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Do you feel like you have enough confidence?
When you work for yourself, you definitely need to have self-confidence. However, for many of us, feeling confident is not that easy.
Your self-confidence – or lack thereof – is created by lots of different factors: personality, upbringing, personal experiences, even possibly genetics.
Confidence is not a requirement of freelancing, but it is definitely a big help. In good times, when your freelance life is rolling along wonderfully, confidence lets you enjoy your work and your life more. When problems arise, like the PRO Act threat in the United States, self-confidence is one of the things that can make the situation easier to handle.
Some freelancers of course have more confidence than others. Those who aren’t so confident sometimes wonder how others are.
Fortunately, your level of confidence is not permanent. Even if you’re a totally insecure person, you can become someone who has a lot of confidence.
Here are 7 ways you can build confidence in yourself as a freelancer.
7 Ways to Build Confidence as a Freelancer
1 Act like you’re confident
People can totally tell whether you’re confident, insecure or somewhere in between. So act confident!
Walk tall. Speak confidently. Even if you’re totally insecure, act like you’re filled with confidence. People will respond to you and interact with you much differently than if you slump your shoulders, speak softly and come across as insecure. They’ll think you feel confident and treat you as if you are confident. This in turn can help you become a confident person.
2 Get away from people who tear you down
Stay away from people who tear you down.
Hopefully you don’t have anyone in your personal or freelance life who does this. If you do, stay away from them the best you can. If you have to be around them, don’t listen to what they say. Literally, if you must, wear headphones or earbuds anytime you’re near them so you can’t hear them. If you don’t have to be around them, then just stay away from them. Hearing negative things about yourself will make it harder to develop self-confidence.
3 Be around people who build you up
Just as it’s important to avoid people who tear you down, it’s also important to be with people who build you up. This is true for your personal and your work life.
As your freelance career evolves, you should be able to pick and choose the types of work you want to do and the clients you want to work for. If you do have any freelance clients who don’t treat you well, you’ll pretty soon be able to weed them out and keep only those who respect you and the work you do. The better people treat you, the more confident you can become.
Related: 14 ways to motivate yourself
4 Trust your instincts
You know yourself better than anyone else knows you. Do what you know to be best for you personally, in your freelance work life as well as your personal life. This is one of the best ways you can build confidence in yourself.
If a client asks you to do something that goes against what you believe, or something just doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Always trust your instincts. This will lead you down the path that’s right for you. Knowing you’ve done the right thing will help give you confidence in your ability to make good decisions for yourself.
5 Do something you’re good at every day
There are lots of things in your life that you’re good at. Do at least one of these things every day. These don’t have to be things that take a long time or require a lot of effort. Maybe you’re good at cooking simple meals or fixing things or making a great cup of coffee. Do at least one of the things you’re good at every day, and enjoy the fact that you’re good at it.
Your freelance job is one thing you’re no doubt good at. By simply working you’ll be doing something you’re good at all day every day. Be sure to ask your clients for feedback of your work. This will help you become even better at your freelance job, which will in turn help you become even more confident in your work and yourself.
6 Take care of your health
The way our bodies feel affects how we think. It’s hard to feel really confident about yourself when you’re not physically healthy.
So keep healthy. Stay hydrated, eat nutritious food, take vitamins if you need them, exercise and get enough sleep. If you need help, go to a doctor and get the help you need. Just knowing you’re taking good care of yourself will help you feel mentally better, which will then help you feel more confident.
7 Give it time
Building self-confidence – especially if you’re coming from a place of very low confidence – can take time. It could be a few years before you’ve gained as much confidence as you want. Just take these steps every day to help build yourself up bit by bit. Keep moving forward, don’t give up, and you will become a more confident person.
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Sabina Lohr is a lifelong freelancer turned entrepreneur who created World of Freelancers to help others discover how to work for themselves online and live the freelance lifestyle. She’s always really enjoyed the freedom that freelancing brings, including several years on and off of working online while traveling and living abroad.