We’re continuing today with a week of reflecting on my own qualities that need improvement. Today’s one is a single point, but one that pervades almost every corner of my life. And, perhaps not surprisingly, it’s this: I spend too much time doing things in isolation.
This might seem an odd thing to say, given that my hobbies involve roleplaying with lots of people, I don’t live alone, and I have a habit of ending up in charge of things whenever I join new communities. I’m not by any means saying that I do everything in isolation.
What I mean is this: I don’t actively seek to connect to the wider world a lot of the time.
Until last year, I wasn’t reading much whilst I was writing. I still don’t read enough blogs comparable to my own. I’m abysmal at networking when it comes to both writing and streaming (the two avenues where I need to network to grow my business). And often, I just write think pieces without researching them.
That last one is particularly embarrassing to admit.
Now whilst a lot of these have simple solutions (do the research, do the networking, do the reading) – they’re not easy. Reading more is the easiest. You can bet there’s a correlation between that and the fact that reading more is the only one I’ve achieved thus far!
I’m starting to work on them even still, and I’m trying to do it right. To do this I’m making clear, actionable goals – not ‘network more’, but ‘speak up in X community’, ‘join Y community’. I’m doing my best to do them at my own pace rather than rushing. The important thing is that I’m working on beating that isolation at all.
When I was at high school, my favourite teacher once said of me: Rebecca is a very good student, and if she would only learn to ask for help, she would be exceptional. I am pretty sure it is the most accurate thing anyone has ever said. I coast upon being quite good, and by being in isolation I’ve prevent myself from getting further. This was a defensive mechanism, but it’s one I don’t need anymore.
Now, I’m challenging that tendency towards isolation. It’s hard work, really hard work, and it’s taking a lot of my focus. It infuriates me that it is, because a lot of the time what I’m working myself up towards is ‘talk in this person’s Twitch chat whilst they’re live’, which sometimes feels ridiculous. It’s not ridiculous, because it’s scary for me. All of these things are.
But I think I can do them.