Once again rejection knocks on the front door. It’s probably the 27th time within just a few weeks that another potential client, editor or customer has figuratively taken a hungry bite out of your soul and meticulously chewed it for a while before spitting it back out because of the unappealing taste.
There is only one thing that matters when this happens and that is how you handle it. Will you lay down, cry and get back to that safe, but unpromising 9 to 5 job that you despise? Or will you get back up, put on your boxing gloves and fight with your heart and soul for what you want? I suggest the latter option. Take it from someone who’s persistently tried to enter the realm of freedom that comes with being a freelance writer.
Here are 4 ways to stay strong in a competitive marketplace:
1. List your positive attributes
Innumerable rejections naturally take their toll on the human mind. Despite your first-rate efforts, admirable persistence and self-consciousness, eternally being exposed to this may lead to lack of conviction, fading passion and loss of focus.
The only thing you can do here is to stop beating yourself up, remove your sight from the long road ahead for a little while and think about how far you’ve come by listing all previous successes. However small or irrelevant you think they are, all of them matter. It can be a quality you like about yourself, an attitude your friends admire, a skill people praise, a good grade or why not even a hobby you’re exceptionally good at.
The point about this is to strengthen your mind, regain and maintain your confidence and most importantly, find countless reasons not to give up rather than listing all the things that have gone wrong. Most of the time it’s not about you, so it’s essential to not take it personal.
“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” – Arnold J. Toynbee
2. Take a break
You might be on the verge of breaking down and starting to contemplate about whether you should quit or not; Don’t. Instead, go and do something you particularly take pleasure in. Read a good self-help or fiction book, hang out with friends or spend a day strolling around the city and revisit your cult places or discover new ones. As long as you completely tune out from social media and your business and allow yourself to unwind for a couple of days. Or even a week if you feel like it is of vital importance.
A trip to an unexplored destination might just do the trick. Whether it’s a long car drive to the capital of the country, a train ride to an idyllic small town or flight to the neighbouring country or even across the globe. Bring some good reading, your kick-ass, self-titled playlist (we all have one) and hiking gear, and prepare for a treat for your soul while you take the time to unwind from your worries.
It may sound like the last thing you’d want to do, but trust me on this one. You’ll realize how much you needed it once you get back to your grinding with a fresh mind and revitalized spirit.
3. Get back in there
Your mind and body are now well rested and you’ve hopefully recovered from the door slamming and soul punching that took you down in the first place.
Start fresh – preferably on a weekend – and outline a few things, thoughts and goals that have to happen by the end of the following week. Don’t make the list too long or the tasks too demanding, otherwise you’ll get the urge to give up again, which is the last thing you want!
Split your tasks in between days. Monday may include calling to set up meetings throughout the week, the following day you might want to spend one half of the day working on your main project while the other half you’ll be enhancing your proficiencies by studying your line of work. Attending several meetings on Wednesday and attending seminars and networking within your chosen profession might be ideal for a Thursday and so on. I think you get it.
“I didn’t want an unsatisfying career. And I didn’t want to commit to one place – either one company or one location. I wanted to make my own decisions.” – Rocco Baldasarre
4. Regain focus, then maintain it
If you’ve not just read this and paid attention, but also actually executed all of these steps, you should be well on your way to regain focus. Now is the next challenge. To maintain it. It’s not as hard as most people think.
Create a clear vision for future goals, not just the title on your business card. You need to see, feel and even smell your true purpose. See yourself sitting in your own office overlooking the majestic city skyline, feel the pristine white sand lingering between your toes if you dream of having a job that includes traveling to exotic resorts, and smell the fresh paint as you decorate your newly built penthouse.
Once your mind is fully fixated on your final destination, get to work on it. Relentlessly, unapologetically and with such force that people start thinking you’ve gone mad.
What are some other ways to stay competitive? Comment below!
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