Work with Your Weaknesses – Freelance Lifestyle

Okay, so this might sound rather weird. But if you know me, you will understand that I tend to put myself last when it comes to growth. I’m obsessed with helping others and I get my energy for seeing how my input can influence someone’s life.

Unfortunately helping others can also be a form of procrastination. I’m not trying to say that I should cut off the world and just focusing on myself- but it’s about finding a balance. Alongside this balance I also need to find my voice. And this voice needs to utter a loud and clear ‘NO’ more often than not. I am now old enough to understand what makes me happy and what leaves me agitated. The problem comes in with pleasing others in spite of your personal needs. Of course, life is also about making sacrifices and doing things for those you love – but make sure that you are in the right mindset when doing so. Otherwise you could do more damage than good to both yourself and your social circle.

Okay, since this isn’t a personal diary, I will try to focus a bit more on what this means for my freelance career.

I’ve been putting myself in the back row for quite a while now. I don’t know why the idea of success scares me, but it does. For some reason I don’t want to be noticed or judged when it comes to my craft. That is weak – because that means that I’m going to stagnate for as long as I’m hiding. I absolutely love freelancing and I don’t want to do something else – but I need to put myself out there.

Although I’ve been working hard, I still don’t feel it’s hard enough. Apart from that I should also stop promoting myself as a beginner. I’ve been freelance writing for about six years and I’ve been doing it full time for the last three. I’ve been working with a variety of clients and I’ve become much better at my craft.

I was talking to a few other self employed professionals and it seems like they all have one thing in common.

Fake it until you make it. 

This is rather hard for me since I pride myself in being honest and authentic. But there is some truth in the statement. As freelancers we don’t get as much praise from others. In a workplace people might receive public praise and recognition in front of their peers. This boosts confidence and inspires you to grow even more.

This year I will be attempting the following: 

– Less drama. Drama distracts me and takes away my focus from my personal goals and aims.

Work 8 hours per day. I should stop pretending that this is not necessary. I’m not more special that anyone else – and in order to grow I need experience. As a freelancer I used to think that this step could be bypassed.

Budget. Yes, that is something that I’ve never done. Believe it or not. I need to find a smarter way to work with my money.

Blog more. Yes, that is rather cliche. But I haven’t been treating my blog as a client, doing this could make for more regular posts.

Take risks. For me that’s as small as going for a meeting with a prospective client.

Don’t degrade myself in front of others. Many times when people ask me what I’m doing I hear myself saying: “I’m JUST a freelancer” followed my a embarrassed chuckle. This should stop – if I don’t take myself seriously, why would others?

Take me time. This doesn’t mean drinking wine at a friend’s house and silence the voices in my head. It’s about taking the time to be myself, listening to myself and be kind to myself.

Help others in a healthy way. I just get a kick out of connecting people with what they need. But instead of making this my full time aim, I can set aside some time to help others on a weekly basis. This is still my serotonin surge, so I won’t be stopping that any time soon.

All in all it’s about finding balance. Being selfish with my time, my thoughts and my energy. Not so that I can live a selfish life – but so that I’m in a great space to be able to selflessly help, motivate and inspire others.

Okay, that’s me.

I would love to hear what you are planning for 2015.

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