Calling all self-labelled amateurs!
Is this you?
- Do you engage in passions and pursuits that are just hobbies?
- Are there activities you complete on the side, not for money or recognition, but for love?
- Are you quick to indicate that you’re an amateur in your field – not particularly trained or equipped, but self-taught and non-professional?
Well friends, in some area of our lives, we are all bound to be amateurs. Or at least, to label ourselves amateurs. Truthfully, we can’t be the best at everything, so we are bound to come second-place (or last place) in some of our pursuits. And that’s ok! No need to be perfect (see Perfectly Imperfect).
It might be worth deconstructing the word “amateur” to understand what we mean when we label ourselves this. Interestingly, the term is French for “lover of” and Latin for “lover”.
Amateur (n.) refers to someone who is inexperienced, but in love with, or particularly attached, to a pursuit or passion.
Consider what might be your amateur passion. Is it something arty or sporty? Or perhaps a branch of study such as science or history? Usually our amateur passions are self-taught. These are things that we have been attracted to, but which we haven’t necessarily been told to pursue.
Essentially, amateur passions are what you do for love and not for a living. You’ll recall a previous post on What If You Were Paid To Be Yourself? gets you to consider whether what you do for a living is what you love.
Our amateur passions are not necessarily meant to be any more than something you chip away at on the side for fun. What is important is being content in all things (Phillipians 4:11) and giving yourself the grace to develop your knowledge and skills at the pace you set – without pressure or expectation to perform professionally.
It is all about the journey.
Not a journey to being the best. But a journey.
Now we need to address the light and dark side of amateurism (yes, the word exists!). You see, there is a negative connotation to the term when we use it to discredit ourselves.
Have you ever heard the phrase
“I am just an amateur”?
When you label yourself an amateur in this way, you diminish your personal achievement.There is no need to place your experimenting and enjoyment on a scale. When we compare the term amateur and professional, a scale appears. This is a scale that we need to abolish in society. Let’s not measure our performance against one another – especially when it comes to our amateur passions.
Let’s abolish those thoughts of not being good enough. Let’s abolish the label “amateur” if we are using it to discount the effort and enthusiasm we have for projects that we love.
It’s OK to be an amateur. It’s not OK to get into the trap of calling yourself an amateur to discount what you love to do.
So friends, let’s abolish the amateur – the side of ourselves that is quick to cover up our amateur passions as ‘nothing’ or ‘not good’. Instead, let’s embrace our amateur passions as a journey – the activities we are willing to slowly invest in on the side for love.
Would you ever be quick to lower the status of someone you love? Then let’s transform how we label those something’s we love. Our amateur passions are still significant! xx
“Forget about being an expert or a professional, and wear your amateurism (your heart, your love) on your sleeve. Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you.”
One thought on “Abolish the Amateur”
You put it so perfectly, thanks for such a beautiful reminder.