Would you like to know why I looked for freelance writing work for two years before actually applying for a gig? It’s because I doubted myself. I was very shy and to apply for something out of the blue took me out of my element. That’s also why I stayed with a couple of jobs I didn’t like for so long. I doubted my ability to land another job. In the real world and in the freelance world, I let negativity get the best of me.
I was afraid of rejection. I thought there were better writers applying. Finally, I saw a job for a humor columnist that was right up my alley. I applied and got the gig. The first freelance writing job I ever applied for, and I was accepted. I can’t tell you what that did for my confidence.
Not too many people I meet nowadays would consider me shy, because I’ve learned to overcome many of my insecurities in order to succeed outside the salaried workforce. Freelancing and working at home may look perfect for introverts, but I’m here to tell you it’s not for the meek. If there’s one thing I learned over the past decade, it’s that the right attitude makes such an big difference.
We’ve talked about confidence on many occasions in the past. Today’s let’s look at why positivity matters.
People Dig Good Vibes
Enthusiasm is contagious. Have you ever noticed how people with a certain effervescence attract others? It’s contagious. Confidence is a turn on. Think about who you would rather hang out with. The upbeat, positive person, the shy wallflower, or the ranty malcontent who always has a gripe. Clients feel this way too. They can sense confidence. A writer who knows she can do a job to the best of her ability is always more likely to land the gig over someone who exudes doubt. Potential clients can read body language and they can hear hesitation in your voice. Confidence even comes through in the written word via email – but when your positive it shines through.
If You Think You Can’t, You Won’t
To say you can’t do something won’t get you anywhere. “Can’ts” keep us from finding gigs or getting out of our home offices and meeting the people who pay the big bucks. “Can’ts” keep us from stepping outside our comfort zone and applying for more prestigious opportunities. Say you can…and then try. I won’t lie. You may receive rejection at first, but perserverance pays off. If you say you can’t, you won’t. Think positive. Say you can. See if it makes a difference.
There’s a Difference Between Confidence and Arrogance
Being confident is terrific, it means we have faith in our ability. Being arrogant and pushy is a whole other story. People who are positive display confidence because they absolutely know they can get the job done. Arrogant or pushy people aren’t confident, they use aggressive, almost bullying behavior to get their way. This may land them some great gigs, but it also keeps people away. By all means, go out and get what you want but be mindful of how you’re doing it. Think about how others see you. You’ll see there’s a difference.
My theme for 2010 is positivity. I wrote the word in big block letters and have it taped over my desk. Every time I doubt myself, every time I want to fire back at someone in anger, every time I make a quick judgment or say I can’t, I look up and see “POSITIVITY” staring me back in the face. It may sound simple, but having a mantra and creating a new positive goal is making a big difference in how I see myself, and how others see me.
Can’t isn’t part of my vocabulary. If I’m not sure of a situation, I analyze the reasons why and act.
Positivity does make a difference. Don’t believe me? Try it and see what happens. I’m confident you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
How has positivity changed your life?