There are two types of people in this world—those who make things happen and those who allow things to happen to them. Reader friend, I know that you are the first type, a mover & shaker take-charge Freelance professional who knows how to make good things happen.
But every once in a while, I also know that the best-laid plans will not produce the expected outcome. Other times, responsibilities and obligations pile on to a distressing level. Such events might cause even a high-performing Freelance consultant to feel helpless and overwhelmed and as a result, stressed.
University of Florida psychologist Timothy Judge and colleagues encourage us to give ourselves a pep talk during challenging times, to promote the feeling that we are still able to exert control over the levers of our life and business (occasional slips of the grip notwithstanding), because his team’s research quite clearly indicates that those who feel confident in their abilities and in control of their lives are much better at managing stress and getting themselves positioned to capitalize on opportunities and dismantling or avoiding obstacles that block success.
Those who feel as if they are in control of their life and work can simultaneously feel very intense stress and anxiety from time to time. However, their resilience equips them to manage those feelings differently from the passive types. The powerful get busy when adversity strikes, while the passive are inclined to accept negative circumstances as inevitable and conclude that there is no recourse. They give up.
The ability to manage emotions and remain calm under intense pressure has a direct link to performance and the ability to perform well has a direct link to success. Luck plays a role (let us not arrogantly deny that force of the universe), but we are sometimes able to summon good luck into our lives. It is often said that fortune favors the prepared.
As regards defeating or minimizing adversity, realism makes us more resilient. Prepare yourself for change by accepting that ups and downs are inevitable and the good times will not roll forever. When billable hours are abundant and additional cash is available, create short- and long-term savings and investment goals. If nothing else, add more money to your retirement fund. Whatever happens good or bad, money will be useful. Think also of Plan B and even Plan C alternatives that you could pivot into should unfortunate occurrences darken your door.
If you are presently in the clutches of challenging circumstances, you have my deepest sympathy. Moreover I can empathize, because I’ve been there and I’m terrified of returning. Respectfully, I suggest that you take steps to shift your perspective to adopt the viewpoint of power and gain the confidence to take the reins. There may be aspects of your dilemma that are beyond your control, but you are capable of controlling your response to it. Long-term wallowing in self-pity is not useful.
Stress and anxiety can put us into a choke-hold. To slip out, take action to build up your body’s hormonal stress-busters, endorphins and serotonin, with some regular exercise. Any kind will do, so long as you partake three or four times each week for a minimum of 30 minutes. Please see my post from December 22, 2015. https://freelancetheconsultantsdiary.wordpress.com/2015/12/22/exercise-leadership-in-the-new-year
Once you peel away a few layers of stress and anxiety, you’ll be able to apply your renewed confidence to identifying corrective strategies. It may take a while to engineer your repackaging or pivot, but the time to begin the transformation from passive to powerful is now.
Thanks for reading,