I’ve helped several freelancers take their first steps into the freelance world. Some are going strong. Some are still working at building their business. Others have barely gotten their feet wet.
With most of them (not all) their biggest hurdle to overcome is not finding work or getting the work done. Their biggest hurdle is hidden within themselves.
It is a lack of confidence in themselves.
Fear of rejection and fear of failure can be paralyzing. Sometimes it keeps people from even putting a bid in on a project. Other times it manifests itself after they’ve bid on a few projects and haven’t gotten a response or others have won the projects instead of them. They feel frustrated and defeated. Instead of looking for more projects and placing more bids, they give up. They feed on negative self-talk and decide that it won’t work for them. They defeat themselves!
Some new freelancers get a bit further in the process; they actually gain an assignment to work on. They do what they consider to be their best work and submit to the client, only to be told it isn’t good enough or that it has errors. Again, this negative feedback from a client is devastating. “I’m no good,” they tell themselves. Not true! Just because you didn’t get it right the first time is no reason to give up. Communicate with the client; find out what you need to do to meet his standards, and then, make the corrections and resubmit. Most clients (there are a few jerks out there that cannot be satisfied)…but most clients will be quite happy to have you give it a second or even third round of revision.
(This is another good reason to always submit your work plenty ahead of deadline, to allow for any revisions that are necessary.)
If you want to make it over the hurdle of self-doubt, you need to practice positive self-talk and surround yourself with good cheerleaders, or at the very least one fellow freelancer to cheer you on when you feel discouraged.
It’s one thing to lose a battle to the competition, but no one should ever lose a battle with your own inner voice. Keep yourself surrounded by positive people and positive input and silence the self-doubt that wants to rob you of meeting your goals.
What do you do to help yourself clear the hurdle of self-doubt?