Last summer I took what would turn out to be one of the most important steps of my career thus far: I quit my day job in favor of the wild world of full-time food writing. Some would call it a risk--I called it a leap of faith...blind faith.
I had no business plan, nor any game-plan for that matter. I knew I could generate enough money to live via my blog and a handful of freelance writing gigs, but that was about all I had going for me. I didn't know what my long-term plan would be, but I did know one thing: I was going to succeed.
This wasn't exactly a fact-based notion. I hadn't yet succeeded as a food writer, beyond developing a slightly-more-than-meager following, and I didn't have a plan for increasing that following beyond Facebooking, Tweeting and continuing to write. But I was head-over-heels in love with food writing--certainly way more in love than I had ever been with anyone or anything else--and I knew, deep in my core, that I had no choice other than to fully immerse myself in it. Thusly, there was no option, it seemed, but to decide that it was all going to work out.
Blind faith is not the same as naïveté or delusion. Rather, it's a strategic tactic that I rely on to push me through moments of doubt. When I find myself lying awake at 2 AM, fearing that I made the wrong choice in pursuing an untraditional and, at times, uncertain career, it's my blind faith that soothes me enough that I can fall asleep.
And it's become less and less blind. Over time, as I've developed as a writer and businesswoman, my career path has become increasingly clear and strong. I no longer fear for my future financial stability as fulfilling and lucrative projects continue to come my way, and the sense I have of myself as a professional is reinforced--and, with it, my self-image at large.
So to me, it's not about being a glass-half-full breed of person, or an optimist. Rather, having blind faith is a highly practical move, for, when one decides to believe in herself, suddenly the plausibility of achieving one's goals is significantly increased. It doesn't mean that the pitfalls and hurdles cease to exist, but it makes overcoming them that much easier.