We’ve all been there. Your confidence has hit rock bottom, your freelance dream has become a fitful nightmare of deadlines and demanding clients (or worse, no deadlines and no clients) and you think you’re rubbish. You think that everyone else thinks you’re rubbish too, only they’re too polite to tell you… because you never go out of the house and you only converse via Twitter, Facebook or the occasional Instagram of your cat.
Well put down that pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food, switch off the Buffy the Vampire Slayer box set and sit up. I’ve got ten ways to boost your confidence and get you back to being the A list freelancer you know, deep down, you are!
- Stand tall. If you take note of your posture, not only is it good for you but you can trick yourself into being more confident. Since when did you see a top businessman or woman slouching? So you’re sitting a lot… sit tall. Shoulders back, chest out, back straight… listen to your body, or rather feel it, and get to know it.
- Smile. You can trick yourself into a good mood if you smile, and it makes others around you smile too. It also works your facial muscles and makes you look younger.
- Learn something new. Lack of self-confidence can make you feel that everyone else can do what you can (which of course is a load of tosh… you’ve trained for your job, it’s easy to forget that what you know isn’t common knowledge). Why not take a free course, read up on something you’ve always wanted to learn or take time out and go to evening class. Learning something new will give your confidence a boost. Your brain will thank you for it.
- Don’t listen to the voices in your head. Unless they are saying nice things sing away the negative brain-monsters. Who cares if next door can hear you singing… warble away until the positivity comes back and you realise you are fabulous.
- Eat good things and exercise. Life isn’t all about the latest box set and jaffa cakes… feeling good inside and out will make you feel better. Then eat the occasional cake, have chocolate and have your favourite tipple… live life, it’s there for the living, it just needs a little balance.
- Go out and meet people… sitting inside all the time is confidence-eating poison. Even going to your favourite coffee shop and interacting with human beings will boost your confidence levels.
- Random act of kindness. Doing a good deed makes the world a better place, and gives you a warm cosy glow. It can be anything as small as opening a door for a hassled shopper to giving advice to a potential new client (and not charging them for it). How does this bring you confidence I hear you whisper… by being confident enough to carry out the act of your choice you are putting yourself out there, without fear or being self-conscious.
- Feel the fear and do it anyway. Hate using the phone for work? Take a deep breath and do it. Hate public speaking… go and talk to your local Chamber of Commerce. Want to write a novel rather than work on someone else’s? Grab yourself a pen and a notebook. Fear holds us back, and often the reality is not as scary as you’d think. There’s nothing quite like the confidence boost of realising you CAN do it.
- Act. No, not in your local theatre, although that can be fabulous too. Acting confident will rub off and eventually you will be that confident person you are pretending to be.
- Realise that everyone else struggles with self-confidence. Although you are uniquely fabulous, you are not unique in your feelings of doubt, insecurity and self-loathing. Nope… there is not a person on this planet who hasn’t struggled with self-doubt. Have confidence that everyone else is struggling with their confidence, then stand tall, dust yourself off and walk the walk.