NPW Self Curious: Why your success doesn’t need to go viral

Are you having a productive week? I really hope so.

I’ve been writing this blog for nearly two months now, and it’s been a productive endeavour.
On the face of it, there are reasons to say it’s not doing that well. That it isn’t producing great results. I don’t get that many retweets when I post about it. I’m not convinced my posts on insta result in that many clicks through to the articles.

Metricswise, you could say that it isn’t hitting targets.
(By the way, we don’t have any targets – we just want to make you feel more you and more able to be fantastic at what you choose to do, you brilliant bunch of changemakers.)

We’re living in an age of measured kudos. Data conquers all, and that very often means that we choose to assess our impact in terms of likes and not in terms of whether we effect real change.
Techno-feedback is virtually instant. It can be impersonal, it can be overwhelming, and the silence when it doesn’t come can be deafening.

We make ourselves vulnerable by giving something of ourselves to the world: a new business venture in the marketplace, 45 minutes speaking on a panel or a #shareyourrejection tweet (I think Arianna Huffington’s is my favourite). The anxiety about that piece of us not hitting the spot is felt so much more deeply when we don’t receive the immediate feedback of dinging notifications.

Here’s some feedback I have had since starting the blog and #weeklynudge posts that didn’t come in the form of the little heart icon at the top of my phone screen:
“I did something different as soon as I read Self Curious and it’s changed my approach to prioritising my tasks. I get much more done.”
“Just been doing some mentoring and #NPWSelfCurious was perfectly suited to help in a chat about feedback.”
“Thank you! I had the first ever run where I’ve not spent most of the route thinking negative thoughts.”

So if it’s okay, I’m going to try not to care how many likes, retweets and followers this little weekly bit of myself attracts. The enemy of curiosity is worrying what other people think.

One of the #weeklynudge activities I did on twitter was to listen to a song first thing in the morning (you can subscribe to my start and end the day playlists here). I asked on twitter for suggestions and one great one was “Make Your Own Kind Of Music” by The Mamas and Papas. You can listen on the playlist, or look up the lyrics online. The whole song is a manifesto to getting out there and Just. Doing. You.

It’s tough to keep up your commitment to what you believe is your best self without praise and encouragement. My post on getting down with the prickles of giving and receiving praise is a good place to start if you’d like to spread a bit more encouragement around.

One of the great things about social media is that it’s a great place to tell someone they’re on the right track. To support them. To amplify their good bits. And to feel part of something amazing – a world that we can leave a little better than we found it, if we’re brave enough.

This week, when wondering if something is worth doing, ask yourself this: could my action make a positive change for someone? Then be brave and take a risk that it might not make your phone ding.

Claire Eadington geeks out on workflow management, performance and wellbeing. Claire’s TEDx talk about barriers to performance for exceptional women kicked off the 2017 TEDxWhitehallWomen event in London.

Claire writes a weekly blog, Self Curious, on NPW’s website.
Read more blogs here.



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