Want to be a Successful Language Professional? Stop the Self-Sabotage

I went to an outdoor market today with a bunch of friends. I had already been to this type of market before so I wasn’t too interested in what everyone was selling (mostly because it was all stuff I had seen plenty of times before).

Can you guess where it was based on the picture below?

Anyway, long story short, I decided to chill out on one of the benches in the main square at the market while everyone went off and did their shopping.

It was fine with me because I enjoyed sitting around enjoying the sun for a bit.

Well, as I was sitting around getting some (somewhat) fresh air, a guy approached me and asked if I had a light. He held out his homemade cigarette, indicating that he didn’t have anything to light it with.

I don’t smoke so I don’t carry a lighter. I couldn’t help the guy.

After he walked off, however, I did a double-take because he was wearing one of those facemasks that you see people where in China to try to keep from breathing the pollution.

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So here was this guy wanting a light to smoke a homemade cigarette yet he was concerned enough about the pollution that he was walking around with a facemask on.

What a contradiction, right?

The thing is, though, how many of us do that on a daily basis, especially as translators looking to improve our freelance translation business?

We recognize what we need to do. In fact, we know what we want to do and are maybe even doing it. We are avoiding the pollution by putting on the facemask.

And yet, we do things to self-sabotage any success we might have and then wonder why things aren’t working out like we want.

Need some examples?

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