For the First Time, I'm Betting On Me
Author's Note: This article was originally published on Thought Catalog, under a different headline.
I just turned 24 and you know what they say when you reach such age? Well, actually, I don’t know. I just know that hopefully, at this point, you have to have your act together. I wish I could say the same but I’d be lying if I do that. In fact, I think I’ve become more reckless than I ever been my whole life.
You see, I’d like to think that right now, I’m in a good position with what I do professionally—I’ve received opportunities I would never have imagined getting at this point. Or ever, if I’m being completely honest. I’ve always been self-doubting myself and my skills to ever deserve anything and it does help me most of the time, having this mentality. It makes me do things better despite knowing I could do some of them even with my eyes closed. This consistent worrying has helped be prepared with anything—like I’m doing them for the first time.
You’d always what to do your best with anything, but this doubt thing has been driving me quite insane too. It is as much of a blessing as it is a curse. Especially right now.
Earlier this year, I’ve reached an impasse with my career. It’s a shock, even for me. I never thought I’d see the day that I’ll say that I might be tired of doing this. That I’m ready to pull the plug and be done with it. That I’m ready to begin and pursue this new unknown, minus the safety net. And I kind of did.
For the first time, albeit the doubts that have been swallowing me whole, I did something I’ve never done before. I started to bet on myself. I gave up a good position full time without anything to fall back to. We’re not rich, I have no financial security (you know us millennials and financial investing don’t mesh quite well) and I’m a starving freelancer that makes enough to support my family and pay bills that never seem to end. I gave up a steady, fat monthly paycheck for something unsure yet something I should’ve done before anything of this began.
I’m betting on me—I’m betting on what I can do, I’m betting on working for me and my friends. We started our own thing with nothing but our skills, trust in our group that we’ll make it and hope that our passion for what we do would be enough to pull this off. Lastly, I’m trusting myself to do this thing. If you’d tell me this last year or the year before that, I would’ve laughed at you. I’m no entrepreneur and I surely don’t have an entrepreneurial bone in my body. But here I am, I’m putting everything on the line to do this and I’ve never been this scared. I’ve been holding my breath since we started this and I couldn’t be happier.
I can tell you that this is beyond reckless or dumb of me to do, that we might be ahead of ourselves, but I guess what I can tell you instead is that you’ll never know until you’re actually doing it.
I’m a firm believer of trusting your guts or you’ll end up regretting not following what your heart tells you. There would be consequences for sure, and you better be ready when that comes. But remember that you also have a choice — everything that’s happening is the result of every choice you make. I wish I could tell you that anything in this life and the outcome of it is sure but it’s not, and I’m glad that is the case. You just have to get up and do it. Otherwise, how would you know what’s waiting for you on the other side? Would you have done anything that scares you?
Failure is not an option, they say. I agree it’s not an option because it’s part of this natural progression that we call “life”. It’s daunting and it can hurt our egos and faith in ourselves but the payoffs are way better. I’ve read something before that says, “fail often so you can learn to fail better” and it had stuck with me ever since. I just have this feeling that we’re on a consistent cycle of failure and every success is masked as a failure — I guess you have to see it in that light because that’s a piece that keeps us going and success is a dangerous, tricky thing that can mess with your head.
So if there is anything that you’ve been wanting to do but too afraid to go through it and you think it can make a difference, do it anyway.
Do it so hard and never look back, because if you do, you won’t be able to do it with as much fire, determination and passion as you first thought of doing it. And try not to worry whatever the outcome might be because not knowing is half the challenge. It’s also half the fun.
As for me and our new business, I don’t know what will happen to us. We might make it or break it, but the jury’s still out and I guess we just have to wait and see. We’re beyond excited and I’m pretty sure I’ll share it with you too because the learnings would be so precious not to share, regardless we succeed or not. The road to believing is long and endless, but you want to know what the good news is? We’re on our way to it.