Freelancers: You Are Not Alone

The other day I went to the park with my son and while I was walking with him in his stroller I passed by the playing area and noticed there was a 4 year old (approximately) with his mom learning how to ride his bike. The little boy fell and said he didn’t want to try anymore.

This made me think: as we grow older we learn how to gain security and feel motivation many times through our parents’ support, other times through our siblings, also through friends, and there could be many more types of bonds or ties that help us through our lives when we feel things are getting complicated.

When we begin working, regardless of how in depth our work ties are, there is always someone we could talk to and/or who could give us their point of view when needed. In addition, we count on their support when confronting new work experiences. We also find inner strength that helps motivate us and gain confidence as we go. This happens to be a natural flow in life for many people.

Throughout these past years I’ve noticed that there’s been a shift in my life and after thinking this through a bit more, I realize it is a common factor among many freelancers. What do you do when you are stuck in a rut? When you feel lonely and need inspiring words that can help you move on and simply pass by a rough phase?

At first this was one of the hardest things for me to adapt to. I was so used to working in a big company, saying “hi” to so many people throughout the day, brainstorming with peers, and discussing options and variables with Supervisors or Managers. When I decided to go freelance, and began facing different and difficult situations, I realized I was alone. I had to make decisions on my own, and I noticed that even though I tried looking for advice with friends, or family, my reality was very different to theirs. Nobody was a freelancer! They had, undoubtedly, a more structured corporate experience and vision and it was hard for them to think outside the box.

As the months passed by, I began reading about freelancing and participating in different blogs, attended meet-ups, started spreading the word on my new freelance lifestyle with all my contacts… Slowly I began meeting new freelancers and began discovering former coworkers that also decided to experiment the beauty of freelancing. This not only helped me understand I wasn’t the only one confronting such an unsteady lifestyle, with fears and tons of questions, but also helped me get in touch with other freelancers and together exchange thoughts, experiences, advice.

Honestly, this has helped me feel more motivated. Just like that kid in the park needed his mom’s support to try again after falling off his bike, I think we all need supportive words and contention when we feel things are not running smoothly. Freelancing can make you feel lonely, but other freelancers can help you feel accompanied. This is what works out for me. What do you do? How do you gain confidence when you are feeling overwhelmed?

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