The Optimist vs. The Realist
Blogger: Wendy Lawton
Hi. My name is Wendy, and I’m an optimist. There. I confessed. On the whole, I think that’s a good thing for an agent, especially since I happen to be a good sales person, and my optimism is often communicated to those I’m pitching. That–combined with a “good eye” so that when I do optimistically pitch a project, more often than not, my optimistic prognostications bear out–makes for a successful career agent. But there are downsides to being a cockeyed optimist. Sometimes the optimist tends to take on far more than is realistic. Here’s some of the wrong thinking I’ve decided to challenge for 2013:
- Always believing I can do far more than is humanly possible.
- Thinking that if I work hard enough, anything is possible.
- Believing it all rests with me.
- Seeing unlimited possibilities.
I aim to pump up my realistic side. Here are a few of my resolutions that correspond to the magical thinking above:
- I need to be realistic about the amount of work I can do. Working 12-hour weekdays and weekends does nothing to improve the quality of my work. Realistically, by working intensely with a well-rested mind in set blocks of time I should be able to be even more productive. Right?
- There’s truth to this “anything is possible” thinking. I’ve seen it work but only when God is in it. If I leave that part of the equation out, I can plan on failure. (I can do all things through him. . . Philippians 4:13)
- Here’s the key—I can only do my very best. The outcome is up to God. When I start thinking it is all on my shoulders, it’s nothing but pride rearing its ugly head.
- As an agent, I need to acknowledge limited possibilities. There are only so many slots for new authors in traditional publishing, for instance. But having said that, I need to fight tooth & nail for those slots for the talent I represent. I’ve proven I have the eye, so I need to believe my clients’ projects are the best and then continue to work like crazy in a competitive field to place my projects into those slots.
How about you? Are you challenging any faulty thinking this year? Are you a pessimist? How do you challenge that kind of thinking?