How to tell if it’s working?

When you’re working on yourself, it can be easy to overlook the progress you’re making. Sometimes it can feel as if nothing has changed.

It’s not until you find yourself in a challenging situation and you are able to manage it so differently compared to in the past, that you realise the work you have been doing is working.

Perhaps, in situations that feel comfortable you used to default to playing small and hiding away. But, now you find yourself speaking up and allowing yourself to be seen and heard even though you feel nervous.

That’s how you know the work is working.

Changing yourself to progress your career

The workplace can often just feel like one long game with lots of rules. For many people following these rules requires changing perhaps to the point of doing things that you don’t really want to do.

So, how much should you change for the sake of career progression?

If you feel like you have to become someone else or play up to the idea of who people think that you should be to have the career you want, you probably won’t be happy when you get it.

Some people understand the game and are willing to play it whilst others find the cheat codes and figure out how to work things their favour. Then there are the ones who understand the game but aren’t willing to play it and lastly the ones that have no awareness of the game whatsoever.

I have a lot of beliefs about work and the kind of career I want.

In a past experience, after discovering the game and attempting to play it, I realised that I didn’t want to.

If you have to change to progress in your career it’ll only be worth it if you like the person you’re becoming. Playing the game can be fun but it can also be exhausting. It might be for some people but others are better off stopping and finding a place to work with a game they enjoy playing or better yet no game at all.

The manager you need

When it comes to mentors, managers and the people that help support us throughout our careers, we often don’t know what we need.

If you’re like me, the kind of person that needs a push, you’re progress will be hindered by someone that mollycoddles you. Perhaps you need someone that is kind yet stern who will support you but won’t allow you to hide.

Given the choice you would perhaps run from someone that you felt was stern and run towards someone who you felt was ‘nice’ and ‘kind’. Of course those 2 qualities are great but you might need a little more than that.

When it comes to your career, you’ll always have to push yourself to achieve what you want. However, the case may be that the best person to support to along that journey is the person you least expected.

Random passing thought

Sometimes all it takes is to tune into a random passing thought.

Perhaps there is something that has been on your mind for a while or maybe it’s something that you’d totally forgotten about. Either way, you’ll get a thought that serves as a call to action that gives you an idea of what to do next or how to progress with something.

Often, when we feel stuck or we’re not sure what changes we need to make, we think we need to brainstorm, plan and come up with ideas.

We unknowingly try to force something because we feel like we need to know now and that to wait is to waste time.

But your mind is rarely clear when you’re trying to rush something, it’s actually more beneficial to slow down and patient.

Then all of a sudden, something will come to you and you’ll know exactly what you need to do next.

Get the ball rolling

As much as it is easy to remain stagnant it requires much less effort than expected in order to get the ball rolling.

It could be as simple as making a phone call, sending an email or booking something.

We make things much more challenging than they really are by thinking that we have to complete the thing in one giant leap rather than step by step.

We under estimate the power of little by little because we can’t see the bigger picture.

It might start with a phone call but then it moves on to something else and then something else which goes on and on until suddenly you’ve completed the thing you were working towards.

Mid-year goals check-in

Have a look at the goals you set for the year. Go through them one by one and check in to see how things are going. Below are a few ideas to assist with a mid-year goals check-in:

What have you made progress with?

Go through your goals and think about how far you’ve gotten with the plans you made. Perhaps you wanted to try a new recipe each month which you’ve stuck to. Maybe you’ve surpassed that goal and been trying two new recipes a month. When it comes to goals, sometimes you end up overachieving without even realising because it’ something you enjoy or it’s become ingrained in your lifestyle that it now requires less effort.

What no longer resonates?

Maybe in December/January when you were setting your goals you came up with things that simply so longer resonate’. It could be a particular number of countries you wanted to travel to but now you’re focusing on other things. As much as it’s great to achieve you goals, I also think it’s important to know when let them go. If not, you end up holding on too a bunch of things that take time and energy away from what things that still matter to you.

What do you need to start focusing on?

Sometimes there are things that you planned to but have not yet made time for. However, taking the time to reflect means you can make a plan of action on how to begin. Maybe the goal was to read 12 books for the year but half way through 2021 you’ve only managed to read two. You might now decide that in order to reach the goal or at least make better progress you will read a minimum of X pages per day or join a book club.


Doing this reflection allows you to refresh your mind and refocus your energy in order to prioritise what you’re still interested in working towards. You’ll more than likely find that you’ve done more than you thought. However for the things you’re yet to begin, just because you have not yet started doesn’t mean you don’t have enough time. it’s better to start and make a little progress than to do nothing at all

Getting unstuck

Often when we feel stuck or stagnant in life it’s because we aren’t doing the thing that we know we should be doing.

We’re living in a particular place when that we’ve now outgrown, we’re going to places out of habit doing things that we once enjoyed even though we’re no longer having fun or we’re eating things that don’t make us feel good even when we know better.

Often when we’re in these situations we’re unable to see what the issue is or what may be worth changing. It’s also much easier to complain about how you feel than it is to take active steps to make your life better. You might be bored, unfulfilled and feel empty yet you do nothing about it and sometimes that’s because you haven’t even figured out what needs to change.

Focus on the good bits

It’s probably true that in almost any situation there is something negative, difficult, disheartening or unfortunate that you could focus on.

And focusing on those things will rarely make you feel good so why not instead just focus on the good bits. Focus on the bits that bring you joy, make you happy and make you excited about life.

It’s not that you should ignore things that need sorting out or just put your head in the clouds. However, sometimes having the kind of perspective where you focus on the good bits allows you to see the not so good bits with a level of clarity, this then allows you to move forward and progress.

Change takes time

You can go from making grand plans one day to forgetting why you wanted to change your life the next.

It can be hard to shake the unhelpful habits that bind you to your past self. Even though you know they don’t benefit you and that you should change them, you can’t.

And it’s not that you haven’t tried, you just haven’t been able to make any real long term change.

Maybe somedays you find yourself questioning whether you should even bother trying to change at all.

But change takes time and if you really want it, the effort it takes will always be worth it.

Could Instagram Guides replace blogging?

From November 17th, you may have noticed a new feature on Instagram, Guides.

Guides allow users to ‘find, curate and share the products, places and posts you love’. They can feature your own content or the content of others. Tech Crunch have a good article that explains things in more detail.

Aside from captions this feature is the first that allows users to create longer form content similar to a blog post.

It could be considered as an easier way to create blog posts that are based around shopping, pictures and recommendations. In fact, it’s likely to become what many creators will turn to and what many brands will start paying creators for.

On the other hand, for a blog that is focused on the words, where the images aren’t the main focus, guides won’t work as an alternative.

It will be interesting to see who uses this new feature and how. It will also be interesting to see the blogs this feature may end up replacing.