How To Build Work Confidence: 9 Tips for Freelancers 🦸

  • Remote Working & Freelancing
Contra Tips
· 6 min read

Low self-esteem can hinder freelancers. If you’re wondering how to be more confident, these confidence-boosting tips are sure to help.

Countless employees work out front and behind the scenes in a large corporation to achieve success. As an Independent, business is often (not always) a solo act.

The key to a successful freelance experience is putting yourself front and center. It requires a combination of personality, experience, and multitasking. For some, that comes easily. But for others, figuring out how to be more confident can seem daunting.

Confidence is a necessary tool for freelancers in any industry. Confidence ensures others perceive you as reliable, knowledgeable, and (most importantly) hireable. That’s why we’ve compiled some helpful tips for being confident.

What is confidence? 😎

Simply put, it’s believing in yourself and your abilities. Confident people know their strengths, effectively communicate their expertise, and step into unfamiliar environments without fear. Confident people tend to have high self-esteem, carry themselves assertively, and understand what they’re good at and what they need to work on.

Low confidence, on the other hand, can lead to many adverse outcomes: self-doubt, low self-esteem, negative self-talk, and more. Fortunately, none of these concerns are insurmountable. Changing your self-evaluation practices will make you a better, more confident freelancer.

Why is confidence important as a freelancer? 💪

For Independents, the initial work primarily consists of tracking down clients and convincing them you can help. If a potential client perceives a lack of self-confidence, it won’t inspire them to feel confident in your work. That’s why it’s vital to project confidence when approaching new clients.

Career opportunities aren’t the only benefit of boosted confidence. It will also improve personal development. Some personal benefits include:

  • Healthier living. Self-esteem issues often present negative consequences for the body and the brain. Increased confidence reduces negative self-talk that may harm body image and health outcomes.
  • Accomplishing goals. A lack of confidence can be a tough trap to escape. Low confidence can lead to low achievement, which forms a negative feedback loop. Increased confidence leads to higher motivation and productivity.
  • Better resilience. Recognizing your achievements is an essential step toward boosting confidence. That feeling of self-confidence is then carried forward to other tasks. Acknowledging past successes also helps when weathering hardships.
  • Improved mental health. For some, low confidence is related to complex mental health challenges. Building confidence helps you recognize aspects of your life that you have control over, despite obstacles you cannot change.

Of course, these are only some reasons why confidence is important. Increased confidence can significantly change how others see you and how you see yourself, allowing you to recognize you have a value worth sharing.

Tips for being confident in your work 🕺

But how, exactly, does one become more confident? Many tactics for self-improvement will help with work confidence issues. Here are our suggestions to get started on the right path.

1. Stop the negative self-talk 🤬

People are often their own worst critics. It’s incredibly easy to convince yourself you can’t handle a project, so practicing self-affirmation and positive thinking is essential.

2. Self-reflect 🪞

Self-reflection is a good source of positive affirmations. Look back at things that went well and be honest about what could have gone better. Take comfort and pride in the successes, but don’t let failure bring you down. Failure is an opportunity to learn, not a trap to get stuck in.

3. Cultivate a positive environment 🧘

The effect of your environment on self-confidence can’t be ignored. Aspects of the home or workplace may foster low self-esteem. The people surrounding you may also be a source of negativity. 

Online communities of like-minded individuals are an excellent resource for boosting self-confidence. Contra supports a vibrant Slack community full of Independents who share your interests and goals.

4. Shake things up 🤪

Step out of your comfort zone to keep from falling into a rut. Put yourself in a new environment or give yourself a new challenge — you might be surprised how well you do. Entering new and unfamiliar situations teaches new skills and boosts confidence.

5. Avoid comparisons to others ⚖️

Step one: Ignore social media platforms that are notorious for their highly curated content (we’re looking at you, Instagram). People rarely post about their bad days, so you’ll only be bombarded by others’ unmitigated successes. That’s a great way to develop unrealistic standards. 

In general, measuring your successes or failures next to someone else’s experience is always a bad idea. Instead, figure out personal metrics for success based on your life and experiences. After all, that’s what makes you uniquely you. Then, cruise over to Contra’s Discover feed, a great source of inspiration for what’s possible when you believe in yourself.

6. Maintain good health 🩺

A healthy diet and exercise can boost confidence and self-esteem. Poor nutrition has numerous links to mental health issues. When you practice self-care, your body and brain work in harmony.

7. Practice 🏋️

Whether for a presentation in front of the whole team or a 1-on-1 client call over Zoom, practice makes perfect and boosts confidence during the real thing. There’s a reason actors memorize lines and musicians learn all their music by heart. Training will build confidence that connects with your target audience.

8. Stand proud — literally🧍

Some postures are more closely associated with confidence than others. A person who slouches all the time, drags their feet, or avoids eye contact is less likely to close a deal than someone who stands straight and doesn’t fidget. Learn physical behaviors associated with confidence, and watch your brain follow your body’s example.

9. Exercise patience and kindness ❤️

Following this list won’t guarantee the confidence of a practiced public speaker or performer. It takes time and patience to retrain yourself to be less fearful and more assertive. Change won’t come overnight — the most meaningful changes often take the longest. So, be kind to yourself. View failure as an opportunity for research and growth. You’ll get there — just give yourself time and plenty of TLC.

Looking for best practices? 🔍

Gaining confidence is a long and challenging road. By adopting some confidence-building practices, each setback starts to feel less catastrophic. Remember, you’re not alone on this journey — Contra’s blog is full of valuable advice that can help boost your work confidence. Our Slack community offers outside perspectives and much-needed support.

Contra’s commission-free platform and client management tools can also boost an Independent’s confidence. Feel safe and secure in your interactions with potential clients knowing that Contra was built from the ground up with freelancers in mind.

How to Manage Finances as a Freelancer 💵 by The Contrarian

Learning how to manage finances is crucial for freelancers. We’ve got some money management tips to get you started.
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