Read this post over here. "Some Guy" is actually David Mantripp, and David is an occasional reader here, and basically a good guy, as far as I can tell. So I am going to use his problem as a jumping off point and, who knows, maybe lend a hand! Hi David, and thanks!
David's problem is that he's taken some education from some lovely people, who have a lot of specific suggestions about what to do. Often these suggestions are contradictory, which certainly creates a problem of sorts, eh? Peel back a layer. David's problem is that he's got the cart before the horse, and I suspect his workshop teachers do as well. How so?
The goal here appears to be to make a good picture and then make it even better in post without having a notion of what good picture. All this business about flipping the picture to check balance is a bit of a tell. Really, who gives a shit about balance? I don't. Balance is a thing, but it's not an unalloyed good thing any more than blue is a good thing. It's just a property of the picture.
What David lacks is a firm goal. What are you trying to do with this damned picture, what's the point? Lacking a particular goal, we can always fall back on the good old Ansel Adams goal of expressing what your honest emotional reaction to being there was. Sure, you could probably make a great essay about gender dynamics in the modern workplace out of your Iceland pictures, but honestly it's probably easier just to try to recreate what it was like to be in Iceland. The material is gonna fit that target pretty well, most likely.
So what was it like, David? (and not just David, all you folks in the cheap seats should follow along) Take some time. Get out a notebook. Write. Think. What was it like to be in Iceland? (or, if you really want to do gender dynamics, think very very hard about that topic for a while). Get your target sorted out, thoroughly. Not as a particular visual, just as a feeling, a flavor, an analogy. A list of words, an essay, a description of the way it smelled, a charcoal sketch, I don't care what it came out to for you, but you have to figure that out.
Now, and only now, start looking again at the work of your mentors, and at your own work. Try hard to avoid thinking about post-processing steps, about details, about technique. Just look at the pictures with a clear mind, thinking only of the pictures, and of your concept. Absorb, spongelike. Think about things. What resonates, what doesn't? Try to visualize in broad strokes what your pictures need to look like. Not in terms of "the clarity slider should be..." but "soft" or "sharp" or "dark".
One of two things will, eventually, happen. Either you will see the visual treatment you need, or you won't.
In the former case, now all you need to do is translate the visual treatment to a set of steps involving things like clarity sliders. But that's a technical problem, and beyond the scope of this tirade.
If you don't see the treatment, well, you can keep trying or you can give up. Keep looking at other work, and revisiting your own, though. It could happen. Maybe you took the wrong pictures all along, though? Next time you go, you'll know what to shoot. And good luck!