Dr. Marvette Lacy Ph.D., (she/her) is the founder and CEO of Qual Scholars where she helps higher education folks finish their dissertations and start a profitable consulting business.
In this weeks episode, Marvette talks about the importance of getting rest and why you should focus on relaxation and self-care during the dissertation process so you don’t overstress yourself.
Hey friend, the time has come to finish your dissertation, graduate and become doctor. Welcome to office hours with Dr. Lacy where we talk about how to finally master this time management thing so you can stay on top of it without losing your mind. Every Wednesday you can find a new episode wherever you listen to podcasts, make sure you hit the subscribe button to make sure you never miss an episode. I’m Dr. Marvette Lacy, your dissertation writing strategist here to be with you along every step of the way. I would like to thank you for coming to today’s office hours. Let’s get started on today’s episode. Hey, how’s writing going? I know you don’t like the question, but let me tell you, when you join the finish your dissertation program, you will love that question. Clients often report feeling excited and joyful to go into their process even before they even get to the dissertation process, and that’s what I’m inviting you to do. I’m inviting you to come inside the group and join us so that you can get the structure you need and the tools that will help you to show up consistent and disciplined in your process. All you need to do is come on over to Marvette lacy.com/apply and sign up for the wait list and you will be the first notified when doors are open. See you soon.
Reflecting on Kobe Bryant’s Life
Hello everyone. Welcome back to a new week of the podcast today. Um, so I’m recording this the day before this goes live. And if you are listening to this in a real time today, January 26 marks a year since the passing of Kobe Bryant. And I just wanted to acknowledge that I know many of you probably have some heavy hearts. You’ve probably done a lot of reflecting, especially if you were a huge fan. Um, and I’m not sure if most people who listen to this are fans of basketball, but, um, I just randomly first started following Kobe, like when he came into the league and was so young and him and Brandy went to prom together, I’m showing my age, but whatever. And I was so excited. Um, and you know, there’ve been, there was some ups and downs with Kobe, but I will just say, I want to focus on the things that I’ve learned or the things that I continue to learn and keep with me when it relates to him. Right. Um, thinking about the black mama mentality, uh, and how do I apply that to my life? How do I apply that to business? How do I apply that to coaching?
And if you have no idea what that is, I highly highly encourage you to go look up some YouTube videos, um, and just watch more of the, like the later interviews with Kobe, um, explaining the Mamba mentality. And what does that mean? Um, and For those of you who know, or if you don’t know Kobe was really like, his whole thing pretty much was that no one was going to out ork him. Um, and that, yeah. You know, talent and passion can only take you so far. When you start to get to the pros and started get to the place where you want to be the best at whatever it is you’re going to have to put in the work. Right. Um, and I think a lot about this relating to you all right, for all intents and purposes, you have made it to the pros, right? You are getting a doctoral degree. It is the, it’s a terminal degree. It’s the highest degree that you can get. And so as far as school and degrees go, you made it to the pros and your talent and your passion, or your love for school, or, you know, whatever your passion related to y’all. We gonna put, we gonna put Sir out cause he doing the most.
Okay. So your passion, like wherever, your reason is for wanting to get this degree, right. That passionate, that love for that reason or that motivation from that reason is only going to take you so far. It’s only going to take you so far and it comes down to, you going to have to put in the work. And so I think about like Kobe who had this very strict schedule when he was still playing, um, and his thoughts about how to prepare for games. It wasn’t, it wasn’t necessarily like being in competition with the other players as being in competition with his self. Um, and that drove him to show up and practice way more than anyone else, to take a thousand shots every day as a warmup to have three or four sessions where he was working out, practicing different shots, watching film, like he would watch his film over and over looking at himself.
Why didn’t he make the decision? What was happening because he wanted to be better. And I’m bringing this up to say many of you think, just because you made it to the doctoral process, that you don’t have to put in any more work, that you don’t have to put in a work about how to improve your writing or rewriting the same manuscript over and over, or learning about writing or rereading articles or reading books or showing up and asking questions in class. Even if you had this class three, four or five times before. Right? For example, I think about like a stats class, right? Many students are arrogant and you show up in your process being like, you have a chip on your shoulder and thinking somebody owes you something and that you don’t have to work for it. I did not mean for this to go here, but since I’m here, I’m here. Right a lot of you don’t, you’re lazy to put it plainly you’re lazy. You think that you’re, you’re beyond, you know, someone giving you feedback on your writing or telling you to keep, right, like, I know this probably sounds in opposition to what I usually say on this podcast. And there is some truth to, yeah, You do probably have to read some more. You probably do have to keep rewriting that same thing, right? Yeah. You do have to show up and ask questions and learn.
Moving and Planning Beyond the PhD
I just don’t want people using reading or rewriting something as an excuse as to why they’re not good enough. It’s not about you and your words, or if you’re good enough, this is about, have you made a decision that you wanted to be in the professional league of, of teaching or researching of writing, of being an expert of knowledge creation. What have you done to earn that? Or are you just keeping yourself busy? But the main point that I want to focus on when it comes to Kobe, is that just as hard as he worked because that his work ethic extended beyond the NBA. So as he got to the end of his career and he realized like, yeah, this is going to be the end. What’s going to be my next move. He got into story writing. And so anytime that they were on the road, they were on a plane or they had any downtime and he wasn’t practicing, he was working on writing stories.
He would watch videos and read books and just write stories over and over, rewrite the same story over and over get feedback, rewrite it. Somebody would tear it apart. He would rewrite it. And this is probably something you didn’t hear about, but he worked on it for a legit four years before releasing, um, the, the, the, the movie that like that came out, he studied business before he was preparing. Somebody like Kobe Bryant could have very well been like, I think I proved that I’m good. I think I don’t need to like practice as hard because I have won how many championships? Like how many MVP awards I’m good. And yeah, there’s going to be a cake walk when I retire and go into business, I don’t have to know the ins and outs. I don’t have to think about the impact I’m making on the world, but he didn’t do that. His discipline carried over from when he was 12, 13, living in Italy, just trying to make the basketball team that carried on throughout his career.
And so just as hard as he worked to get those things, he equally worked at hard, as hard in terms of resting in terms of his sleep, in terms of meditation, in terms of his diet, in terms of making sure that he was giving himself and his body, what it needed in order to show up and perform at his best. And so many of you, as I was talking about the work ethic, you could get with me on that. You can like, yes, I can work less work, but many of you don’t want to do the rest.
Client Spotlight: Jordan
And this brings me to client spotlight. I told her I was going to call her in in love. But Jordan Jordan just joined the finish your dissertation program. She previously was in the plan your dissertation program and decided more additional support and accountability. And we had a coaching call because I have been doing, um, as a thank you, um, been giving everyone complimentary one-on-one sessions. And we had ours yesterday, and most of that session and is similar to conversations I have with other students in the program is yes, you’re good. Yes. You know how to work hard. You know what you don’t know how to do. And while you’re having a hard time making the progress you want to make is you don’t know how to rest. I want you, everyone who’s listening to this. I want you to think about what is your rest look like? What is your recovery look like? How are you fueling your body and taking care of yourself so that you can show up in your life professional league of education and perform at your highest?
How are you doing it? Or are you telling yourself No, I have to earn it. I can’t just stay still. That’s not how I was taught. Right. I’m wasting time just sitting here and watching TV. What is that doing? I got, I think every time I sit down and I sit still, I just think about my to-do list. And this pandemic probably like, increase that. Cause you’re like, well, I can’t go anywhere anyway. That’s What Jordan was telling me. I mean, I couldn’t go anywhere anywhere, anyway. I might as well get some work done, but are you really getting work done or are you just sitting there staring at your computer and it’s not just for Jordan, this for everyone. Are you just staring at your computer? Is your body screaming at you to go to sleep or to lay down? But you keep saying, no, I just got to push through. I just got to keep going. That is a quickest way to not finish this dissertation. Or If you do somehow dig all the way to the end and you would just say, I’m just going to go hard. You’re going to burn out. You won’t have anything left when you get to the end and sure you can be like, yeah, well, at least it’s going to be finished. You have no idea the cost of that, that goes beyond what’s happening right now. It will have impacts on your life to come for years. It will take you years to recover from doing that. And this is why I love like looking at athletes, right? Because they know that their body is their main tool and they have to care for it.
And so what lesson can you learn from athletes or Kobe about yes work hard. Show up with a spirit of competition. Show up with a spirit of like, nobody’s going to outwork me, but equally, if not more show up with a spirit. You’re not going out rest me. Cause I know that if I’m well rested and I’m hydrated, I’m fed. I know that I can go that much harder when it is time to work. Where can you allow more space? Because I’m gonna say it If you’re sitting down, right? If you have made a plan to sit down and like, this is my time, I’m gonna watch love and hip hop. But you keep thinking about all this stuff you’re doing. You need to go get a therapist. If it is hard for you to sit still. If you say to yourself, I can’t sit still, it’s just, it’s not in my nature. You need a therapist. Why? Because that is called anxiety. And it’s hard to think about like, that’s something I need to go and work through because the world rewards you for that. The world rewards you for showing up and going above and beyond and burning yourself out and doing all the things and we need help sometimes to untangle those messages. This is why I will always have a therapist. Okay. My therapist, she thinks she’s getting rid of me. She not.
Rest is Key to Becoming Doctor
And it’s because of your talent of your brilliance, of your work ethic, that people don’t push you. Like they’re not pushing you to probably be better. And they’re probably also not pushing you to sit down somewhere. They’re like, yes, I need more of that. But what does that, what is that doing for your future? Do you want to live like this every day? Because many of you think, Oh, once I graduate, this is going to be over. It won’t it won’t because this is what you know, you’re going to show up in your job the same way ,you’re going to show up in your faculty position, the same way, you’re going to show up in your family life the same way. And you’re going to get down the road and have all of this resent, resentment and regret built up because you’re going to be like, I I’ve been doing all this for everybody else and nobody even appreciate it. And I need to do mean, you know, I need to do stuff for me, but you don’t even know how to do that because you never practiced it. What if there’s a world where you can show up work really hard, get shit done and show up and rest and be with family without guilt, without shame and everything performs better than what it is right now or what you thought it could. That’s the question I asked Jordan, like what if you taking a break and having rest was the key for you finishing when you want to finish. And I say this to clients the first few times they look at me like I have two heads and then that’s fine.
But if you show up to a coaching call with me, whether that’s one-on-one or group coaching, nine times out of 10, my coaching to you is going to be go sit down somewhere and take a break. And you will want to fight me. You will want to argue with me as to why that is not true. And that goes against everything you believe, but I’m telling you that is the quickest way to get what you want. You have to learn how to rest. You have to learn how to steal your mind and your body, because that helps you to bring even more focus and attention and energy to when you are performing. And somebody who loves to work, somebody telling me this, I would have rolled my eyes and ignored It. But What I know to be true now is you have to take time away and let me be clear, taking time away. It doesn’t feel like rainbows and daisies. Okay. I think I’ve talked about this before. I have this rule that no matter what happens in my week, I have to take a whole 24 hour period off of all forms of work. Let me say all forms of work. I tell my clients the same thing, all forms of work for 24 hours. And when I first started doing this, the first 12 hours, my skin was crawling because I’m like, I could just do this one thing. I could just send this email. I could just check this. But it, it took a lot of energy to, to force myself, to sit down, which then leads about leaves four or five hours.
Like once I tired myself out about resisting working, then I’m like, okay, let’s just watch TV or go do some, like go for a walk. And then I go to sleep. But then next day, when it’s time to show up and work again, I can take off like that because I allowed myself to rest and take a break from the heavy mind thinking stuff. And that might sound like it didn’t sound restful, but it’s a practice. And so now I can take off 24 hours and be fine. Now my new thing is cutting back my weekly schedule. What you know, used to take me five or six days to do I’m working to do that in three or four days. It’s my new challenge, but it’s allowing me to have more space, more rest because I know the goals that I have in mind for the next three years. And that’s going to require me to be able to have the energy and the attention, like to be able to show up and do those things. But you can’t outwork yourself. Like you can’t force yourself through working and hustling to get to, like, I know I can’t hustle my way to those goals.
Or it’s going to be a cost probably my life that I’m gonna have to pay in order to do that if I want to hustle, I know getting to those goals requires me to rest and to be. Do you want to become doctor? Like, do you want to become doctor and know that you became doctor and be able to enjoy it and and feel the way you feel when you’re like dreaming about it as you’re writing your proposal, because that’s going to require you to rest. That’s going to require you to, to take care of yourself. When I look across like my experience and the people who were able to finish their dissertation quickly and, um, like do it well and feel good about it they had a routine that not only include writing, but also included, resting and working out and eating well, whatever that means for you and hydrating their body. Like they had a routine. And Why I’m so bullish on this is because when I say like, you’re going to pay a high price, I paid a high price. Right. I talked a lot about, yeah, I finished my dissertation, but I had to do do it in such a short time period. But that costs me a lot in terms of energy, because I wasn’t, I wasn’t taking care of myself in the sense of, I wasn’t moving. Like I was working out here and there, but not how I was earlier in my doc program. I was just eating whatever was at the Starbucks or the Panera. And most of it was junk. I was just forcing myself to work 12, 14 hour days. Cause I was like, I just want to get it done. And yes, I finished. Yes, I got the dissertation. But when I tell you, it took me two years to just even feel like at baseline, to even feel normal.
It did. I’m not exaggerating to you. It took Two years after, by the time I got to the end of the dissertation process, I was going to the doctor every other day for a different thing. Once I graduated, I was still struggling with those same things, but didn’t have any insurance and no money and no energy to figure it out. I got a job. And again, then two years was doctor appointment after doctor appointment, getting my medication levels, right. For my anxiety, trying to figure out my sleep, trying to just feel okay. Like my face was breaking out. My menstrual cycle was all out of whack. Everything was, You could see it on my face. Like when I look at pictures from that time, I can see it on my face. Just how, how much of a toll that, that took on me because I wasn’t resting. And now that I have like, you know, what is it? Hindsight is 2020. I can look back. I am more passionate about like taking that time. Even if it like bothers me and irritates me and I don’t want to, but I’d take a break. That was the whole impetus of taking November completely off because we need rest. And now me being really focused on, okay, what am I eating? I have a long way to go in terms of eating and sleeping. But I’m light years ahead of where I was when I finished the program. And so I will continue to push people to rest and to journal and to take care of yourself because I know what happens when you don’t.
Find One Thing to Love about the PhD Process
I know what happens. Like I personally experienced it when you don’t. And I wish I had someone telling me to do these things. Like people are like, you just got to take care of yourself, but here are three more tasks I need you to do. Right. People would do that. That’s that’s contradictory. That’s like, right. And I would get the message of like, you gotta put yourself to the side and just show up and do what people are telling you to do. Cause you know, I want to make sure I get a job or I want to make sure, like I get to present. Like my CV is field. That means nothing, a great job or filled up CV means nothing if your dead and I want to go there because it’s real, it’s so real. You may not get it. Now. You may not get the experience, like the side effects now, but it will catch up to you if you don’t change things. And I’m not trying to like scare anyone or anything. I’m just, I’m hoping that it encourages you to just take some more time to sit down. And the last thing kinda we’ll end with is I was talking to a client, Donte, who I mentioned on a podcast, um, before we were talking about what Yes, it comes down to resting, right?
It comes down to balancing out work ethic with resting, but you’re also most likely comparing yourself to the celebrities of your field. You’re comparing yourself to people who love what they do. And I want you to ask yourself, do you love what you do? Like, do you love this process? Do you love getting your doctorate program? Do you love all the readings? Can you not just wait to write and learn new things? Can you not just wait to do the research? Is there any part of this process that you love? Because if you don’t love it, like Kobe loved basketball. That’s another reason. It’s a bigger reason why you’re struggling. Yeah. You probably are good at school. That’s how, how I was. I was like, I’m good at school. I love school. But it quickly became when I got to the doctoral program that I don’t love this. I don’t got the love that I once had, but I love researching. I love speaking, talking with participants. I love trying to figure out what does this mean? I love that part.
Do you Love it enough when I say, do you love it like, can you just do it over and over? Or are you working and hating every minute of it and telling yourself you’re not good enough and telling yourself, this is stupid. I should know this already love of something will carry you much further than you trying to force your way through it. And you may not love the whole part, but find one thing that you can love about this process and go all in on that to carry you through. Love, rest, good food good hydration will take you much further than you pushing yourself and just saying, I just gotta, I just gotta push through. I just gotta get my stuff together. I just got to keep going. That doesn’t work. And you know how we know it doesn’t work because it’s not working right now. You’re still in the same place you were last week, Last month, last year, try this out, try resting, try giving your body what it needs. Try finding something that you love. And try showing yourself some compassion and seeing how much further that takes you, because what do you have to lose? You’re already living your worst case scenario, right? For those of you who are not making progress, you’re already live in the worst case scenario. So is it really going to hurt anything? If you just try loving on yourself, giving yourself compassion, taking breaks, giving yourself what you need. Learn From the Black Mamba himself or any, Okay, fine. If he’s not your jam, find any other athlete, find any other celebrity. You know, I love me some Beyoncé and she’s quick to try to push herself to the extreme edge, but you know what follows after that a long period of rest and relaxation and feeding her body. Like she goes on his whole like vegan things, right? You have to balance it.
So I think y’all get it. I Said it over and over. I think y’all get it. I will be so curious to know what your thoughts are about today’s episode coming over to Qualitative Dissertations Made Simple Facebook group and let us know that’s where we’re going to continue the conversation. Um, and I can’t wait to just hear your thoughts. That is going to be all for now. I can’t believe we, we made it to the end of January. Uh, again, please, just as you reflect and see all the pictures of Kobe today, just take a moment Um, today or tomorrow, since I’m recording this the day before, just take a moment and think, how could you give yourself the gift of rest? All right. I will talk with y’all next week. Bye for now.
Join Finish Your Dissertation:
Hey, you ready to take this work further? Then it’s time for you to join the finish your dissertation program. Finally get the tools, resources, and structure. You need to show up consistent and disciplined in your process. All you need to do is come on over to MarvetteLacy.com/apply and join the finish your dissertation wait list. I’ll see you there. Bye for now. Thanks. Thank you for joining in for today’s office hours. Make sure you come on Instagram and tag me at Marvette Lacy. Let me know what your thoughts were on today’s episode until next time. Do something to show yourself some love. I’ll talk to you next week. Bye for now.