It’s easy for me to get in the hum of routine and stop challenging myself. Recently, I decided to get uncomfortable. Was I doing my best? Trying my hardest? Making the most of this amazing opportunity? Asking myself enough rhetorical questions?
The answer, if I was honest, was no.
But I didn’t stop there! I wallowed in my self-pity for just a moment and then decided to do something about it. In fact, five somethings.
1. Take five.
Reflect on your experiences regularly. Doing well? Keep it up. If you find yourself taking BuzzFeed quizzes at your desk (for the record, I don’t!), see if you’re performing your role at a high level. If you are, reach out to the people around you and help them or shadow their work.
It’s also a good idea to check in with your supervisor to discuss your progress. If you’re excelling, your boss will only be more impressed that you care enough to keep up. It’s a good way to gain more responsibility too. If you’re not functioning at your best… well, you still have enough time to make a change.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
Don’t allow other other’s behavior to cloud your self-perception. Some people don’t handle stress well and snap. That isn’t your problem. You shouldn’t let anyone disrespect you but if you’re comporting yourself professionally, focus on that.
3. Follow through.
Even if no one really expects you to get something done, make it happen. If that means asking for help or researching, do it. Once you’ve completed your task, follow up to confirm you did it right. You’ll be the go-to-gal in no time.
4. Be assertive.
If you believe you have the ability to do more, prove it. When the time calls for it, speak up for yourself. You’re always your biggest advocate so make you shine!
5. Try harder.
I’m mildly obsessed with Ann Curry (I even quote her in my Twitter bio). I love her personal story and I admire the wide range of her career. She’s done local news, the Today Show, Dateline, Nightly News, and recently, documentaries on climate change and the use of Twitter in diplomacy talks between the US and Iran. And though she’s intelligent, beautiful, and talented… that isn’t what she attributes her success to. In an essay to students, she writes:
I think it’s incredibly heartening to know that often, persistence (and of course, those other factors definitely help) is what counts. Up to a point, I can’t really do much about my face or brains. But something I do have in my control is my tenacity – and I will always work harder to achieve my dreams.