By Afia Kwakyewaa Owusu-Nyantakyi

You could hide in a hole in 2019, and someone would simply knock it off you for no reason. So you have to deal with life’s pressures regardless. There’s no hiding from it. This post is about what is, as compared to what could be.

As a freelancer, this is something that describes the life we choose and how we react to it. A freelancer’s life has a plan that is constantly changing. One of the key elements of being in the gig industry, is that you need to network. Like a lot. You need to attend events, go out for lunches, meet new people, even if it isn’t immediately yielding returns or creating opportunities. I have found that many of the clients I have worked for, were through referrals, or a great conversation. If you’re a social bee, you will feel right at home with this lifestyle. But what if you’re not? There is no denying that there is some kind of pressure that stems from not having a grasp on everything, that includes trends in your line of work. There is an unspoken need to be in the know of everything that’s happening, more importantly from your competitors.

Social media can do a number on you as well. There is also the constant need to re-invent yourself and start new things, because you’re compelled by… Pressure. I know this well, it is a by-product of feeling inadequate. Of constantly wondering if you could do more. If you could give customers a better service. If you can acquire new skills. If you could organize events that people would want to attend. If you could be, essentially more exciting in your lane. Well, the truth is, yes. It is possible. You could do all of that and more. Even though it may be hard to do it alone, it is certainly possible. So what’s the problem here? Are you doing it the way you thought about, or are you reacting to all that you see around you? So here are a few tips to keep you in control of the pressure:

  1. Stop overreacting. Under-react more. You’re doing fine. Your pace can’t be the same as everyone’s . That will be debilitating to your authentic growth. When complications come your way, try to calm down. You will be surprised how much practicality you will find in your approach to the problem.
  2. Be realistic and intentional. Your movements, and decisions are directly linked to how much you’re making when you first get started. So don’t stretch too thin. Trust me, I learned this the hard way. Do what you can, and understand your limits.
  3. Stay connected to you. Understandably goals change, so does focus. But it’s important to stay connected to the original motivations behind why you desired to start working on your own. How else can you authentically be you?
  4. Go out and network for you. You deserve to have a good time for no reason at all. Not only can will you pleasantly be surprised at the way serendipity can work in your favour, but also because you would be helping yourself alleviate the work pressure you are under.