Gratitude goes a long way!
I'm a certified professional translator (English into Spanish and Catalan) who helps businesses connect with their Catalan and Spanish speaking audiences. My ultimate goal is to serve Catalan and Spanish speakers with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). I'm specialized in banking, healthcare, and marketing.
Winter is generally the slowest time in the translation industry. In late October, I began informing existing and potential clients that I was going to be completely available in December. I'm Jewish, so my holiday season usually falls between September and October. Although many people consider Chanukkah to be "the Jewish Christmas," it's still a minor holiday for which we Jews don't take time off.
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At first, things turned out well – December was another busy month. I thought that would make up for the rest of the winter. January was slower than I had initially expected, but I was still positive that work would start to pick up again in February. However, things were looking bleak as the COVID-19 pandemic began to profoundly impact Europe and the Americas, where most of my clients are based.
Since then, work has been increasingly drying up, and clients have been delaying payments. I panicked after realizing that I may not make ends meet in March. I even questioned whether I should continue freelancing. Maybe it was time to start looking for a part-time job, preferably within my industry. I began asking my contacts in my professional network for help.
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I felt like a failure for not being better prepared for this situation. That's when I decided to rewatch Louise Hay's movie "You Can Heal Your Life." Louise Hay, of blessed memory, was a motivational author who wrote self-help books based on the practice of positive thinking and self-empowerment. It had been a while, however, since I last read one of her affirmations. Watching the movie again made a huge difference!
I almost forgot the basic premise of the movie – Your thoughts create your reality. For weeks, I had been focusing on the lack and the "what ifs." After the movie, I thought: What if this situation is actually an opportunity to make changes and improve? Less work and delayed payments had indeed resulted in me feeling financially and mentally strained. But was I willing to equate crisis with danger?
WATCH: You Can Heal Your Life
Last year, I worked so much that I often found myself wishing for more free time. Last week, I went through a dry spell for the first time in years. The first day, I spent it feeling sorry for myself and picturing the worst possible outcomes. Still, I realized that I didn't want to continue that trend. That's when I recalled how watching "You Can Heal Your Life" could make me feel better as it had worked in the past.
From then on, I've been updating my website, attending webinars, and taking courses. I worked on and polished my resume, which motivated me to reach out to new clients. Suddenly, the current situation didn't look so bad. This week, I was so invested in learning that I didn't complain about the lack of work. Instead, I felt grateful for what I still had and hopeful for what I'm going to accomplish.
Although it has no scientific basis, I believe in the law of attraction. This theory states that positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into a person's life. Somehow, the moment that I stopped focusing on the lack of work and started appreciating again what I already had, the dry spell came to an end. Now I'm excited to combine work with self-improvement.
Had I been doing it wrong until now? I had likely focused too much on work. That's what I realized when I recently attended a webinar for freelancers called "From Barely Surviving To Thriving." Jennifer Nielsen, a certified Spanish into English translator specialized in the legal field, taught this master class. Not only did the content resonate with me, but it also made me realize the importance of a healthy life-work balance.
Some topics that the webinar covered were:
the power of thoughts
controlling and letting go
developing a mindset
reprogramming the brain
the power of words
I'm grateful to have the time to go through my to-do list and cross items that I had been postponing for months. I want to thank the people who have assisted me lately and those who have been sharing their expertise online for free.
Things may not look great now on the surface, but you can still use it to your advantage. The current situation with COVID-19 is temporary, and will eventually get better. I look forward to the future, and you?