Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life. Yoko Ono
What if I tell you that doing one simple exercise a day can make you confident?
One of the most important characteristics of great leaders is self-confidence. Every successful person looks strong and confident and we hardly believe that once he used to be just an ordinary person with fears and worries.
These people aren’t afraid to look someone in the eyes, to say what they want and to go and get it. They radiate confidence, power, success and determination and many times this helps them win a fight and get what they want without even saying anything.
They had gone through many difficulties until they’ve become who they are.
The relief is that everyone can achieve it. Even if you pretend that you are self-confident, you will look stronger in the eyes of others and they will treat you with the respect you deserve.
Being self-confident is a sign that you believe in yourself, have your goals set and work on them every day, aren’t afraid to make eye contact and are unstoppable once you’ve decided something. It also helps you speak and walk more confidently, look better and feel comfortable with yourself.
And one simple exercise separates you from all that.
This is a technique that most of the people you look up to use every day.
If you have role models, I can guarantee you that at least one of them is doing this every morning. I’m talking about politicians, businessmen, athletes, actors, motivational speakers, professors and many others. They do it every morning/evening, before a competition/meeting/performance/etc., or every time they need a little confidence boost. And it has helped them more than anything. Here it is:
The Mirror Technique
What to do?
Stand in front of a mirror (the bigger, the better). Let the weight of your body be equally divided. Straighten your back and take a deep breath with your chest. Look yourself in the eyes confidently. Put a light smile on your face so that you look determined. Start talking to your reflection. Say things like “I believe in myself!”, “I can!”, “Everyday I get 1% better.”, “I know what I want and aren’t afraid to get it.”
Think about the things you want to achieve and say that you can get them, and there is nothing that can stop you on your way to success. Continue breathing as deep as you can and generate only positive statements and thoughts.
Go on like that for at least 5-10 minutes.
You can always make it longer and add things like what you love most about yourself, your best qualities and recognitions so far. It’s not about bragging and vanity, but about starting to believe in yourself, your potential and possibilities.
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It is best to do it in the morning, preferably as a part of your morning routine. This way you can start your day with energy and go out with confidence.
Others prefer doing it in the evening, or simply whenever they need self-esteem. All you need is to find a mirror and spend 5 minutes alone in front of it.
What results to expect?
After the first few times you do it, you will feel a little difference in your behavior, but it may not last long.
That’s because when you leave the quiet room with the mirror, you go back to reality with its problems, people who are mean and critical to you, disappointments and worries.
And you easily forget the way you felt while practicing confidence, and continue the day as usual.
But please don’t let that stop you. Start doing it twice a day, make it a habit and in a week or two you will see a more confident person in the reflection.
The magic, however, happens in the long term.
After one or two months nobody will be able to deny that you are a different person, or at least look and feel like one. You won’t be afraid to look people in the eyes anymore.
You will become more active, because you will spend every day of yours reaching the goals you’ve set. But this time you will be absolutely sure that nothing will stop you, simply because you won’t let it get in your way.
The best result you’ll have from the exercise is the strength and power your eyes are going to radiate. After that you will also notice how people treat you in a different way, because you won’t be inferior to them anymore. Some may even feel afraid to argue with you as you seem so determined and confident.
Our subconscious is very susceptible to the things we say out loud. Imagine what a big influence this technique will have on it when we combine saying positive statements with looking ourselves confidently in the eyes.
The best way to understand that is to simply perform the exercise.
Don’t forget that almost every athlete has done that before a game, every businessman before an important meeting with a client, even a man/woman before going on a first date, an employee before an interview and so on.
Use this strategy and become an individual with strong character and self-esteem. Let the mirror be your friend!
Writing is what I love doing and I managed to turn it into my career. But that wouldn’t have been as enjoyable without having the freedom to work from anywhere and move to my favorite country. So after I became a freelance writer, I also took a few steps to become location independent.
Let me share how that journey looked like for me and maybe inspire you to take the leap and not just become a freelancer but also travel the world or just leave your home country and never look back.
Stage 1: Overcoming The Doubts
I believe all change happens on the inside first. In the case of becoming a freelance writer and a lifestyle designer, you’d first need to do a couple of things related to developing a strong mindset.
To begin with, define what you don’t like about your current lifestyle. Be clear about it and see yourself living a better life some time from now. This vision will also help you realize what you truly desire.
For me, it was freedom and independence but in a specific way.
I mean, I don’t really need to travel the world. It was enough to spend a few weeks in Thailand and to always have the chance to get back to a destination like that if I feel like. But what I truly desired was to leave my home country, Bulgaria, and instead move to the Netherlands.
However, my transformation started many years ago, before I even knew that’s where I wanted to live. First, I wasn’t satisfied with my life back then. I was already in my 20s and I always felt like I wasn’t spending my time right. So something had to be done.
Doubts are scary.
In fact, they are one of the reasons why so many people all over the world never start a business, end a relationship, travel or else.
Once you get through that stage though, you start having hope, you visualize a better life, and you finally take action. And once you take the first step, magical things begin to happen.
For me, that first step was to define my passion (personal development) and combine it with writing, which I simply loved doing and felt like it was the right way to spend my time.
English is just my second language. I had no official degree in what I’m doing. I wasn’t tech-savvy and had no idea how the Internet actually worked.
But the desire for a different life and more meaningful activities was stronger than any lack of knowledge or experience. So I dedicated the 4 years of my life during university to building the foundation of my online business and the lifestyle I enjoy today.
Stage 2: Getting The First Clients
I began writing, first on my blog (more on that below), then for others. But the magical ingredient here is reading.
I spent a ton of time (still do and probably always will) reading about people who were already living the life I was after. And that changed it all. I overcame all the doubts because I saw all that I wanted was possible. If other people were living like that and they all started from nothing, then it’s just a matter of time till I get there too.
That encouraged me. And my motivation never decreased because of some people I started following consistently and seeing their progress kept me action-oriented too.
It was time to earn my first dollars freelancing.
The good thing about the Internet is that you don’t have to be anyone in order to land your first gig. Once you do, the second one is easier. You just need someone to pay you for your freelance services so you can have confidence in your abilities and improve your skills.
I never thought I’d be able to call myself a freelance writer, not to mention be location independent together with that. But I left the big picture behind for a while and focused on simpler things. Such as:
What can I do today to land my first client?
After researching, I realized there are sites for freelancers where employers post jobs and I can apply to each that seems like a good fit for me. And so I did.
I created my profiles, had low rates (because any money was good money for me then if it was online), and applied for a few jobs. I had no idea what to say exactly so I just went with what felt right.
I introduced myself when pitching clients and told them how I can help them with their project. Rejection here is normal as there’s a ton of competition.
Eventually, someone hired me for a job and I made my first $20 or so.
It was a short and sweet gig and I did a good job. The communication with the client was smooth.
It’s hard to land someone for the first time, especially in my case. On my profile they could see Bulgaria and that English isn’t my native language. Also, that I’m new to the site and have no previous feedback. Basically, not the most trustworthy freelance writer to hire.
But there are new employers to such platforms too and they are ready to hire you as long as you have something to offer them.
So if you want to make money online and eventually turn that into a business, become location independent and work remotely, or just want to do what you love freelancing, then create your profiles on sites like Upwork, Guru, Freelancer and PeoplePerHour and start pitching.
Stage 3: Building a Blog and a Brand
The 3rd crucial step in my journey to becoming a location independent freelance writer was this blog.
Let’s Reach Success started as a personal blog on self-improvement. But consistency was the key and I seemed to be good at this. It’s because I love writing too of course. It eventually turned into my biggest project and today it’s my portfolio.
There are more than 1600 articles in the archives, a whole book store, proper design (thanks to this premium theme), authority, and a story behind it. Which makes me and Let’s Reach Success kind of a personal brand.
If you haven’t started a site yet, you’re wasting time. Whatever it is that you wanna do online, you need that one platform.
I’ve written a quick guide on how to do that. Check out How to Set Up a WordPress Site on Bluehost. Don’t worry, the technical aspect is easy and I’ve outlined the few simple steps you should take to have your site up and running in less than 30 minutes.
Blogging is a must for every freelance writer. Here’s why:
First, you get to showcase your work. You can write articles all the time and show them to clients. Whenever you want to start writing about a new topic, you’ll simply start covering it on your blog and then provide samples to employers.
You become known as an expert. If you stay consistent and provide unique and quality content frequently, people will know you’re the go-to blogger in the niche. Together with your unique voice and all other things you’re doing on the side, you can build a name for yourself. That means clients will start finding you soon.
Blogging is a learning experience. There’s a lot going on in the archives on my blog. If I go back, I can even see how I’ve grown over the years. Your writing will change too and that’s okay. Your site becomes your biggest project, especially if you’re a writer yourself. Also, it’s thanks to wanting to improve Let’s Reach Success that I’ve learned so much about optimizing content, making money from a blog, and more.
Stage 4: Setting Up an Online Business
Now that you’ve overcome the doubts, have landed your first freelance client, and have your own blog, you can turn that into an online business soon.
First, of course, you’ll need to have some decent income monthly to be a proper location independent freelance writer. Although plenty of people register a company from the beginning and then slowly grow their freelance business.
However, in the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing. I was paying taxes and fees for the freelancing platforms I worked with and that was enough. I wasn’t sure how much more I could make each month.
When I got to a few hundred dollars monthly, though, (which is an amount you can live with back in my home country if you aren’t paying rent), I decided to fix the legal part and register as an independent worker there and start paying my taxes.
Over the next months, I truly believed I’m now a freelance writer earning money from my craft and loved it. Of course, I also wanted to grow, build skills, land better clients, improve my site and see what else I could be doing online.
Stage 5: Choosing Your Ideal Destination and Moving There
When I was making $1000/month from my blog and freelance writing services, and because the business was online, I finally felt like I could soon move away and start a new life.
The country I wanted to live in was the Netherlands. I already had friends there and knew it was the place to be for me. So I booked a place in Amsterdam with AirBnB and dedicated these 10 days to finding my new home.
I needed it to be affordable and in a good neighborhood and that’s exactly what I got.
Because I wanted to be there so much and worked hard for it, there hasn’t been a day since I moved that I didn’t wake up with a smile on my face.
That’s one of the main aspects of lifestyle design. Doing work you love and making just enough to be able to live the way you like.
Of course, Amsterdam isn’t cheap so I had to limit my expenses and change things.
Stage 6: Living The Location Independent Lifestyle
I did some traveling too. Spending 5 weeks in Thailand cost me a lot in terms of money (although it could have been cheaper too but I didn’t prepare well) and focus. But it’s safe to say these weeks have been the craziest and most adventurous ones in my life.
I might go back there, but that’s not necessary. I love my daily life too and don’t need an escape from that. The important thing about being a location independent freelance writer is that you have to enjoy the freedom of being where you are. And if you earned your chance to get there, it tastes even better.
Stage 7: Mastering Working Remotely and From Home
Location independence and freelancing aren’t for everyone as it’s not easy, there are sacrifices to be made and plenty of challenges. One of them is getting distracted and not doing focused work on a daily basis.
One thing I did right though was to build some good productivity habits and eliminate procrastination and distractions early on. In fact, that was when I started making my first money as a freelance writer.
It’s nice to imagine how you can live and work from anywhere 6 months from now. But if you don’t build the discipline in advance and learn how to structure your day so you can do your best work, you won’t make it.