I’ve been thinking a lot lately about optimism and what it can do for you.
I’ve spent the last several years in a job that has paid the bills but has never made me feel passionate or excited about my work, and I’ve recently made the decision to cut back my hours and use my new extra days to pursue a strictly freelance career. I’ll be giving up company-paid health insurance, profit sharing, 30 percent of my vacation and sick time, and the stability of a full-time job – not to mention the dramatic reduction in income I’m about to face. Given the current economy (which EVERYONE keeps reminding me about), I’m putting myself in a scary, scary position.
And I AM scared. I’m really scared. But you know what else I am?
For the first time in my life, I’m taking charge of my own future and not letting fear dictate my next move. I’m taking a huge chance and all I can see is the opportunity of it all.
That’s kind of an awesome place to be.
I won’t lie, there are times when I ask myself What on Earth are you doing? and my pulse races a little when I realize that the answer is, I don’t really know. But whenever those feelings of fear and uncertainty start to take over, I force myself to step back, take a deep breath, and repeat this to myself, over and over:
It’s going to be a great year!
As I begin networking and putting myself out there for others to meet and hire, I’m trying to let that optimism seep into everything I do. I want the people I deal with to FEEL it. I want them to know how excited I am to be doing this, how happy I am to be in charge of my own career and life for the first time since I started working a zillion years ago. I want them to know that my optimism will extend to the work I do – and not in a cheesy, over-the-top way, but in a Wow-this-writing-is-fantastic! kind of way.
I want them to know that I’m passionate about this career path I’ve chosen, and even if the work I do for them comes on a small scale I’m still glad to be doing it, because for me it’s all about independence and learning and growing and CONNECTING with others.
If they feel that from me, they’ll WANT me on their team – and there’s no place I’d rather be.
This optimism I’m feeling is doing more than just easing my fears. It’s making me happy. It’s motivating me to start taking more chances and really putting myself out there in a way I never have before. It’s opening me up to ALL possibilities. And I think it’s making me a better writer, too.
It really IS going to be a great year!