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  • Writer's pictureShiori Nakajima

Weekly Overview: The Illusion of Progress

Updated: Mar 18, 2019

I’ve been learning new skills especially this year from UI / Web design, Front-end Web development to my main freelance business (translation). Learning is a never-ending process and it’s been an exciting journey… with a lot of challenging aspects.

Despite the fact that I constantly want to learn something new, there are moments when some stress and emotions hold me back from moving forward.

I’ve always had projects where there’s something that it’s worth learning and useful for my career. On the flip side, it means they always challenge me and try to make me grow and can cause a lot of stress. Yes, I’ve chosen this way and no complaints about that.

Last year, I started a translation project in the field that I’ve never done before. It was quite challenging and took me a lot of time to research and revise my output. Despite the effort, I never felt like it would become better at all. I felt disempowered by the volumes that I needed to handle and put so much pressure on myself.

It was extremely uncomfortable.

I always want my outputs to be “perfect enough” to be delivered because I consider myself as a perfectionist. I know it’s such a vague standard that everyone has different perspectives about.

But I just kept learning and things slowly started to make sense. It’s been a few months now and I feel like the process started to become kind of automated.

It’s actually become my comfort zone.

It surprises me how something that was once uncomfortable has become my comfort zone. Most importantly,

Now that I’m uncomfortable being in this comfort zone, I want to move on.

It feels like I subconsciously know that I need to make progress and it’s constantly in search for what brings me any form of opportunities to make me grow.

There were actually countless times before I almost wanted to doubt myself and had a questioning notion that I cannot do what I deeply and ultimately desired to do. That temporary pain and all the discomfort were scary indeed because it almost had me lose track of goals that I’ve had ever since I started this freelance journey.


The learning curve is a concept that I haven’t gotten used to and an inevitable process that you’ll eventually bump into. I always try to celebrate small achievements to move forward…

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