Knowing Your Value: You Owe It to Yourself and Those You Serve with Dr. Colleen Georges

With over 20 years of expertise helping people transform their lives and careers, Dr. Colleen Georges is a Positive Psychology life and career coach, TEDx speaker, founder of RESCRIPT Your Story LLC, and author of the 8-time award winning book, RESCRIPT the Story You’re Telling Yourself: The Eight Practices to Quiet Your Inner Antagonist, Amplify Your Inner Advocate, & Author a Limitless Life.

She is also a Rutgers University Lecturer in counseling and women’s leadership. Prior to running RESCRIPT Your Story LLC, Dr. Colleen served as Director of the Rutgers University TRIO Student Support Services & McNair Programs, which serve first-generation, low-income students and provide academic retention, career development, and doctoral preparation services. She is also a three-time Rutgers graduate, earning her B.A. in Psychology from Douglass College and M.Ed. and Ed.D. in Counseling Psychology from the Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Colleen’s expertise has been featured in various media including News12, RVNTV, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Forbes, Mashable, and New Jersey Family Magazine. She lives in Piscataway, New Jersey with her husband José, son Joshua, and two cat daughters, Kitty and Sweetie.



Available_Black copy
Available_Black copy

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Confronting burnout so that it doesn’t keep you from getting your work done
  • Knowing your “why” and theirs
  • The slippery slope of making excuses
  • The best part of being done is getting your life back
  • Benefitting from the Halo Effect when your first name is “Dr.”
  • How imposter syndrome hurts those you are meant to help
  • Recognizing the “zillion” good things you do in the world

In this episode…

What did you tell yourself today? Are you going to be better than yesterday? Or are you going to stay the same?

In this episode of An Unconventional Life, Dr. Colleen Georges shares her journey of becoming her authentic self throughout her doctoral and postdoctoral experience with Dr. Russell Strickland—from being burnt out and not knowing what’s next to knowing her “why” and moving on with her passion. Dr. Georges believes having a sense of self-worth is important to achieving your goals and—ultimately—helping others achieve theirs. After helping someone fulfill their passion is a feeling like no other.

Don’t let the conversations in your head hold you back from becoming the truest and best versions of yourself. Rescript them! Dr. Colleen Georges can show you how.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Dissertation Done, America’s #1 authority in dissertation completion for working professionals.

Founded by Dr. Russell Strickland, Dissertation Done serves people in two ways:

  1. If you’re struggling with your dissertation, getting ready to start your dissertation, or just plain wanting to get your dissertation done as soon as possible, go to and Let’s Get Your Dissertation Done
  2. If you’re busy living your Unconventional Life and have a message that you want to share, maybe you should join our Expand Your Authority Program to become a published author. Go to and let me know that you’d like to talk about Expanding Your Authority.

Visit to learn more about our other services and leave a message or call them at 888-80-DR-NOW (888-803-7669) to schedule your free 30 to 45-minute phone consultation.

Episode Transcript

Disclaimer: This transcript is here for your reading convenience. It was created by machines and may (a-hem) contain some errors. If you email us about these errors, the machines will undoubtedly find out. I hope they won’t get angry.



Intro  [00:00:03]

Welcome to An Unconventional Life, a podcast where we share stories about the crazy one percent out there who earned their doctoral degrees and then went on to use them in crazy, cool, unique, and unconventional ways. Here’s your host, astrophysicist turned teacher, author, dissertation coach, and more, Dr. Russell Strickland.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:00:28]

Hello, and welcome to An Unconventional Life. I’m your host, Dr. Russell Strickland, the founder and CEO of Dissertation Done. And I have with me today Dr. Colleen Georges. Dr. Georges has over 20 years of expertise, helping people to transform their lives and career. She’s a positive psychology life and career coach, a TEDx speaker, founder of Rescript Your Story, and the author of the eighth time award-winning book Rescript the story you’re telling yourself: The eight practices to quiet your inner antagonists, amplify your inner advocate, and author a limitless life. You can tell she’s got a doctoral degree from the title of that book, I do the same. You get a short little title, right? And then the long subtitle. Doctor’s orders. Well, gosh, I could just keep reading the bio, but she’s done so many things. I want to just get into talking with her right? Because we were already wearing out the tape before we hit record a little earlier this morning. I want you guys to be a part of it. So Dr. Georges, thank you so much for joining me here today. And welcome.


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:01:33]

And Dr. Strickland, thank you so much for having me. And I’m excited to I’m really excited to talk about the whole doctoral experience and postdoctoral experience.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:01:42]

Yeah, a lot of our folks are like, you know, I get on podcast, I do other things. And I don’t get to go back and reminisce.


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:01:49]

Exactly. I just told my husband, I’m like, I’m going to talk about something unique today.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:01:55]

So I want to let everybody know, before we get started, the episode today is being brought to you by Dissertation Done. We help adult doctoral students through the dissertation process. So if you feel like well, first of all, if you know that you’re going to be approaching the dissertation process at some point soon, get some help to get some, you know, be proactive about it. I’ll tell you that’s the way that people shortcut this process the most is by starting with, hey, listen, I’ve never done a dissertation before, I’m probably gonna need some help. You can reach out to us at We’ll have a conversation and see if we might be able to help you fast track your dissertation. But if you are like a lot of our students and your stop you know slowed, stalled or just playing stuck in the process, again, reach out to us And we’ll see if we can get you back on that fast track to graduation. And if by any chance you’re like Dr. Georges, or, or myself and you’ve finished your doctoral degree, but you want to get your expert message out there, the best way to do that is by becoming a published author, and we help folks go from a blank page to a published author in less time than you can imagine. You can find out about that So that’s the commercial. Now Dr. Georges again, welcome.


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:03:04]

Well, that was great. Oh, that’s that’s like really awesome to help people with books to


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:03:10]

I tell you. So I have a confession time here. I don’t know if I’ve ever told anybody on this podcast, but for years and years and years, so I my degree is actually in business. And one of the things they teach you in business is that the first sale is the hardest sale. So when you have a new customer, you know, the first time you sell them something, that’s the toughest, and then they know like and trust you they know that you’ve actually been doing things for them in your life. They like it, they want more of you. And with Dissertation Done, it’s like join another doctoral degree.


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:03:40]

Good boy,


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:03:41]

because once I get you know,


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:03:42]

no one really does, right.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:03:45]

Like bite size chunks. I know that people see the problem in front of them. They don’t see the next 10 behind that problem, right. And so instead of setting somebody up for coming back and asking for more help, or being frustrated, because oh, I paid this guy money, and he didn’t give me the graduation, that’s what we do. We go from here to graduation. Once you got your degree, I’ve kind of made myself obsolete in your life. Until within the past couple of years, we started this thing of actually when the pandemic hit, we started telling people you know what, so many people are like anesthetize themselves to Netflix. Why don’t you do something when everybody wakes up out of this coma? They’re gonna be like, where did the year go? And you’re going to be like, I don’t know, I became a published author. What were you doing?


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:04:29]

I love that.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:04:31]

That’s, that’s what we that’s what we did. We got some folks who, who really buckled down their dissertations. And we got some folks that that wrote their books. And that’s been a blast because we don’t have to deal with dissertation committees.


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:04:43]

Oh, yeah. You don’t have that with a book. Oh, yeah.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:04:46]

So there’s a lot of other things you have to deal with the book because we spent all this time turning folks into, you know, these automatons that that speak academic walk you know that you know, that nobody ever reads a dissertation. Even the committee members that are paid to do it. I don’t know how often they actually read it.


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:05:02]

I doubt it


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:05:06]

You’re writing a book for people to read, you’ve got to do it differently. So that’s been an interesting thing.


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:05:12]

I’d love to talk more about that. I know we’ve chatted about that in another conversation, but I’d love to chat about that. Oh, yeah, that’s the topic.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:05:19]

That’s something that folks are interested in. But tell me tell me what your thoughts are.


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:05:25]

Yeah, um from the standpoint of writing a book after, yeah, I mean,


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:05:31]

yeah. After all the indoctrination like literally, that is where that word came from?


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:05:35]

Oh, yeah.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:05:36]

I needed to write a certain way. And then when you get out into the world, if you’re not going to continue to publish in academia, you got to unlearn that and learn how to talk to people, like people again.


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:05:45]

Oh, God, you know, it was crazy, because I finished my dissert—so I finished my dissertation in my doctoral degree in 2003. And I was still in mode of writing, right? You know, you’re so used to you’ve been writing for such a long, writing papers and other things, too. And then you’ve probably been working on this dissertation for at least a couple of years. So I was like, I want to write a book. You know, I was in a counseling psychology program, I had, you know, been spending those years doing practical and field work with clients. And I felt like I’ve learned so much from that experience about people and the inner workings of human being. And I wanted to write about it. I was like, Oh, I want to write my thing out, right. And so I probably finished I defend dissertation, I would say that it was a week or two later, I sit down at my computer, and I just start typing. And in in a day or two, I can’t remember specifically it was it was over the span of a day or two. I type up 17 pages of a book. And then I stopped, and then I stopped for a long time. I didn’t start yet until 2015.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:06:59]

So go back, what was the you said? 2003?


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:07:02]

Uh, huh.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:07:04]

Michael written a book in that period of time, maybe?


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:07:07]

Oh, my God. I mean, and in that,


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:07:09]

What was it that that caused you to start? And and I mean, 17 pages is not bad. That’s there’s something there. So what? What caused you to not pick it up and continue?


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:07:21]

I think that I didn’t know I was burnt out after dissertation until I started writing that book. Yeah. And then I then burnout hit me. So hard core that I whatever ideas, brain power, creativity were necessary to write, they left me after.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:07:41]

I think the answer to that we talk to our this is what we talk to our authors about, first thing and our dissertation students. In fact, the reason why I’m helping people with both of these things is there actually is a fairly transferable skill, writing a dissertation versus writing your published work. The difference, there are differences. But But a lot of the main driving the components to getting it done are very similar the underlying philosophies and strategies. And the thing I tell folks to do with their dissertation, as well as what their book is, you need to know why. So for the dissertation, most of our students, the reason why is I want my doctoral degree so that I can go out and help people in some specific way. One of the guys who was on my podcast a while back, he was at our summit and, and he’s considering joining us for a book that we’re going to be doing here soon, a big collaborative thing. He was like them yesterday, and he was saying, if you say you, you tell me you’re getting a doctoral degree to help people, I don’t want to hear it. You can go be a garbage man, or you can go be a maitre d’hotel at a restaurant and help people that what you want to do, and people like, well, it’s not what I want to do my doctoral degrees, like, fine, yes, those are good people doing good work that we need. Yeah. So I don’t want to, you know, undercut that those efforts at all. The point is, you need to have a specific thing in mind that you want to do. That drives you, that you’re passionate. So if you want to help people, you know, in your church to, to to, you know, be better volunteers or better leaders. Okay. That’s something specific, if you want to, you know, help me out. One of the people that I’ve talked to recently helps men overcome trauma situation. Domestic abuse, man is not what we think about a whole lot necessary. Happens. That’s a specific thing. And one of our, one of the folks that was on my summit, he works with a conversational AI in an anthropomorphic robot, so it looks like a mannequin sort of thing. Apparently, they keep adding physical abilities to it. So it’s going to be able to walk and things like that it can move its head, and, to me Funny enough, roll its eyes. Like if you say something that deserves an eye roll, you might get it from this thing. Well, he’s trying to teach an AI how to be ethical, and how to, you know how to interact with people so that maybe you can get One of these days, there’ll be an AI for your grandma. And it will remind her to take her medicine. And when she wants to tell the story for 337 times, they’ll be like, no. But also be able to ethically let folks know, hey, grandma doesn’t remember, she told me the story yesterday, if you hear things like that, so lots of cool things that can be done with that. A lot of people are already saying, I would never want that robot hanging over my shoulder all the time. It’s creepy. It’s uncanny valley kind of stuff. So I can understand what they’re saying. I think it’s cool. But I’m a particular type of geek. So. But anyway, yeah, we do what you want to do. And you have to know your reason why. So important. And when you’re doing your own book with the dissertation, it’s this twofold thing when you’re doing your book, you got to know two reasons why. you got to know your reason why, and you got to know their reason why, there’s got to be a reason why they’re going to pick up the book. Because just because you liked the message and wanted to get it out there doesn’t mean they need the message or think they need the message or whatever. So it’s got to be something that tickles their fancy as well, gets the wheel spinning for them. So I’m guessing it was somewhere in in that reason why thing that you weren’t on fire about the next thing, because you can roll from a dissertation straight into another thing. But if it felt like, I’m used to writing, I’m just going to keep writing. That’s the burnout thing that was gonna hit.


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:11:26]

Yeah, it wasn’t as for me, it may be just wasn’t the right timing. But, but the right time it came eventually.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:11:36]

And that’s the thing too, you know, when when you’re ready, you know? Nice thing about writing kind of an expert book is that you, you know what you’re talking about. You don’t have to do a whole lot of research. Some people do. But most people honestly, they don’t want to read all the research, they just want to know, what do you know, and how can you help me?


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:11:56]



Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:11:58]

But okay, so after a little while, inspiration struck? How did the process go at that point?


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:12:05]

So, um, you know, uh, basically, you know, started working 2003, after, you know, after finishing the doctoral degree, and I guess that was really, you know, I was, I was young, I was a straight through her. So I was 27, when I finished the doctorate, I started working full time, and I kind of threw myself into work because I’d been in school, like my whole life. And so this was, I think, that was another big piece of it was I was fortunate enough to finish the doctoral degree and start start a job. Actually, before technically, or right after graduating, it was within a couple of weeks. So there wasn’t really like a transition period. And so I threw myself into work. And I did that for many years.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:12:52]

What was work at that point?


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:12:53]

Work. Yeah, work was, um, you know, work was not what I got went to school for.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:13:01]

But um, school for what was it psychology or what was it? Yeah.


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:13:04]

So when I started, maybe I’ll go back there. So when I, when I started, when I was in, you know, high school, I, you know, I knew going back to I wanted to help people, right. So I knew I wanted to do something in the helping professions. And I, ironically, was kind of going between English and psychology because I also wanted to write, I knew I wanted to write, that was a passion. So I ended up choosing psychology as you know, psychology in college. I did some work with teenagers in foster care, I really loved it. I said, You know what, I think that I might want to work with teens and families. And that was my plan when I went to graduate school. So I did my masters first and then I did my doctoral degree. And when I was in the doctoral program, that was the plan, I thought, Okay, I’m going to work with teens and families, either at some, you know, an agency or nonprofit or, you know, maybe inpatient outpatient, I wasn’t really sure. So, I, early in the, in the program, I had an opportunity where I basically asked my advisor if she knew any opportunities to do that to work with teens and families. She said, Well, I’m not aware of anything like that that’s on campus or close by. But my friend and colleague over at University Career Services is looking for an intern. And I was gracious. I was like, Oh, thank you so much. And I’ll set up that meeting and I walked out of there and was like, What the heck is that? I don’t want to take that. Sad. No. and no, I got set up that meeting. And it changed my life completely. So basically, what happens is I fall in love with working with college students, and I’m like, wow, I could totally work in student affairs. I love this work. And I fell in love with writing resumes and doing career counseling, career coaching. So and that was, you know, that was in 1998. So, it was the first year of my doctoral program and basically transition, you know, I have? Well, there’s so many things that happened we could talk about during the doctoral program, but basically, that, you know, leads me, you know, in the, in the direction of working with college students. So when I graduated, that’s what I did, I got, my first position was as an EOF counselor, which is the Educational Opportunity Fund program. Many states have them in, in New Jersey. It’s called EOF, and it’s for low income, first generation college students. And you get to do personal counseling, academic counseling, Educational Planning, Learning Assistance, financial counseling, you name it, it was career counseling, it was one of the best jobs you could ever have. And I absolutely loved it. So I threw myself into work. And that kind of path, you know, took me. So you the year years go by, and that book is sitting in, like, you know, sitting like a weight on my shoulders. I’m sure many folks who you’re both writing a dissertation or or thinking about a book can relate to the feeling of, it’s like sort of hovering over you at all times.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:16:09]

Yeah, one of the things that I talked to some some of our students about is if you’ve ever seen the commercials on TV for Snickers, candy bars, they have one where there’s like this little kid and these great big huge football flat packs. All these huge football players are standing around and saying, you know, like, like, you know, here, here, James have Snickers. And he takes a bite of the Snickers, and he grows up to be this great big, huge football player. And a little tagline is like you are not you when you’re hungry. Eat a Snickers bar. Well, I think you’re not you when you’re working on your dissertation.


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:16:39]

Oh, my God


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:16:40]

The dissertation done? Because it’s Yeah. And one of our students when I asked, follow up a little bit after they graduate, like, okay, what’s the best part of being done? And he said, Dr. Strickland, I got my life back. That that was one of those, like, I always know is helping people in and letting them move on to other things, and a transition and all that kind of stuff. But that one, just like tore right through to my heart. I was like, that’s really what I’m doing here, is helping people get their lives back. A sense of not just your life, but it’s your new life is the life you had always, for yourself, that now is available to you. So.


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:17:22]

You know, again, as much as we really do have to try to enjoy the process of anything we’re doing. It’s hard, you know, you’re juggling a lot of different things. And I think, you know, at any stage of life that looks different. But when you’re juggling a million different things, it can feel like you’re kind of in this Limbo state, it feels like you’re in this sort of in between, I remember feeling like I was waiting for life to begin, you know, if, if I, if I had it to do again, I would probably attempt to change my perspective. But that’s what it that’s how I saw it, I saw it as a limbo,


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:17:57]

just to own that, that. That you’re talking about, as I see it, there’s two ways that you can do it, you can enjoy the process, which I that’s my advice for most of life. But there are certain times when you should just get something done, you know, just put your head down, get it done. This is one of those things that I think for the students that we deal with, you should just get it done, folks that want to be in academia and do research for the whole lives and that sort of thing. Enjoy the process. This is your life this is trying to do, you’re not moving to something else. This isn’t a transition in the same sense. It’s a transition. And they’re going to call you a student. And then they’re going to call you a doctor and a postdoc, and all the other thing. Like in academia, but it’s not a real transition. It’s a progression for you. For these other folks. We’re moving from, you know, pre Doc, to postdoc, and when you have your doctoral degree, you’re going to be an expert, you’re gonna be helping people in different ways and doing different things. So my advice for those who choose to follow is just push through this thing, get this thing done and move on. Don’t worry about enjoying yourself in this process. That’s going to take more time. I’m a doctor. You want to help people? When I go looking for help? You know, if I’m looking for a high level expert, I look for a doctor, not a doctoral student. You think you want to help people get that credential and get it done? But it’s one of the very few times I would say, don’t worry about enjoying yourself, worry about, you know, because you can turn what for some people is 345 years and a dissertation to one year, we do that. Some of my folks, you know, eight 910 months is not at all great. It’s fast, but it’s not at all uncommon. My land speed record is like five months, which is


Dr. Colleen Georges  [00:19:41]

Oh, God. That’s incredible. I can’t imagine that. That’s, I mean, wow.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:19:47]

He was in the first cohort in a program a new doctoral program to get people out. They didn’t know quite frankly, what the hell they were doing. So so there was not a lot of structure in the administrative center. I know a lot of people say I want more structure in my program so that I can know what to do. This wasn’t that this was just like, the faculty didn’t have enough structure to know what to do much less to tell the students. And so we were able to produce something that was, you know, the person would say yes to, and they did say yes. After, after a bit of a kerfuffle about statistics, which was kind of funny, the, the person who was approving the paper didn’t understand statistics. And so he wanted to know, why can’t we just get this stuff out of there?  It’s a little, you know, a little statistical analysis of, I don’t want to get into all the details. But anyway, it was a little statistical analysis. And he wants to know, like, well, can’t you just tell me if the two groups were the same or not? That’s how we tell you. Yes. You know, and we tried a little thing I talked to students all the time about asking them, you know, is an inch big. And, and people first of all, they get a little confused. And then they usually answer yes or no. And I always tell them, no, that’s the wrong answer. It’s context. It depends. Yeah,

1 2 3 4 Next

If you need extra support and guidance to make it to graduation, I may be able to help. If you'd like to find out whether you qualify for the support we offer throughout the dissertation process, then...

Let's Talk About Your Dissertation
Dr. Russell W. Strickland

RUSSELL STRICKLAND, Ph.D., has been referred to as a “rocket scientist turned management consultant.” In truth, he applies an eclectic body of work from astronomy and nuclear physics to dynamic inventory management to market research to each of his student engagements.