I’m not exactly sure when it started, or why, but for as long as I remember, I have had low expectations. But that’s not always such a bad thing. As long as you don’t let it stop you from giving it your actual best. That’s one of the reasons I think enjoying the journey, is just as important as you actual goals. Especially if you’re not one to look on the bright side.
But if you already enjoy what you are doing, any results are just unexpected bonuses. Also known as…
When You Don’t Give Yourself Enough Credit
I know what it is like to be your own worst critic. I think I became that way because nobody else wanted to criticize me. The closest people came, was telling me that “I could do better”. Maybe it stuck. Maybe it turned into a permanent belief, a belief that I can always do better. So when I look at something, it is never good enough. But I’ve learned to let go, and just put stuff out there regardless.
I have been trying to make the leap towards becoming a freelance writer for a while now, and I have been unable to give it absolutely 100%, because I had one nagging doubt. What if I’m not good enough? What if, despite what people are telling me, my writing is actually shit? But worrying about that isn’t going to help me, so I keep moving. I keep practicing, and I have started making some efforts.
So yesterday I check my email, and one of the articles I put up on a site called “constant content” a couple of months ago, sold for 30$ yesterday. The way the site works, I only get 20$, but still. Not only was it a pleasant surprise, to a degree, it validated my efforts. If I can lose the middle man, and write as good, or better articles every time, it is actually feasible for me to make a living doing this. To clarify, the rates I have been charging up till now have not been very sustainable.
I already mentioned how I took a test for my Japanese proficiency, the highest level, expected to fail, but passed. What I didn’t tell you, is that I actually worked hard for it. Sometimes it’s easy to dismiss what you do as a pessimist. But looking back now, I realize that it is only natural that I passed.
When People Actually Want To Help
I am pessimistic, so I have always had problems asking for help. Because I somehow have this idea that people are inherently self serving. That if you ask for help, you are somehow setting yourself up for disaster. But after I started blogging and reaching out to complete strangers, I’ve had some weird experiences.
Not only have people cheered me up by handing me (incredibly creative) compliments out of the blue. I have commented about what I am doing, and people have actually offered to help me. When I contacted them through email, they answered my questions, no questions asked(pun intended).
Of course my first instinct as a cynic, is to question “what’s in it for them?” and the best I can come up with, is karma. Honestly I’m just thankful. So thanks to everyone who’s commented, inspired me or helped me out directly by answering my questions. You know who you are!
What are some of the pleasant surprises you have encountered over the years? (You don’t have to be a pessimist to answer!)
Picture by Josh.