Written By: Brandi-Ann Uyemura
I’ve always been uber shy. When I was a child, my mom bought me books where the protagonists are always shrinking violets. In elementary school, I took a failing grade because the thought of speaking up in public was more mortifying than seeing an F on my report card. It’s one of the reasons why I took so well to writing. I could create words on paper and express myself while keeping any verbal discourse to myself.
Yet, somewhere along the line I realized that writing wasn’t just about sitting quietly and typing. I could write all I wanted, but if I didn’t speak up and sell my writing, I might as well stick to a day job and keep writing as a hobby.
The transformation from shrinking violet to bold lily wasn’t an easy one, however. There were a ton of things I learned in the process. Things like taking on a fearless persona or asking for what I need. While challenging, it was all part of the journey.
If you’re hiding behind your own fear and insecurity, read on to learn a few tips that’ll help you get out from under the covers and into the spotlight. As spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson said, “Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.” To add to that, it won’t serve your freelance business either.
Let your inner diva shine! Everyone has one. Even Beyoncé admitted to it and named her Sasha Fierce. As for me, I was nervous Nelly right before my meeting with a prospective client. I was trying hard to portray confidence the way my husband rehearsed with me the night before. Then, it suddenly hit me. I didn’t have to fake confidence. I already had it in me. It’s there when I ask for what I need with loved ones and when I’m participating in an activity I love. I didn’t need to fake it. I just needed to embrace it. The result? I got the job I wanted.
Stay true to yourself. You know how much you’re worth. Don’t settle for less. The times when I’ve taken the risk and asked for what I needed, I’ve gotten it. It’s actually the times when I took jobs that compromised my time and money that ended up being the most problematic. It also made me resentful in the end.
Be willing to say no to be able to say yes to better opportunities. Recently, I had a chance to work with a nonprofit organization. I was thrilled because as someone who’s either volunteered or worked for a nonprofit during most of my life, it truly felt like my career was coming full circle. There was one snag, however. The organization was unable to compensate me even at the very low-end of my pay scale. I was torn. On one hand, I really wanted to work for this organization. On the other, I knew it would take considerable amount of my time. This meant that I would be unable to fit other higher paying writing jobs. In the end, I decided to walk. Imagine my surprise then, when the organization came back and met me in the middle. I think this goes back to staying true to your values. When you’re clear about your needs, the decision becomes easier.
Be clear about what your worth and have faith that you will find other people who will respect your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. If you project inner confidence, are honest about your needs and decisive about your expectations, you will find that people will respect you more as well.
And as for that shrinking violet. She’s still there, but I only let her come out on Halloween.
Brandi-Ann Uyemura is a full-time freelance writer inspiring others with creative prose and fresh copy for all. She juggles between three blogs, not2shabby.wordpress.com, 2inspired.wordpress.com and her professional website www.Brandi-AnnUyemura.com. You can follow her journey on Twitter (@2inspired) and on Facebook.