I have tried to count the number of times I have received a ‘no’, no answer at all and just plain ignoring since I started freelancing, and it seems to me that on average there is at least one ‘no’ every day. So what do those who do not give up even after many ‘no’s’ have in common, anyway? In my opinion, the main skill that such people have in common is psychological resilience.
Psychological resilience is defined in various literatures as the ability to cope successfully with adverse conditions. At the same time, it is the ability to emerge from the situation stronger, wiser and more capable.
The life of a freelancer is volatile and often unpredictable, so it is essential to be resilient and to develop this quality. Here are some reasons why resilience is a crucial skill in freelancing:
- life in uncertainty. Freelancers are very often faced with uncertainty about income, clients and workload. Resilience makes it easier to cope with such circumstances;
- Rejection. As I mentioned earlier, “no” is a daily occurrence in a freelancer’s life, but not everyone can accept it. Resilience can help you to recover more quickly from rejection and to continue working towards your goals;
- Overcoming obstacles. Technical barriers, bureaucratic barriers, language barriers – whatever they may be, sometimes you just want to give up. Resilience helps us to overcome these obstacles faster and find solutions;
- Stress management. All the situations I have mentioned so far are inevitably stressful, and being resilient can help to manage stress;
- Change. As a freelancer, you have to be ready for change, to adapt to what the clients, the market, etc. need. Change does not always bring only positive emotions, but resilience can help to adapt to change and remain flexible.
If you are a freelancer, you must have come across all the situations I have listed. I’ve certainly have. So it is clear that resilience is a very important quality for freelancers, because it helps us to cope with the challenges and uncertainties of freelance work and to keep a positive and productive mindset. Developing our resilience helps us to succeed and achieve our goals.
Resilience can be learned, it is not an innate quality that only some people have. It can be developed and strengthened through practice, effort and learning new skills. Here are some tips on how this can be done:
- Create a supportive environment, build a circle of motivating peers. Surround yourself with supportive and positive people who can advise, encourage and understand you in difficult moments. Look for mentors, friends or support groups who can provide emotional support and practical advice;
- Set clear, achievable and motivating goals. Break goals down into smaller steps, monitor progress and celebrate small victories;
- Learn from the past. After all, you have probably faced difficult circumstances in the past. How did you deal with them? What worked? What could you have done differently? Chances are, you already have the answer!
- Take care of yourself. Make time for your favourite activities, meditate, include physical activity, eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep;
- Be proactive, prepare for possible scenarios, even the worst. Once you have thought through these strategies, even the worst-case scenario will not be so scary because you will be ready to act.
No matter what kind of work you do, no matter what kind of path you choose, there will naturally be periods of all kinds. Some days you’ll be jumping for joy, other days you’ll be thinking, “What the hell did I need to start all this…?” and blame the whole world for your failure. It is important not to dwell too long in this state and to focus your energy on achieving new goals, which requires the development of psychological resilience. So I believe that you will find the best way to do it.
Interested to see how coaching can help you find the resources to build psychological resilience? I invite you to register for a free get to know session here.
Best wishes for growth,