Tempering Your Expectations
One thing that might sound a bit odd at first is that you can actually react too positively to something. Many times in my life I have looked forward to a particular event, whether that be a new TV show being aired or some big new project being given to me that can net me lots of money.
Well, sometimes that show ends up being a let-down and then you react quite negatively to that disappointment. I'm fairly picky in what I watch, so my disappointment is usually kept to a minimum. But some people really get bent out of shape when their expectations are let down. Fortunately, this is an area that myself I consider that I have a strength. I tend to keep my expectations of television shows and movies to a minimum.
I will go into a film without many preconceptions, which is why I tend to avoid reviews - especially ones with spoilers - before actually viewing anything. It's not that spoilers will necessarily ruin the viewing experience for me, but then I will go into the viewing with more precise expectations than I would have otherwise. Understanding how you handle expectations is one of the first things to do when working on your self-awareness skills. Now that I've shown you a strength, I will show you a weakness when it comes to my expectations.
Understanding Your Circumstances, Then Putting Them in the Correct Perspective
As I've worked in freelance writing for some time, I can tell you that many times you're going to have projects fall through for one reason or another. Truthfully, the only expectation that I have with a project is that it will pay me money. I've taken far less than I should in rate pay oftentimes just to get work, which often leaves me feeling like I'm giving away more of myself than I should. Well, if I'm so well-aware that I'm short-changing myself, then why do I do it? It’s because I’ve long had the expectation that if I ask too much, I won't get the project. If I ask too little, people will wonder why I'm doing it so cheaply and have a similar reaction.
Perhaps I should give a more concrete example. At this moment, I have a pretty big website project that I will be helping someone complete. It's moving an entire website from one platform to another, the latter which the client of mine is more familiar with. But my client is completely redoing his client's website and needs it to be in this other platform because it's what he's more familiar with. This works for me because I'm also well-versed in the platform that the site is being moved into. I have expectations of how easily I can transfer the content and how long that will take me. I have a certain idea how much I will be compensated for that and can adjust any other work that I do accordingly to give myself the most flexibility in completing this rather large project.
But when this project will start I am not entirely certain. The problem is that there's been a serious lull in work for me lately, which is part of the reason why I've been so into personal blogging, something that I dabble in from time to time but not on the full-time basis in which I suddenly have found myself participating. I'm well-aware that I'm afraid of the entire project suddenly evaporating - a fear that I'm not proud to admit that I have. But I have had plenty of past experiences where work was offered and I either mulled over it too long or I didn't really offer much enthusiasm and lost the work. But this isn't that. I'm very enthusiastic because this is going to be relatively easy work for me - it's just going to be extremely time-consuming. As you'll learn in working freelance, though, as I work for an hourly rate most of the time and not a flat rate - the more time-consuming the project is, the more profitable it can end up being.
At least I am aware of how I am handling a particular situation. Obviously, I should not be banking on this one opportunity. But pickings can be so slim, as the autumn tends to be the slow season for freelance content work until the holiday season really picks up. But of course, the holidays I'm talking about are the ones where you buy a lot of presents that no one really wants anyway. Perhaps I should be writing also about self-control, but Self-Awareness I think can serve as an umbrella for that concept.
Being Aware When Things Are Getting Off-Track
OK, I tend to have a terrible tendency to really get off-track. But see, at least I am aware that I get distracted and off-topic from time to time. But sometimes, especially in the freelance world, it’s easy to get off-track when work that you’re expected to come in simply doesn’t realize itself. I'm aware of how important a project is to me based on when it is being offered. The other work available to me right now is not all that lucrative to the point that I'm shunning the few measly dollars I'd earn in order to produce other content that I believe in. I've had a lot of "failed" projects, too, recently. You don't always win and being aware of how you deal with failure is extremely important – as you need to learn from it, not let it drag you down and keep you drifting off-track.
As you can see, I'm aware of many of my strengths and weaknesses when it comes to my understanding of how things affect me. I really meant to focus on the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of decision making and understanding how aware you are of these things. How have you made some decisions today? Have they been more from the heart or from your head? Or did you do something just because you needed a lift?
Trust me, every day I need to write to satisfy all three. At least I'm strongly aware of that much!