Friday, 31 January 2014

Roadmap to Success

 

A bit of a different post for once!

This week has been a bit of a game-changer, in some surprising ways. On Monday, I went on a two day training course through work called ‘Roadmap to Success’. It was all about working out what your goals were and making a plan to achieve them, and although that sounds good anyway, it was even more enlightening than I was expecting.

The group was all women, as its part of a ‘Women’s Network’ work have organised and it was a mixture of ages and departments etc – some faces I knew, some I didn’t. I went into it with an open mind, but I got much more out of it than I thought possible. The trainer, Julia Regis (find her website here) was so insightful and empowering, and led us through a series of exercises to discover our strengths and passions.

What emerged really clearly for me is that I love to write. I knew this already, but seeing how it connected to everything else I wanted to do was a shock. I’ve never told anyone I know in real life about this blog, and I’ve never promoted it because I didn’t want people to know it was mine.

Examining those feelings, I suppose I felt it was frivolous and not very worthy (negative voice in head: ‘There’s a humanitarian crisis in Syria and you want to write about lipgloss??!). But I’ve realised that’s okay. Not everything has to be war and peace. I can care about politics, art and great works of literature as well. But there’s no shame in something you derive joy it.

It was also limiting me because I was so very aware that there are thousands of beauty blogs out there, and all doing it better than I can. More professional photos, better graphics, more inventive content, glossier lifestyles. But, again, I realised something simple. Just because other people are doing it better than you, doesn’t mean your views aren’t valid. Comparisons to other people are utterly pointless. If they weren’t, no playwright would ever have tried to write after Shakespeare!

So I’m going to do my thing. It might not be the shiniest, or the most informed, but it will be mine. And I actually prefer other blogs that are real and accessible, a bit rough around the edges, to the ones that are super-slick and in a league of their own anyway. It meant so much just to stand up and admit that I love to write, that I write this blog, without having people laugh at me or mock me for caring. I got some amazing encouragement from the other girls on the course who took a look at it as well, which means a lot.

I’m going to commit to posting regularly. I’m going to own up that its mine and promote it more by linking my social media accounts. And I’m going to keep making space in my life to write regularly.

We learned tonnes of other useful stuff as well – everyone’s idea of success was different and everyone got something different out of it, but we all came away feeling empowered and motivated to do well. Powerful stuff!
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