We’re all feeling a little stuck: stuck inside, stuck in the unknown, stuck wondering what’s next for our career and personal progression.
People are both mentally and physically exhausted, struggling to find the motivation needed to maintain momentum and keeping moving forward. It is difficult to differentiate between home life and work life, and many are finding it hard to prioritise what’s important in the long-term.
Don’t panic! We’re all feeling this way. So firstly – don’t be too hard on yourself. This has been a weird time for everyone and it’s understandable if motivation is hard to find, but that doesn’t mean we can’t break the cycle. You have a responsibility to yourself to be your own motivator and instil a change in your own attitude to your progress.
It’s time to take action!
If you’re currently unsure of where you are heading or what your progression looks like, here are some steps to help you start taking charge of your situation in both the short- and long-term.
Define what you really want
In order to become ‘unstuck’, it’s important to visualise where you actually want to go! We recently held a personal development workshop for some of our Women in Bids and Proposals (WIBAP) members that focused on this, starting with some ‘big picture’ questions, including:
- What do you really want to achieve?
- Are you currently in the mindset to achieve these goals?
- What might you need to do differently to make sure you don’t hinder your own progress?
- What other aspects of your life are important to you right now?
Once you have an idea about where you’d like to be, you can define the steps needed to get there. If you need a little help with this part, we have a dedicated advice forum on the WIBAP website – brilliant people, with brilliant ideas, who would love to help!
Write it down
Sometimes putting pen to paper and actually committing yourself to taking action can really drive a shift in mentality. So make a list! Everyone knows how much I love a list – it will give you clarity and purpose. Also, the feeling you get when items start getting crossed off will give you even more encouragement to keep going.
Within your bigger goals, set small achievable actions. Don’t overwhelm yourself with just the huge, end-goal targets; you’ll be more inclined to lose focus. Divide those larger goals into smaller ones that you can work to and manage.
Why not also find an accountability partner (maybe a friend or trusted colleague) who you can catch up with to check on your progress every so often? This is always a great reminder and driver to not let your plans slip.
As someone who’s more likely to overthink than take spontaneous action, I know how hard this one can be. But sometimes you just need to act and wait for the motivation to follow – which often it will.
I’d also recommend tackling the hardest item on your ‘to do’ list early on. You’ll feel so much better once it’s out of the way.
Don’t forget the positives right in front of you
When you’re aiming for goals, it’s easy to get blind-sided into forgetting all of the great stuff happening now. Are there fantastic achievements happening right now that should be celebrated? It’s important to acknowledge your wins, big or small.
Remember why you started
There are always times where a negative mindset can creep back in. In those moments, remember what’s driving you. Check your original plan and remind yourself why you started in the first place. You know what you want and there are things you can do to make it happen.
Finally, plan time for other important aspects of your life
We so often forget to take care of ourselves, ignoring the little things that matter on our mission to find ‘success’ in life. Remember the last item on the ‘defining what you really want’ list? Perhaps you want to make more time for seeing friends and family this year or maintain a self-care routine you started throughout lockdown.
Self-care is just as important for your mindset! Make self-care a priority within your plan – to really clear your mind, reboot your body and find extra motivation. This will bring an added level of positivity and productivity.
Remember, we’re all taking this one day at a time. But each day is a day closer to emerging from lockdown and achieving our goals. Small steps each day really can make a difference!
This article was written by Charlotte Rees.
Charlotte started her bid and proposals career as one of the world’s first Bid and Proposals Apprentices back in 2013. She has since gained a wealth of bid management experience leading multidiscipline proposals within the IT Services industry and is now a Bid Manager at Mace. As the founder of Women in Bids and Proposals, she is working tirelessly to drive diversity and remove inequalities from the profession.