How to Deal with Rejection, Loneliness, and Self-sufficiency as a Freelancer
Being a freelancer and entrepreneur can be challenging… It’s so different from the 9 to 5 grind that you are conditioned to be working. BUT… It is also super rewarding! It just takes some fine-tuning and hard work.
While the freedom and flexibility of working for yourself can be liberating, it can also bring about feelings of rejection and loneliness. And requires you to have a high-level self-sufficiency.
You are used to having people around you who deal with the same work/life difficulties as you do, but as a freelancer, that community seems to disappear, and you start to realize how much you relied on them in the first place.
So here are some tips for dealing with these common challenges as a freelancer.
Dealing with Rejection
One of my favorite quotes is… “There is no rejection, only selection.” It helps me when I’m feeling bumped out when a client project is turned down, or a client decides to part ways.
Rejection is a natural part of life and a major struggle in the freelance world. Whether it’s a client who chooses someone else for a project, or a pitch that is followed by ghosting, rejection can sting!
You go from vibing and excited to WTF in no time!
When this happens, PLEASE try to remember that rejection is not a reflection of your worth or abilities. It’s simply a decision made by someone else based on their needs and preferences.
I.e., selection, not rejection.
You probably don’t know all the things going on in their business or life that might influence their ability or desire to work with you on that project. It doesn’t always help to know this when you’re not getting that dream contract and whatnot…
So to deal with the sting, try this:
Don’t take it personally: I know it’s easier said than done, but try to remind yourself that the decisions they make and how they communicate those decisions are a reflection of themselves and their needs, not your worth.
Learn from it: This should be your mentality whether you get the gig or not. Having a practice of non-judgemental evaluation will help you grow your business and your mindset in extraordinary ways. Try to view rejection as an opportunity to learn and grow. Analyze why your pitch or proposal to see where you may have missed the mark and try to improve it for next time.
Keep trying: The one thing every successful person has done is not quit. Keep putting yourself out there and trying new things. Maybe you have to change your services, communication, or presentation the next time. Just don’t throw in the towel! If there is a dream, mission, or purpose in your freelancing, keep going. You will find your mojo! The more you put yourself out there, the more opportunities you will have.
Dealing with Loneliness
One of the biggest challenges of freelancing is the feeling of loneliness that can sometimes accompany it. When you work for yourself, you don’t have the social interaction that comes with working in an office or with coworkers.
Just like with everything else in freelance life, you have to get creative and find your own way a bit.
Here are some things to try:
Find a community: Join online communities or local groups for freelancers in your industry. You can connect with others who understand your experiences and build relationships with people who share your interests. We live in a time when you can have a freelance bestie in a totally different country!
Schedule social time: Make a conscious effort to schedule social activities into your week. This could be anything from a coffee date with a friend to a networking event. It's so easy to get stuck in the trap of your freelance business taking up your entire brain space and letting fun social time slip through the cracks. I’m super guilty of not prioritizing social time! Making social time a priority, even just once a week, will help you combat some of the loneliness that is so common as a freelancer and entrepreneur.
Work in a public space: If you find yourself feeling lonely while working from home, try working from a coffee shop or coworking space. Being around other people can help alleviate feelings of isolation. This is especially good for extroverted people who thrive on social interaction.
Dealing with Self-Sufficiency
Being self-sufficient and a self-starter is kind of law when you are a freelancer and entrepreneur!
The only person who can make you reach out to clients is you. The only person who can make you do the work is you.
When you work for yourself, you need to be able to rely on yourself to get things done. You also need to be able to maintain a balance between self-sufficiency and asking for help when you need it.
So what can you do?
Plan ahead: Create a schedule or a to-do list for each day to help you stay organized and on track. Time block your tasks as much as you can, and don’t forget to leave room for breaks, fun, and self-care!
Ask for help: Don’t be afraid to delegate or ask for help when you need it. Whether it’s outsourcing a task or using technology to make things easier on yourself, getting assistance where you can will help you get things done more efficiently with less stress.
Find your rhythm: For one person, they may work the most efficiently in large chunks of time where they batch similar tasks together. For another person, they may need to take a break every two hours to make sure they have the energy to do everything they need to do.
That’s why I made a Business Vibes Journal. It helps you find your best rhythm, so you can be as efficient and self-sufficient as possible while making sure you take care of yourself and avoid burnout.
Being a freelancer can be a challenging but rewarding career choice. After years as a freelancer, I can’t imagine working any other way. But, like with most things that fall outside the norms of our culture, there is a learning curve.
Dealing with rejection, loneliness, and self-sufficiency are challenges that can take you down, but by learning the right strategies and mindset, you can overcome them and thrive in your freelance career.
Remember to stay positive, stay connected, and prioritize self-care.
If you’re a freelance copywriter looking for support, check out my coaching page or book a call and let’s chat about how I can support you on your freelance journey!