Before April 2018, I had only heard the word “Bitcoin” in passing conversation. Now, nearly four months later, I am proficient enough to be able to understand and pass on the knowledge of cryptocurrency, blockchain, and decentralization to those who have the interest. So how did I get to this point?
Roughly two-thirds of my working time was focused on researching. When you are writing for a topic that is completely out of your comfort zone, you need to gain knowledge from all different sources—fact-based articles, opinion-based videos, whitepapers, customer reviews, interviews, etc. Any and all knowledge is valuable when you’re just trying to get a grasp of basic concepts.
If you’re learning about something as you’re writing about it, research is great. But sometimes, it can only get you so far. Very rarely will you completely nail an article topic of which you have limited knowledge about. This is where peer criticism comes into play. Your peers and superiors are not criticizing your work to break you down. Quite the opposite; they want to build you up. They want you to succeed with correct and accurate knowledge. And, as with any learning experience, criticism is included as a learning tool.
As much as I am stubborn in my goal to never fail, I’m only human. One of the toughest parts for me was to admit to myself when I was struggling. I was in the mentality of, “if I don’t admit it, it isn’t true,” which is not a healthy mindset to be in. Everyone struggles at least once in a while and it’s important to realize that it’s okay. You are not a failure for struggling, and the best way to get back on track is to…
After acknowledging the fact that I was struggling, the next hurdle was to ask for help. I pride myself a bit too much on being independent and self-sufficient. But if you need help, especially for something you are learning about as you go along, it’s okay to ask for it! Your peers and superiors have been (or will be) in the same position as you, so they understand the need for some guidance. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help, but rather a sign of strength. Being too prideful can inhibit you from learning from your peers and superiors. That’s what they’re there for!
It was certainly a challenge to drive headfirst into writing for a topic I knew nothing about. But I am incredibly grateful for the experience and I value the knowledge I’ve gained from it. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. It can be difficult, but the rewards are well worth it!