How to overcome doubt as a freelancer!
Self doubt is the largest obstacle that a freelancer faces. You doubt that you will be able to find enough clientele. You doubt that when you do find a client they won't be pleased with the end product. You doubt that you will be able to pay the bills month to month. You doubt that your family or friends will respect you for not having a "normal" job.
The list can go on and on with reasons why being a freelancer won't work out. For me personally, it is a daily battle with doubt which seeks to wreck my freedom and happiness! Couldn't doubt be simplified down to a basis of the fear of failure? I believe yes 100%! I want to share a few of the tips I have learned to power through the doubt.
The first tip tackles this base fear of failure that fuels doubt. Stop categorizing projects as either a success or a failure, a win or a loss. Instead you need to look back on projects as either a success or a learning opportunity. This is a huge mindset change that should permeate every aspect of your life. With that mindset change, you are not burdened by poor performance or a clients disapproval. This burden has lead to some serious ruts and burnout in my life. NOTE: (If the client disapproves, do everything in your power to make it right. Do not just say "Sorry, it's not a failure, it's a "learning experience.") Take everything you do as a learning opportunity, but you will find more to learn from a poor experience than a good one guaranteed!
Next, do personal projects often! I am a photographer/videographer, so I try to take as many photos and videos for fun and not for money. If you are a chef, cook what you want to cook for yourself. If you are a carpenter, make a piece of furniture you will want to pass down in your family! This keeps you fresh and creative! Your creativity can be quickly stifled if you are only working for clients. Hopefully, they hired you because they like your work, so they trust your vision. But at the end of the day, you have to produce what they want. A new friend of mine, John David Pittman, said to me recently "Shoot now what you want to shoot tomorrow." That probably isn't word for word what he said, but that's what I heard and it stuck like glue haha! Basically, dream and decide your ideal client or ideal job and create it now personally. So, then when you do have the opportunity to be compensated for that dream job, you have the portfolio and experience to show for it!
This third tip has taken me a long time to really understand the depth of its power. Have at least one superfan. Usually this superfan is a spouse, best friend, mentor, or parent. This superfan does more than just encourage you when you succeed, but they also push you to be better when you have a "learning experience" ;) I wish that I was a more eloquent writer to be able to describe in great detail how blessed and lucky I am to have my wife, Ashley, as my superfan. She the hottie in the pic above! An important aspect of this relationship is to communicate to your superfan how grateful you are of their support. When I tell Ashley that it really made a positive difference in my day after she encouraged me, it just made her want to encourage me more! Win win for the both of us! Find your superfan and thank them for everything they do, not just for encouraging you to pursue freelance, but also for being an awesome friend!
Lastly, excuse my French...
Quite giving a F***!
You are too valuable and awesome to get down by hardships in life!
You are too cool for all the haters!
If you care about what you are doing and are trying to make earth a little nicer of a planet to live on, then who cares what anybody else says or that their Instagram looks cooler than yours. I had a hard time with Instagram for a good while. I realized it was feeding my doubt because I saw so many people posting about doing so many cool things all day everyday while I was working my butt off trying to get work. I deleted the app and didn't look at it for 9 months straight. In that time I regained my self confidence because I learned that I can't compare myself to anybody else. I can only be the best version of myself. Yuck, that sentence was lame.... but you understand what I mean right?!?!
Doubt will never go away and that's ok. There is a definite battle that happens when doubt creeps in between giving up or getting better. Doubt is a reminder to me that I need to work harder to get better at my craft, get better at forming relationships, and get better at being the person I'm supposed to be. Hopefully these tips have given you some sort of encouragement to dominate life as a freelancer!