Unexpected advice (that actually works) on how to reach your goals

Self-Work is a newsletter by Marcella Chamorro that takes you from stuck to thriving in 5 minutes or less, with strategies to help you show up feeling your best — and deliver your best work, too.

You're living in the gap.

(No, not the clothing store.)

The gap between where you are and where you want to be.

You're not alone in there — we're ALL in the gap.

Standing here in the present, looking far off at our goals and dreams. And we need help crossing that chasm.

But not everyone views this chasm the same way.

  1. Some individuals resign themselves to never crossing: it's unattainable, trying is useless.
  2. Others view it as an inevitable journey: it's just a matter of some measure of time and effort.

What sets these two groups apart?

A force that's not often talked about — least of all in a business context:


Hope is the catalyst that propels you across the chasm, pushing you to go beyond what you thought was possible. It's what allows you to maximize your performance in every area of your life: as a parent / friend / creator / operator / leader.

And that's not all.

Hope also has a profound impact on your inner experience. It nurtures your mental and emotional well-being, which, in my opinion, matters even more than your output. (Don't tell your boss. 😉)

But most of the time, we don't even realize when we've lost hope.

It's like we can't see the flame is flickering and needs to be reignited. 🕯️

That's why today, I want to lay out why hope is worth paying attention to and how you can use it to your advantage.

Today, you'll learn:

  • Why hope is an effective work tool (not just reserved for children's books)
  • How increasing your hope impacts your work (and your life)
  • Examples of entrepreneurs who've put their hope to work for them, resulting in bajillions of dollars
  • Some of the best strategies to increase your hope levels

Hope Matters (Especially At Work)

We grew up with hope as a central theme of children's books, where characters hold onto dreams and believe in magical possibilities.

But hope isn't limited to fiction and fantasy — it's a powerful work tool, too.

Every business book that has ever topped the bestseller lists has one purpose in common:

To build up your hope for a better future.

Because without that, why even bother learning something new, applying your learnings to your work, or even trying to grow within your career?

When you have hope, you TRY.

Hope at work looks like:

  • Motivation to find new courses and mentors to learn from
  • Determination to apply your learnings to your projects and courageous conversations
  • Resilience to try again when an experiment doesn't go your way
  • Innovating and leaning into your creativity instead of doing things the traditional way
  • Healthy appetite for risk

Hope gives ENERGY. ⚡

And that spills over into other areas of your life, improving your relationships, well-being, and overall sense of fulfillment.

Hope is the ultimate upward spiral that elevates your life. 🌀

On the flip side, sitting back and dwelling on problems sounds like an episode of The Office to me. Funny to watch, but kind of miserable to experience.

Between the two, which would you choose?

Why We Lose Hope

I understand firsthand how hardships at work can cut down your sense of hope in a heartbeat.

Dealing with a toxic boss last year, my hope was nearly extinguished. Taking action, though, brought it back to life, when I made the decision to plan my exit and pursue coach training, offering me something incredible to look forward to.

Everyone's experience is different, and I hear all kinds of stories about losing hope in coaching sessions:

  • Making a hiring mistake
  • Not meeting a quarterly goal
  • A rupture with a cofounder
  • Feeling lost with an assigned task

The impact of losing hope is profound, affecting both your professional and personal life.

And the gap between where we are and where we want to be feels much larger when our hope levels are depleted.

As an executive coach, it's interesting to witness: most clients that come to me have enough hope and agency to know they can make a positive change in their lives, but they also have lost enough hope to reach out for outside support.

I'm curious:

Where do you currently fall on that spectrum? How are your hope levels right now? 🔋 or 🪫

People Who Thrive Leverage Hope

When I interview founders for my podcast, when I watch the news, when I buy new products, I recognize hope as the undercurrent that's moving all these movers and shakers forward.

Take Bobbi Brown, who sold her makeup business to Estée Lauder and started her new clean makeup brand Jones Road. One of her products was actually listed as one of Shopify's most popular purchases this Black Friday. 🫨

Or Nathan Barry, who went from a full-time role designing web and mobile apps to selling hundreds of thousands of dollars of ebooks to then founding ConvertKit whose annual revenue tops $40M. 💸

(His episode on my podcast will be live next week!)

And to mention a household name: I know for sure Elon Musk has more than a healthy dose of hope if he thinks we're actually going to live on Mars this century.

If you don't have hope, you won't shoot your shot.

People who thrive leverage their hope to power their hard work, resilience, and a clear vision. When mixed together, all that makes incredible achievements possible.

Strategies To Increase Your Hope

I'm NOT going to share the usual "reach for your dreams" advice here. You can google that, if you'd like, but instead I'd rather share what actually works.

Different strokes for different folks, of course, but I'm happy to share what's worked for me and the people I've collaborated with over the past 15 years.

Let's go.

  1. Cling to your 'why'. When things slow down to a slog or the going gets rough, your why will center you and bring you energy to put one foot in front of the other, one task at a time. Don't lose sight of it for an instant.
  2. Find uplifting resources. Whether it's a podcast or talking to a particular friend, identify what gives you that full-body fizzy hopeful feeling, and then do more of that that — every single day.
  3. Choose energy-giving activities. We all know we need to take care of our health and mental health, but prioritize physical activities that make you feel alive. If that's running, do it. If that's cycling, go for it. (Personally, I prefer jumping on my Versaclimber and jamming to hip hop music. 🤷‍♀️)
  4. Run postmortems, on everything. When something goes wrong, take quick notes on what contributed to the negative outcome, so you can come away with practical steps to avoid a similar situation in the future. Turning L's into Lessons.
  5. Celebrate progress. Each milestone needs careful acknowledgement. Without celebration, wins blend together and it can start to feel like a never-ending treadmill of work. Recognizing progress reinforces your belief in your abilities and fuels further hope.

Now, what works for you might differ from this list, but I trust this list is a powerful way to get started.

And remember:

More than wishful thinking, hope is a force that propels you to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

Your dreams are unique as you are — leverage hope to bring them to life.

My New Course Is Live!

After much hard work, Courageous Conversations is now LIVE. And since you're subscribed to this newsletter, you get first access.

This course is a fit for you if:

  • You want to navigate difficult conversations with confidence and ease, so even the most challenging interactions are more successful and way less awkward.
  • You want to stop avoiding difficult convos out of fear – being disliked, starting arguments, or unintentionally hurting relationships.
  • You want to strengthen connections with the people that matter, unlock growth opportunities, and improve your work. (Especially your work.)

I created this course because I've witnessed how courageous conversations are the fastest and best way to take your work and life to the next level.

To celebrate, I have a little launch gift just for you 🎁

Use code "dimples1313" for 20% off.

(Because that was my AIM screenname. 😉)

That coupon code will expire over the weekend, so run don't walk.

Not to mention the holidays are rife with difficult conversations, so pick up the courageous conversations skills now!

I can't wait to see you in there. 👏

That's all for this edition

Coming off of Thanksgiving weekend, I wanted to take a moment to extend my gratitude to you for reading this newsletter and being a part of my journey. I'm so grateful to be part of yours, too.

This was my view at Thanksgiving dinner, a fitting image for a newsletter edition on hope, don't you think? 🌈

Wishing you all the best as we head into the last month of the new year and a bright new year ahead.

You got this. ✌️

All the best vibes ✨

Marcella Chamorro

Mental Health Coach + Executive Coach

Marcella Chamorro

Marcella is mindset coach for award-winning tech teams and an experienced marketing leader with a track record of successful creative ventures focused on mental health. She's worked with both thriving venture-backed organizations and wildly profitable bootstrapped companies to maximize their work performance and well-being.