What’s the greatest obstacle to your success?
Have you ever been sitting on your couch looking for an excuse? Anxious because you are not sure what’s going to happen? Afraid of the unknown? Well, I have been there, multiple times. It happens every single time I get a job. Why do I do it then? Do I dislike them? The answer is no. As a matter of fact, I love being a freelancer. It is what I do. However, every time I get a new offer, I start to get the “I don’t want to go” feeling. Although at my age I have learned to act despite the negative thoughts, with my last freelancer experience, I reflected upon a fundamental truth: we, ourselves, can be the greatest obstacle to our success.
Working on a Kayak story
About two weeks ago I received a text message from a friend saying he recommended me for a photography gig. I called the contact, learned the information, and accepted the work. Nonetheless, as the date got closer, I felt my insecurity grow. Was I prepared to do the job? I had a few experiences already, but I wasn’t sure if my skills would suffice to get everything done. I felt stressed and anxious. As a matter of fact, I partly wished for the job to be canceled.
But it didn’t. Nevertheless, I put my responsibility and my discipline over my insecurity. I tried to remind myself this was my passion. Once in the location, there wasn’t a place for insecurities: I did what I do best; what I love doing. It was my profession. I was not an amateur.
As part of the task I had to do something I had never done before: get into a kayak. I wasn’t going to paddle, of course. In a two-seat kayak, the tour guide would paddle on the back as I took pictures in the front. For an hour and a half, I photographed a group of tourists as they did paddleboarding in the Condado Lagoon in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
What’s the point?
As I said goodbye, I reflected upon the wonderful experienced I had. I had never done kayaking. It was my first time. Better yet, I did kayak while I was earning money. I could enjoy the sun, the water, the wind. I realized if I had canceled the activity, I would have missed such a beautiful experience.
What I mean…
Sometimes, the lack of confidence in ourselves might make us walk away from life-changing experiences. In fact, nobody doubted I was prepared to do the job: not my friend, not the tour guides or the tourists. If I allowed any of my excuses or my anxiety to get in the way, I would have been the only responsible for missing an opportunity to grow, enjoy, and make new contacts.
Therefore, does this mean I won’t feel anxious, stressed, and doubtful the next time I get a call? No. I’ll probably feel the same. However, I’ll put my discipline above my fears as I’ve done up until know and I’ll try to remember that moment in the lagoon.
So, I’m reaching to you, who are doubting your capacity and your talent; you who are sitting on your sofa about to make an excuse. Don’t sabotage yourself. Do it, out of compromise if necessary. Dare to expose yourself and put your talent out there.
Instead of becoming your greatest obstacle, be the first one to believe in yourself.
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