The life of a digital nomad is like a two-sided coin; there is the bad side and the good side. You can’t enjoy the full experience of this lifestyle without experiencing the dark side of it. Many realized that they are not cut out for this type of working model and went back into office jobs, but there are also those who thrived in this lifestyle. These people who grew and became more content with who they are, are showing us that this lifestyle is possible and doable.
The benefits of living this lifestyle have been mentioned in articles on the internet numerous times. However, to understand why digital nomads are some of the happiest people you will ever encounter, more in-depth research was done. These nine ways on how the digital nomad lifestyle builds self-confidence showed us a few reasons why.
The psychology behind why remote workers are content and happy boiled down into the fact that this lifestyle gave them a reason to be proud of themselves. They gained more self-confidence which in turn made them happy which then leads to feeling content. A more in-depth discussion of how this lifestyle did that, can be read further in the article.
1. Realizing The Potential Outside the Regular 9 to 5 Job
A regular nine to five job will mostly always have a traditional office setting. You are either enclosed inside a four-walled office, or you have a small, cluttered cubicle with a computer and filing cabinet thrown in the mix. You spend the majority of your time cooped up inside an office or a building with your co-workers, and this drains you more than you knew it would. You started to feel down and burned out, and this leads to you feeling underappreciated.
An employee who feels constricted and confined can suffer from low self-esteem and lack of initiative. These kinds of feelings tend to encourage negative energy that can affect the whole team and sometimes the entire company. Some pull through but those who don’t face a hard decision; to leave or not to go.
Leaving the nine to five job is not as scary as it was before. It can breathe a new life to burned out employees from the daily grind. Now, they have an option where they can grow as an individual, as an employee and as an entrepreneur all at the same time if they want to. The real selling point of this idea is that they can do it all while exploring the world.
When you work for a company in an office setting a lot of times the identity that you have is wrapped around the type of work you do. All the changes if you are living the digital nomad lifestyle. Your identity becomes what you are planning to do during the day, the business that you were building or the freelance projects that you’re involved in, and of course the places that you travel to and experience. Your identity and effect become wrapped around all the things that you do during the day, and you have the choice to combine freelance and entrepreneurial work with adventure and travel and cultural experiences every week.
This lifestyle has proven to be beneficial to many but not to all. It helped employees to feel happier and therefore work better. The freedom from the sterile office setting has changed their perspective in life because they realized that they could be more than what their office job tells them.
2. Ability to Travel, Explore New Places and Meet New People
There are those who are born to travel and have great adventures in the world. So when you stick this person inside an office, chances are this person will quit as soon as he can which is one reason why the new generations are not too keen about working an office job.
Most of the recent generation have an aptitude towards traveling and exploring and are savvy with using social media to find the best tips for finding adventure. As there are many opportunities and informative websites to show what to do, it makes it difficult for them to hold a regular nine to five jobs. One digital nomad mentioned that it was like being slowly suffocated. Another described it as prolonged torture to your soul.
Different digital nomads from different walks of life have loved this lifestyle because of the chance they get to travel. They can plan their next adventure and explore new places and still earn an income. It makes them feel proud of themselves that they can achieve their goal of traveling the world without sacrificing their job.
Meeting new people is like opening new doors. Sometimes it’s terrible, but most of the time it’s okay. When you meet new people, you get to glimpse the world from the perspective of a new person. The different aspects of experience multiply when you travel internationally because of the different cultures and traditions you observe.
Once you meet new people, they will leave a mark in your life that you will take with you no matter where you go. It allows you to appreciate the world better and to never take the simple things for granted because someone from another place does not enjoy the same things you do. These experiences are the things that make you feel privileged and lucky.
You learn to socialize and have fun with the new people you meet. You get to develop your personality and character too as you do so. This development allows you to further rely on yourself in making the right decisions in life.
3. Realizing Self-Worth
The office politics can be a tough ground to maneuver, and for some, it is where their self-worth died. This kind of environment can become detrimental to an employee who is already low in self-esteem.
The feeling of putting in all your effort and also your heart into your job to only not be recognized in the end is disheartening. When this happens time and time again, a person may not realize how much he is worth in the long run.
In a digital nomadic lifestyle, there is no office politics to deal with, the stress level is way lower than in an office, and there is no one telling you how to do your job. You get to discover new skills and learn new trades as you do your job. You get to realize that you are worth more than what your office buddies and office bosses think you do.
When you realize that there is more to your career than being stuck in your office while being unrecognized, your outlook towards yourself and towards what you can achieve will change. This change will bring you a positive attitude, and you will be able to step up to your co-workers and bosses and exude a personality that no one can underestimate again.
The digital nomad lifestyle eliminates that kind of scenario from happening. You work and do your job; however, you want it done, and clients don’t micromanage your every move when doing so. Their only concern is if you can do the job on time. After each project, you get paid, and you don’t have to deal with any competition once you hired for the job project.
4. Knowing The Work Matters
Getting recognized for the work you are putting into is an affirmation that your work matters. As a remote worker, you know that you have a set of tasks you need to do. All digital nomad knows that staying on track and keeping a schedule is one of the primary keys for being successful in this lifestyle.
Your work may be a small part of the big picture, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter. Most employers give recognition to your work despite how insignificant it may seem to you. When your task is recognized, your self-confidence rises, and this gives you a more vibrant perspective to the world.
Your self-reliance will also get a boost once you know that your work matters. This will, in turn, create independence and freedom to work around your desired projects and jobs without compromising the quality of work. You know that when you mess up, there is no one else to blame, but you and this develop your sense of responsibility as well.
As a freelancer, you are given a specific time frame to finish the job, and if you are not able to meet that time frame, it is all on you even when you lose a client, it is all on you. There is no one else to blame but yourself. It is this same idea why most remote workers are very hard working employees. They know that the only competition they have is themselves.
5. Creating a Career While Staying Mobile
In the past, career meant that you are either in the corporate world or you are an entrepreneur who sits in front of a desk. Being in an office environment is a conventional way of describing a career, but because of the advent of remote working, a new career path has opened up for the current generation and the coming generations to explore.
This aspect of the digital nomad lifestyle is the best selling point for many. It is because this allows them to leave their boring office and travel the world. When you get sick going to your office every day, you are already heading down a path where you either leave your job and start a new career or retire early.
However, some people love their job and only hate the confined feeling of being in an office. Thanks to our current technology, people like these are now able to have a career without an office. Often when one is without a career, a person has no direction in life that is why many are gaining the confidence to leave their office because they know that digital nomad careers are as rewarding; and sometimes even more so, as the usual career paths.
6. Learning New Skills
In an office, if you are not one of the few top employees, you have a lesser chance to be sent to seminars and training. A competitive atmosphere can be very toxic to some people, and it can result in a slow decline in self-confidence.
In a remote working/freelance setting, the chance to acquire new skills is always present. It is up to you if you want to grab it or let it pass by. New skill acquirement can lead to a broader range of possible clients and also a better portfolio to show. A new skill can help you boost your self-confidence to apply for higher paying jobs or projects.
Also, when you learn new skills, you build up your self-reliance, and this gives you a better attitude towards your lifestyle. It affirms your ability to be self-sufficient, therefore, proving that your independence can bring your positiveness back with regards to working.
These new skills you learn can sometimes apply to your personal life as well. You can carry more responsibilities and accept that you are held responsible if something goes wrong. They can help you realize that no matter your status in life is if you possess the willingness to learn, your life can and will get better.
7. Developing Better Time-Management Habits
Time management is one of the aspects of this lifestyle that many find hard to master. It is because of the flexibility in working hours and habits that tempts us not to clock out when working and can be especially challenging for remote workers who make their bedroom their working space.
Relying on yourself to determine the right work/life balance is a daunting task, but it is also a rewarding one. The moment you find that balance, you will feel proud and happy that you solved this problem. You will then have a taste of how it feels solving problems solo and you will be confident enough to delegate your time correctly.
It can take a long time to find this balance, and a few bumps will happen along the way. Keep at it and don’t be disheartened, you will get it right soon enough. Practice it religiously and perfect it until it is integrated into your life. Remember that quitters never win and winners never quit. You can be assured that you will feel a deep sense of accomplishment once you have this down to a pat.
8. Bring Excitement Back To Your Life
The bore of a nine to five job can be draining and hard to handle for the new generation. Studies have shown that the current generation and the new ones are all more focused on gaining experience through immersion versus experience from an office job. One of the many topics that these generations have focused on is to travel, and this is a challenge if you still adhere to the norm of office life.
In a digital nomad lifestyle, when you feel the itch to travel, there is nothing and no one stopping you. You’ll get to go to a different location, and the excitement is again revived. You meet new people and hear new stories. You can dictate when you want new things to come in your life when you live this lifestyle, and this flexibility and control is what allows digital nomads to develop into a more rounded person than most.
9. Earning Income to Pay the Bills
I correctly, put this as the last because this is already a given reason. Earning an income boosts self-confidence because you can pay the bills, buy your things and enjoy your hard earned cash. In some cases, you can share the expenses in your household and make enough that you can save for your retirement.
There is no scenario sadder and more heartbreaking than you taking your wallet out to pay the bills only to realize that you don’t have any money to do so. It is a kick to your self-confidence and a slap to your ego. The inability to provide enough income to sustain your lifestyle is a wake-up call that something needs to be changed. You can no longer rely on others; you have to rely on yourself to find the solution.
Getting a chance to earn an income even if you stay at home is a big bonus. Having the option to work and travel at the same time is a dream come true. Both are now happening as you read this article. Stay at home moms don’t have to rely on their husband’s income solely; they can now earn a decent amount of cash if they want to.
Being a digital nomad is not always a stroll in the park; there is a bad side to it. However, it is up to you to push through the difficulties if you are willing enough to be part of it. One of the best advantages of being a digital nomad is that it develops your self-confidence. You have the chance to become a better version of yourself as you learn along the way. The opportunity to meet new people opens your eyes to a world that you never knew existed when you were cooped up in that office. The bottom line is, digital nomads are the happiest people in the world because they get to do what they love and earn at the same.
I’m the owner of Digital Nomad Explorer. I’ve traveled to over 50 countries and been an expat in Scotland, Finland, and China. I was a digital nomad while having my own robotics company and traveled throughout Europe and China working remotely. Currently, I’m location independent with a home base in Kirkkonummi, Finland.