What is Scarlet Thinking?

What is Scarlet Thinking?

Scarlet Thinking For Workplace and Career Goals


Scarlet Thinking is something I devised myself for a problem I had. It’s a bit of a paradox, as it wasn’t really a problem as everything was okay. The trouble was that was the problem. Everything was just “okay”. I didn’t have to motivate myself, wasn’t in any difficult situations I had to use my intellect to solve and had no one breathing down my neck to force me to do anything. Sounds great, doesn’t it? In one way it was, and it certainly was a much needed rest after some difficult years.

But it was boring. Seriously boring. Which made me feel I was being ungrateful. Which then made me feel guilty. So, it wasn’t okay really, deep down.

I tried a few things, half-heartedly. Tried revving up my business as it was, putting the hours in and revamping my website. It helped a bit but when something is wrong you can’t just fix it with a few superficial actions.

So, I designed myself some Scarlet Thinking. I began to:

Force myself out of my comfort zone: the biggest way for me to do this was go back to Uni to do an MSc. This was huge, not just because I actually doubted whether I could still produce decent academic work, but deliberately juggling a business, a degree and life as a single parent seems a bit of a crazy decision. However, in all honesty, it has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. It has introduced me to a whole new field, flexed my intellectual muscles (which were getting little use beforehand) and I feel much more confident and motivated. I’ve also met some great people!

First step, get out of that comfort zone

First step, get out of that comfort zone

Read more motivating material: when I first started my business I read acres of inspiring and helpful material: self help books, how to websites, business non-fiction. Somewhere along the way I smugly thought that I didn’t need them anymore, and perhaps I didn’t then, but returning to this kind of literature (and podcasts) has given me a massive kick up the backside. I am learning from people’s stories, successes and loving it.

Keep an eye on my goals: I’ve always been great at setting goals but have often let them slide, saying things like “there’s no hurry, it will happen in the end,” or just writing them in a notebook and forgetting them altogether. I’ve now committed to a small number of goals and read through them every day. Each morning I make sure that some of the things I do are contributing towards them. This is actually quite hard because there’s a lot of other non goal orientated things I need to be doing, and it’s often difficult to make a call on what actions are going to the most helpful. In the end though, it’s all about doing something.

Assess your to-do lists against your goals

Assess your to-do lists against your goals

Assess the day: I now spend a few minutes at the end of each day thinking about five things that went well and asking myself why that was. They’re not always work goals. Sometimes they’re about getting to my dance and yoga classes or my relationships with my children. What this has done has helped me recognise what actions lead to successful results. And…surprise surprise…a lot of the time it’s about just doing stuff, ticking things off my to do list and flexing those muscles for getting sh** done that had gone a bit flabby.

Pick up the phone: I love my friends, colleagues and fellow business owners I’ve met along the way, but I decided it was time to widen my circle. First thing I had to do was pick up the phone and connect, or force myself to go to events I wouldn’t normally consider on top of my existing commitments. This is probably the most challenging from a practical perspective, but has been the most fun. I’m making it my mission to connect and get to know strong, interesting people who inspire action, especially if they’re what I call Scarlet Thinkers: people who think like the above, naturally.

So, Scarlet Thinking came about as a way of getting my out of my “okay”. I don’t know where it’s taking me but I do know that the journey is going to be a hell of an interesting one! I hope that some of the above may help you if you’re feeling stuck or in need of some motivation, or why not think about what you need and devise your own “Scarlet Thinking?”

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