I thought I’d start sharing some more stuff on here, because I’m normally pretty rubbish. I never know what to post, so I’m going to start sharing some hints and tips – about work, about life, about freelancing, whatever comes to mind.
So, let’s start with Believing in Yourself.
Working hard is important, but there’s something that matters even more… believing in yourself.Harry Potter (it totally counts – Harry Potter IS real!)
Ooo, now this is a tricky one for everyone. But when you run your own business the struggle is often intensified. It’s hard because you only have yourself and your own mind to keep you company and that’s when things become dangerous. You are the one dishing out the judgement, and sometimes that judgement comes hard!
Here are a few tips to help you, if you too struggle to believe in yourself and your work:
I was going to say ‘Think Positive’ but that sounds too meh, I mean it’s easier said than done right? When you’re sitting in a pit of failure and self doubt I’m not sure a ‘ooo, think about rainbows and unicorns’ is going to help!
So instead, I will say Surround Yourself with Positive People. Get yourself your very own little cheerleaders. You don’t need a lot, just one will do. Someone who gets excited about your work, someone who will fuel the fire but also give you constructive, honest feedback. I cannot tell you how important this is. You think you can do it alone, and you can, to an extent, until you suddenly find yourself questioning everything, rocking backwards and forwards, wondering whether you made a complete balls up of your career. Trust me… you need that person!
2. DITCH THOSE MOODHOOVERS
Following on from point 1 – get rid of those Moodhoovers – you know the ones. The ones that bring everything down with a huge splat!! You don’t need that in your life.
Are they questioning everything you make? Or doing that breathing in over their teeth thing (head tilted to one side, with a smile that actually could pass as a grimace?) – that really means “I don’t know how to say that it’s shit so I’m just going to make this random noise”.
Get rid of them! Ok, so maybe you can’t get rid of them if they’re family or a really close friend, so let’s just say ‘minimise’ them. You don’t have to share everything with them. Maybe they have a completely different style to you. And when you do speak to them, choose a time when you’re not mid flow with exciting work. Remember, you don’t need everyone’s approval. Don’t let them steal your mojo!
3. LISTS! LISTS! LISTS!
Yes! Who doesn’t love a list.
We have those huuuuge projects right, that can take weeks to complete, you feel like you’ve spent all that time and achieved very little. Well, break it down. Make a list of all the little bits within that project. And then tick tick tick baby. Nothing makes you feel better than when you can put a big fat tick against something (or a big scribbly line if you’re like me and take satisfaction in vigorously scrawling over a task).
Make lists for everything. Make the first point 1. Make a list. Do it! You’ll never look back.
4. CELEBRATE THE WINS
Similar to above, celebrate those wins on a daily basis. The small wins are what keep you going. Did you manage to finish that frustrating project you were working on? WIN! Did a client say thank you and praise your work? WIN! Did you creep outside your comfort zone and try something new? WIN! Did you finally write that blog post (ME!)? WIN! It doesn’t matter how small, take the wins! And better still, reward yourself – have a biscuit; give yourself a sticker. Whatever puts that smile on your face and keeps you going.
5. TAKE TIME OUT
Wow, this is a tricky one right. It’s not really a ‘believe in yourself’ point, but it is essential for keeping your mental health on top peak so that you can believe in yourself, so I’ll carry on.
As a business owner or a freelancer, you don’t work the normal 9 – 5. You don’t finish the day, come home, eat your tea, put your feet up and chill out to Netflix.
Oh no, no, no. Your mind is always racing right? Full of ideas, so many ideas that you don’t know where you’ll find the time. Or eeek, there are no ideas, you need to get this project done but you literally have nothing, you’re blank. And you have no one else to rely on – it’s you and only you that can do this! So what do you do? Well, you don’t sit back and relax ready for the next work day, oh no, you get right to work, you start making notes, you spend hours searching the web for inspiration. It doesn’t sound too taxing right – but it is. It’s draining, the constant thinking, creating, the brain never stops, it never rests. And that doesn’t even include the late night emails and messages you send – because now we have social media, God forbid you leave someone waiting over night until you get back to them (top tip: put an auto reply on – let them know you’ll be in touch soon, that way you won’t get penalised by whatever SM, website people are contacting you on).
So, I think I lost my point, oh yes, take time out! Take a breath.
6. STEP AWAY!
I have only recently learnt this one. The power of stepping away.
How many times have you worked late in to the wee hours of the morning, cursing at the computer, because you just can’t figure out how to do something. And then, did you come back the next morning and BOOM! you somehow miraculously managed to figure it out instantly? Do you know why? – because you stepped away! Honestly, it works.
Nothing beats away that self-belief than consistently failing to achieve something. Just go for a short walk, or take a break, clear your thoughts, and then boom, back into it!
7. DON’T BE AFRAID TO MAKE MISTAKES
I do not like making mistakes. I do not like being wrong. I do not like failing!
And yet I do these things every single day. And do you know what, it’s actually ok. Sometimes we screw up, sometimes we spend hours doing something and then that something just sits there with no interest from anyone, or when we look at it we suddenly don’t like it, hours of our lives wasted for nothing.
But that’s ok! So many projects, in fact probably 99% of them, start with me creating something that is absolutely awful that I question whether I’m actually in the right job. But then it all comes together – because it’s a process. Those rubbish mistakes are what lead you to where you are, you have to make those mistakes to reach the final product.
Embrace them, believe in the process.
I don’t know if this is at all helpful to you, but it has been to me. We all forget that we are only human, and that actually life is pretty difficult and we need a push every now and then to actually realise how wonderful we really are.
Remember this! You can do it! Yes, you will have your ups and downs. Yes, you will have your crappy days when you just feel at a loss. Embrace them – step away – take a mental health day. Don’t overthink everything and don’t stress too much. If it doesn’t work it doesn’t work. Move on and try again!
Happy creating all xx