.

    Every time you have a negative thought about yourself in this context, gently say to yourself – I am not my mind. I am not my mind. + commit to continuing to improve in your role. Just take it day by day, knowing you are not you mind.

    Your negative mind is being overactive right now, and you need to get into your neutral mind. The mind that knows as Cody said “it’ll be alright.”

    So remember, you are not your mind. When you go into this negative mindset take a step back + breathe. Just 3 long deep breaths. Say I am not my mind. + keep up!


    Hello Ana,

    I’ve learned to stop my brain cold when it starts playing the whole “I’m not good enough” sound track at work.

    Understand there is no good or bad. You are not good enough. You are not the worst either. However, what you are is THERE.. so give it every ounce of your time, energy and effort and you’ll be amazed by what you can do. You can’t play the what do my colleagues think of me game. Nobody wins and you’re just making yourself miserable imagining what they think of you(which doesn’t matter anyway because you’re just projecting your own fears-you can’t read their minds so don’t try). Just focus and work hard. You won’t have all the answers and there will be setbacks but if you are giving it all you have then there will be triumph. The key is to actually DO the work it takes to succeed. Don’t procrastinate and don’t let yourself fall into the avoidance pattern. You are in control of YOUR actions. You are so fortunate to be in a field where making mistakes is somewhat expected. Research Science is all about eliminating the wrong answer to get to the right one. 🙂
    So get in there, roll your mental sleeves up and really give it all ya’ got, girl!

    Take it Easy,


    Thank you so much all of u 🙂 i feel a lot better now 🙂 your words were very soothing & valuble 🙂

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