Make Confidence Your Ally
Freelancing has attained acceptance as a respectable mode of earning livelihood over the past few years. This significant shift in attitude is due to a spike witnessed in entrepreneurial ventures and a spurt in the start-up culture. “Traditional, secure jobs” are not the only option anymore. People are willing to take risks and break from the conventional 9 to 5 job mode. Flexible timings, work from home option and the increasing reach of internet, enables participation of the largest untapped pool of women employees through freelancing. Therefore, women have hugely benefitted from this boom in freelance jobs. But there are impediments in the way. Women, who opt for work-from-home, or, who are joining workforce after a short or a long break; suffer from low self-esteem & lack confidence. Although, not a generic statement. But largely the main concern lies with the confidence issues related with women.
Confidence is pivotal to a successful career. We can all agree to this. This lack of confidence can sometimes put a dent in one’s ambitions. Women especially find it difficult to cope with the ever increasing pressure, mounted on them. Our lives have become fast-paced in a time span of a decade and it is going to get even more hectic, further. So here’s your guide to understand, accept and work on your inhibitions which stems from the lack of confidence & learn how to build confidence.
1. GET DOWN TO THE ROOT CAUSE
Women have been conditioned from their childhood to underestimate and undersell themselves. This has been veiled under the garb of feminising a girl child. BE LOUD, if necessary. Don’t be apologetic for realising your talent. Celebrate your worth but, don’t get cocky. Work towards honing your skills without setting unrealistic expectations.
2. SET ACHIEVEBLE GOALS
Multitasking again, has been taught to women since their childhood but coping with the stress and, exuding confidence under increasing work pressure becomes tiring after a point. Don’t take up insurmountable tasks without assessing the whole picture. Understand your limitations and the fact that at the end of the day, you are a human being not a superwoman.
3. PUSH YOUR BOUNDARIES
This might seem in contradiction to the above mentioned point. But, it’s an entirely different take. Don’t settle down for anything. Don’t play safe, all the time. Settling in to your comfort zone is like strangulating your ambitions. Try taking up a project which might trigger your fears. Engage in an activity which will make you uncomfortable and also challenge your limitations. Make sure that complacency shouldn’t set in. Be happy with your work but, never satisfied.
4. TAKE A BREAK
When you’re in your flow to achieve excellence, pushing yourself to the point of snapping is obvious. Try attaining that balance. Don’t overwork yourself because, eventually you’ll get burned out. And, that is not very productive. Work is not your life, remember, it’s a part of your life.
5. IF YOU FALL, GET UP, STRAIGHTEN YOURSELF AND MARCH AHEAD
Accept your failures but don’t get disheartened. The father of modern physics, Albert Einstein once said, “You never fail until you stop trying.” So keep trying. As mentioned earlier in the post, you’re a human being and to err is human. Failure should not deter you from trying. Invest towards honing your skills and perfecting the job at hand.
6. SELF DOUBT IS HEALTHY
Moments of self-doubt are healthy. There’s no such hard and fast rule that, confidence can only help in tiding you through every task. Sometimes, insecurities also play their part in providing that much needed drive to achieve a goal. Struggling to attain success is what makes it worth. Surprise yourself by undertaking a possibly seeming unattainable task. The worst that could happen is you might not achieve success. But then again, success is just a matter of time.
7. INTRODUCE DISCIPLINE IN YOUR LIFE
What is common among people who get their job done smoothly? They’re all disciplined and organised. A planned day ensures more productivity than the one with no routine. Planning your day in advance will enable optimum utilisation of your valuable time and energy. Developing organisational skills will help in sorting the mess that clutters your life when multitasking.
8. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
The greatest humourist of all time, Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, popularly known as Charlie Chaplin penned a beautiful poem on self-love titled, “As I began to love myself.” You can read this beautiful poem here.
The amount of self-loathing we subject ourselves to, erodes our confidence day by day. The poem is a reminder to all of us that we must not indulge in self-deprecating actions like loathing, doubting and constantly questioning our abilities and worth. Your constant bickering won’t help you. Understanding and taking charge of the situation will definitely go a long way in building your confidence.
9. APPLES AND ORANGES ARE INCOMPARABLE
Judgement is not a friendly ally in your endeavour to build confidence. Comparison simply complicates the situation further. As mentioned earlier, set realistic goals and don’t burden yourself with what others are doing or how they’re achieving their goals. Learn to revel in your experiences. Success, failure, sadness, joy, it’s all yours to enjoy. Don’t waste your time in assessing others’ lives. Invest that time in charting your life plans
10. MOTIVATE YOURSELF
Motivation is the most effective tool in combatting low self-esteem and lack of confidence. Surround yourself with people who inspire and impart positivity. Anything which might help you in getting back your lost confidence is worth trying. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help; join a self-help group, take up Yoga, meditation, start gym workouts, and so on. We are all fighting a battle with life. But when you stop fighting and start accepting the volley of challenges thrown at you, the struggle becomes less taxing and an enriching experience.
11. STOP CRIBBING
Confidence cannot be built in a hostile environment. When you keep complaining about everything your life has to offer to you, the negativity comes handy with cribbing. Of course, painting a false picture of any given reality is also not recommended. But, nit-picking is not the way to go. Constructive criticism should be your mantra. As we say it at SHEROES; ‘Take Charge.’
12. BE SELFISH
Yes! You have to be selfish. Don’t go on a “pleasing spree.’’ Before pleasing others make sure you’re satisfied with the work. Refuse when the need arises. Unnecessary flattery won’t take you forward. If you’re clear about what you want, only then, you can present yourself in a professional manner. This will also help in your image building in the long run. Nobody likes a zealous show of flattery. Until the person, in question, is suffering from a superiority complex.
The Start-up India initiative by the government of India has resulted in a sharp increase in the freelance jobs. The growing demand for contract hiring, abundance of skilled professionals in India and most importantly the spiralling numbers of Internet and Mobile internet users; indicate that freelancing is the new, emerging work mode, which is here to stay. Women will benefit the most from the freelancing scenario as it caters to their requirements.
So don’t hesitate. The world is your landscape; you mustn’t refrain from painting your canvas. Also, be part of the sisterhood and help other women to overcome their fears and inhibitions. Make this world a better place to live and grow.