I am noticing that there seems to be a lot of my fellow introverts in the freelance field. It’s logical as there are many attributes to freelancing that would appeal to introverts. Writing, creating and designing in the comfort of your home office.
There are also, however, attributes to running a freelance business that can be challenging for us. Skype meetings anyone? (The thought of them still settles a knot in my stomach. Anyone else?)
How do you handle it when a more extroverted approach is required?
Below are some techniques and tips that I have gleaned, along with other freelancers, that can help boost your confidence and help you put yourself out there when needed.
As you read, keep this in mind- I am in no way implying that my social anxiety is zero these days. It is still something I work through every day. I am also not implying that introversion is a problem to be cured. Introverts have powerful traits that make us great. Susan Cain has a great TED Talk on this. I’ll post it at the end.
I’m just sharing techniques because it is necessary to push ourselves from time to time in order to grow ourselves and our businesses. Now, enough jibber jabber, let’s dive in…
P.S. if fear is holding you back, be sure to check out my post: Fear Keeping Your Freelance Business Small?
*This post contains affiliate links to some of the sources I love. Thank you for supporting Immensely Social.
Tips and Techniques To Rock Your Freelance Business The Introverted Way
Warning, some of these techniques can have you looking and acting a bit strange, so brace yourself!
Give Yourself a Pep Talk
How would you talk to a friend that needed a confidence boost? Give yourself that care. So often we rehash over and over again what we have done wrong or how we have messed up. Flip that on its crazy head! (Do you think that expression is super weird or is it just me?) Instead of dwelling on what you didn’t do to perfection or what you think you should have done, think of things you do well. What do you get complimented on? What comes easily for you that someone else may struggle with?
Bonus points if you throw some gratitude into this pep talk. I think we could all learn a thing or two from Jessica and her morning affirmations!
“I can do anything good. Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
Boost Physical Energy
Jessica is doing something else important in that video…pumping her arms. Increasing your energy, through physical movement, can uplift the spirit and give you a confidence boost.
Stomping your feet, dancing, shaking your arms, or doing some burpees can make you feel empowered. Tony Robbins talks quite a bit about changing your physical state to change your emotional state. Great to do before heading out for the day, but also right before a potentially stressful event like those dreaded Skype calls or Google Hangouts.
Play Best Worst Scenario
When I am stressing about an unknowable outcome, I ask myself “What is the best that could happen.” Then I ask myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?”
Let’s say that I have an upcoming phone meeting with a potential client. I’m feeling anxious because I have no idea what they are going to ask me, so I don’t know how to prepare. “What is the best that could happen?” We hit it off great, I get an amazing new client, and increase my income. “What is the worst that could happen?” He hates me and I don’t get the job.
Here’s the thing…I didn’t have the job before the call, so not having it after is not that big of a deal. And while I don’t want anyone to hate me, I don’t know this person, so that’s not a big deal either. Plus- the likelihood of someone hating you over one phone call is slim. You’re having an epiphany right now aren’t you!
Do you see how silly it seems to get so worked up over something that is not that big of a deal? This exercise really helps give me perspective.
Take Quick Action
One of the biggest stressors and anxiety producers is procrastination. If you put off doing something that scares you a bit, the fear only builds. In the book The Magic Of Thinking Big, David Schwartz says,
“…action cures fear. Indecision, postponement, on the other hand, fertilize fear.”
Don’t give that fear enough fertilizer to grow enormously overwhelming! Take action as soon as you can. If a new potential client asks me for a meeting, I will often schedule it for the very next day at the risk of sounding too eager. I do this because I know myself and I don’t want to lose sleep for nights on end thinking about all the ways it could go wrong.
Post Random Love Notes
Do you write love notes to yourself? If not, it’s time to start! Write notes of encouragement and scatter them around the house where you will see them often. Things like “You Go Girl!” or “You’ve So Got This.”
Change them out weekly, if you like, to avoid the risk of them getting ignored. You can use brightly colored paper to really make your brain take notice. Give your mind positivity to feed on throughout the day.
“Showing affection, being benevolent to yourself, involves how you take care of not only your body, but also your mind.” ~5 Gifts To Give Yourself
Which brings us to the next tip…
Catch & Release Your Self-Talk
I have had times where a fairly big brand or client messaged me wanting me to write for them. The jobs came to me because of the work I’ve put out there. When this happens, I catch myself saying something like, “I cannot believe they contacted me?” or “I cannot believe they want my work.” This is no good. You need to believe in yourself and that kind of negative back talk can hold you back.
In a power-packed video called Increasing Your Value, Jim Rohn talks about a job offer he received after he was semi-retired. It was an amazing opportunity worth a lot of money. He said, “My first thought was isn’t that interesting that they called me.” My second thought was, “Of course they’d call me. Who else would they call.” “I can get the job done.”
That is the attitude to develop. You have worked hard to gain the skills someone needs. Why not you? Why not now?
Here’s to working on ourselves!
Emotional Freedom Technique
I left this one for last, because it’s, well...strange. But, it is science backed -I’ve read the book- and works very well at settling emotions. Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT for short, is a series of movements where you tap on meridian points while stating and releasing your undesired emotions. It uses the same principles as acupuncture, but without the needles.
*This is not intended as medical advice. This is something I personally use that I am simply sharing with you. Make your own judgments or consult a medical professional.
My favorite video to work with in the morning, or before a meeting, is this one: I Can Do It
You can do it, you rock star you!
That TED Talk I promised:
Do you use any of these techniques? Let me know in the comments…
Also, be sure to give yourself time for those introverty (not a real word, but should be) things like reading, soaking in a bubble bath, and enjoying your own company.