despite the title, this post has zero to do with religion. swearsies.
i have a client for whom my main task is article curation and tweet writing. that’s what i do – i find articles and write tweets based on them, and then they go through two levels of approval.
the first 3 weeks i did this, less than half of my tweets were approved. my client left me notes, we had a feedback phone call. i checked in with other people doing the same work for advice on how to improve. i worked for many more hours than it was supposed to take, trying so, so hard to succeed. and it was right there, just out of my grasp. i could feel it, but i couldn’t just do it.
one batch had something like a 30% success rate, and when i checked in, i just lost it. i burst into tears right at my desk (at my full time job), and i could not help but feel like a complete, abject failure. i was trying my hardest and i could not do it right, i could not succeed. (it’s worth noting that i only get paid for accepted content. that just made everything a little harder).
i came home and talked to the bouncer about how long to keep trying before i gave up, but also how i was enjoying the work and even, despite my disappointment at not being perfect or even, um, good, enjoying the challenge of trying. i said i would at least give it a full month before i re-evaluated. i could barely even open the documents i worked in without welling up because i felt so incapable, but i kept going.
it’s also worth noting that the client was completely kind and encouraging during this whole process, and that she believed i’d catch on and understood that it was a learning process. that someone didn’t matter as much as my feeling of “i am the worst of all time and will never improve at anything ever. womp.”
somehow, out of nowhere, i seemed to hit the magic formula. a batch came back with almost 100% acceptance, and the next one too. fairly consistently since that point, i’ve been doing great. you want to know why i think it finally happened? i chilled out about it. i couldn’t take the emotional aspect of failure anymore so i detached, promising to do my best but to not freak out if i didn’t succeed (hey look, everyone, mental health!) i stopped trying to hit on every “rule” i was supposed to follow and instead went with my gut. i trusted myself, and i elevated myself to a place where whether or not the work got accepted, i was ok.
in the recovery community, which i’m not a part of but have been tangentially involved with in the past, they have a saying – “let go and let god.” i’m not a god person, but the saying has stuck with me for years. it’s going to go how it goes. you’ll be fine either way. you’ll figure it out. there is actually nothing more you can do aside from your best, and you’ll get nowhere by freaking out after that point. so…stop. it’s a simple question of utility in the end.
life lessons all up in here, i swear it.