i thought a lot before writing this post. it’s not exactly what you have in mind to share with the world, it’s a bit on the line of “the things i’m afraid to tell you”, but i’m sure that i’m not alone on this, so here it goes! if in the end you think i suck, well too bad, i’m just human and make mistakes! last weekend i was reading this post by the incredible cassie and could not avoid feeling related to her challenges. she’s 26 and she admitted she was completely burned out. and it’s a tough thing to admit to ourselves, let alone the world. but i think that this is so common, that it needs to be shared. and the incredible thing happened, when dozens of readers shared their stories about feeling burned out, or that they had enough of what they’re doing or feeling lost.
the thing is that those of us who decided to follow a creative lifestyle, being freelancers, living the dream of working for ourselves, we also deal with major issues on a daily basis. i wrote about the ups and downs about being a freelancer in november, remember? and lately the thing that has been hitting me is the less positive feedback! how to deal with it? how not to question yourself and your qualities? how not to doubt yourself? how to take that and turning it into something good? well, i call it the growing pains! hard to deal with if you want to do a good job, excel at what you do, but you know you need to go through those issues in order to move on, to learn, to challenge yourself, however the taste is never sweet, but always bitter.
whenever a client says or writes something that is less positive, i always feel like a 5 year-old. i blush and i feel like crawling somewhere i can hide. it’s awful and i feel lousy. i start to think that maybe i’m not that good to be doing this on my own, maybe this is all a stupid thing to do, and i start to question myself. i need time to accept and process what someone told me, and figure out if that person is right or not. yes, because sometimes that person is simply wrong and you need to understand the issue and defend yourself. you also learn from this!
as you know i’m completely self-taught at what i do for a living. it feels great to make a living out of something i taught myself, but that also means that every single day is a challenge. it won’t be with some things, of course, because you learn and start feeling comfortable doing something. but sometimes you feel so overwhelmed by the requests, you want to do your best, and sometimes your best was not enough. or you did something that felt right, but somehow for your client didn’t feel that right and they complain. and you hear them complaining and it sucks! you feel ashamed, small, that you should have known better… but it is what it is. and you just gotta keep movin’!
somehow this also helps you learn a lot about yourself, how you do things, your values and ethics, your point of view, your standards, your customer service… it’s a full learning curve. it’s growing pains. it’s about feeling uncomfortable, but knowing that you’re on the right track! i feel uncomfortable so many times. it’s scary sometimes, but it feels amazing when something is over, delivered and with success and a smile (and a pay check!). and as tina fey believes “say yes and you’ll figure out afterward!“, this will bring you to new challenges, new perspectives, new bumps on the road, but as long as you keep moving, that’s the main thing!