Self confidence is one of the most important aspects for any freelancer, regardless of the field or industry that you find yourself. From freelance illustrators like myself, graphic designers all the way through to branding consultants, self belief is crucial within freelancing endeavors.
Why is this?
Without self belief you question yourself, you don’t back yourself, and because no one is in your corner (not even yourself!), ultimately you will give up. Imagine that, you’re highly talented and you are willing to hustle to the max, but because your self belief is rock bottom, you quit.
That’s just crazy!
Think about the Muhammad Ali’s, the Pablo Picasso’s, the Martin Luther King Jr.’s of this world, if they didn’t back themselves then we would never of seen their brilliance!
Within this blog post you will discover why self confidence is crucial for your freelancing or business endevour, as I reveal my top tips to help you develop self confidence.
Freelancing & Being A Business Owner Is Different
Freelancing is not like a 9-5 job. It requires patience, resilience and hard work, and there’s no guarantee that you will be paid at the end of it. Because of this, self belief plays a crucial role.
If you belief in yourself, then you will keep going and working hard to reach your goals, regardless if the money is coming in (and if you’re patient, it usually comes with hard work – which is always nice!)
If I’m going to be completely transparent with you (which makes me feel a bit uneasy – but helps me explain my point), I struggled with self belief during a period of my freelancing career (and still do in certain aspects). I’m grateful of my commissions and seem to have built something of substance with my illustration and design portfolio, commissions and my brand (even though this is a long way of where I want to be – goals goals goals!), but self belief is still the underlining aspect which needs to be maintained and controlled.
When commissions were not coming in, I doubted myself, my ability, and wondered if it was even for me. The doubt subsided when I was working on commissions, but doubt can still be there when you’re working on a commission too (crazy I know)! As you start to doubt yourself, it mounts, it builds, and it becomes this enormous thing that you can’t control.
You start to feel that you’re not good enough, and voices inside your head shout “GIVE UP”!
This is a serious thought that if not controlled, can lead to the inevitable.
There was even a time when I considered quitting freelancing altogether. But illustration and art is a passion which I have always done in my life, and I was born to do (sorry for the cheese and cliche there). I was born to create those landscape illustrations, ok! Haha! I have learnt over time and with experience that it’s always going to be something that I will have to work on, and have realised just how important it is. I listen to a lot of podcasts which tells the importance of self belief, so I’ve worked on this big time to put faith in myself, by working hard and hustling and celebrating my small wins to remain positive.
But how can you control and embody self belief in yourself, so you keep working hard to reach your goals, and not give up?
Celebrate Your Small Wins
If you’re particularly lacking in self confidence, the smallest wins should be celebrated. Have you recently redesigned your website? Received a commission? Had a really productive day that you’re proud of?
These should be celebrated and you should reward yourself. This is crucial if you’re going to become a freelance illustrator, designer to artist. You need to celebrate every small win you have, as no one else will do so!
As you aim for your big goals, you can trick yourself to believe that you will be happy when you achieve them. For example, you can say that you will be happy once you earn a million pounds, and will celebrate when this is achieved.
However like big goals, it takes a long time to reach them. Imagine not rewarding yourself until these big goals are achieved? You will have to wait all that time until you are happy!
Not only will your life be miserable because you’re not rewarding yourself, you will burn out as it takes time to reach your big goals. Can you see what I’m getting at here?
It’s crucial that you reward yourself on your journey, so you will keep motivated and driven to reach your bigger goals. Small wins eventually equals big wins. This article by the Hazard Business Review explains the power of progress, and how even the smallest of wins help your mood and progress towards a goal.
Celebrate your small wins to self confidence.
Stay Positive, Even Through The Tough Times
There’s a great Henry Ford quote that perfectly embodies positivity;
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” ― Henry Ford
He was 100% right. If you want to develop self confidence in your freelancing, business or entrepreneur adventures, you need stay as positive as you can.
For you to successfully achieve this, you need to change your mindset. Never back down and never throw in the towel, never give up or anyone tell you what you are doing is wrong.
Prove them wrong and make sure you build a creative business that they will be jealous of in the future. If you develop positivity in yourself, no one or even yourself can tell you any different.
You begin to look at the world in a new light, you begin to celebrate your small wins that I mentioned earlier, and you will go racing towards your goals and dreams.
If it helps, say positive things in the mirror every morning to help your positivity and motivation.
Invest In Yourself
This is probably one of the most important aspects of developing self confidence; investing in yourself.
When we invest in ourselves, no one else comes first. No one tells us what we should and shouldn’t be doing, and we dedicate time to improving ourselves.
Investing in yourself can come in many forms. One of the clearest is investing in your art tools. Away from illustration and art, from one of my personal favourites of exercise, health and fitness, hobbies outside your creative work, or going to conferences or courses to improve your knowledge and expertise.
Lets look at health and fitness for example (as it’s one of my favourites). As you start to exercise, eat the right foods and consume the correct nutrition in your body, it can help you develop body confidence and improve your mental health. If you didn’t like your body previously, you can begin to like it, you can buy new clothes that look great on you, and a self confidence is built.
This majorly impacts your freelancing career or creative business, as you’re beginning to love yourself! Everything then stems from there – which is the golden ticket! This all comes from investing in yourself. Invest in yourself, from your health, your expertise and knowledge, to listening and reading new podcasts and books, and you will rekindle your passion and motivation for life!
This Is a Bit Of A Cheat, But It Works!
If none of these tips work (which I’m positive they will), one last tip you can try is to fake it until you make it.
This certainly helped me when I was a teenager, as I didn’t have much confidence back then. I decided that if I faked it until I made it, it would work. It certainly helped me develop self confidence, and I’m positive it can help you too. You might think this tip sounds too easy and is too much of a ‘cheat’, but it really works!
This goes back to the placebo effect, as you start to fake it, you start to believe in yourself, and a sense of self confidence is then developed without you even knowing it!
How Have You Developed Your Self Confidence?
I hope you have enjoyed these tips on how to develop your self confidence.
It’s always a tricky one to get right, as our mentality is so crucial within business and being a freelancer. Freelancing can be so temperamental that it’s crucial that you develop your self confidence so you can overcome anything in life. I didn’t realise just how important my mindset is within business and freelancing, so make sure you write these tips down and follow through with them.
I would love to know how you have developed self confidence in your freelancing career.
How do you overcome difficulties?
Have you developed self confidence, and how have you changed your mindset?
Anything that I missed?
The overall message with this blog post is to not give up, to not back down, and stay positive to reach the goals that you deserve. Don’t let anyone change your journey to your goals, and believe in yourself until the end!
If you’re unfamiliar with myself and my work, I’m a freelance illustrator for hire. Illustrating for editorial, advertising to publishing, I’ve worked with worldwide clients. From Bloomsbury Publishing, Scouts UK to SITUK.
Many thanks for listening and visiting my news page today. You can follow what I’m up to on my Twitter, Facebook or Instagram pages, I’ll really appreciate it if you do, and don’t be afraid to say hi to me! Many thanks again, and have a great day!